There are several spider species in California. These range from the harmless to the most dangerous. If you live in California or plan on visiting, you may have some interest in finding what these spiders are like.

We aim to shed more light on spider species found in California.

Here is a list of California house bugs.

Spiders in California

There are several spider species in the state of California.

These include the grass spider, tarantula, garden spider, black widow spider, and wolf spider.

Others include the cellar spider, the orb weave spider, Chilean recluse, brown widow spider, yellow sac spider, and the false black widow spider.

Are These Venomous?

Not all spiders mentioned above are venomous. Some of these are harmless and won’t pose danger to you.

However, the most venomous of these spiders include the Chilean recluse, brown widow, the yellow sac, and the black widow spiders.

4 Venomous Californian Spiders

We’ve seen that among the many spider species in California are dangerous spiders. These have been identified as the Chilean recluse, the brown widow, the yellow sac, and the black widow spiders.

This section will be providing you with more information about each of these venomous spiders.

  • Chilean Recluse Spiders

Chilean recluse spiders are among those spider varieties found in the state of California. These have a reputation for being among the most deadly. However, despite their venom, stings hardly result in death.

When compared with other recluse species, Chilean recluse spiders are seen to be among the largest. These measure about 0.3 to 1.6 inches and are mostly brown.

Additional features include markings consisting of black lines running along the upper side of the thorax.

True to their name, Chilean recluse spiders are native to Chile but are found in California as well as other states such as Massachusetts and Florida.

Chilean Spider Habitat

Chilean recluse spiders are normally attracted to rocks and debris and are mainly found in forests. However, you’re likely to spot or find them around human dwellings.

Due to such proximity, caution is necessary to ensure they don’t come too close.

Chilean Spider Stings

One good thing about Chilean spiders is that they don’t readily bite humans.

However, they won’t hesitate to do so when they sense danger. One of the most common ways most people get stung by Chilean spiders is when it gets into clothing.

When you unknowingly put on clothes holding Chilean spiders, you’re likely to press against them. As a way to defend themselves, these spiders will sting you. The volume of venom injected will determine the severity of symptoms.

In some cases, minor skin irritations may occur while in severe cases, it could cause necrosis of the skin.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), certain severe necrosis due to Chilean spider stings has taken as much as several years to heal.

  • The Brown Widow Spider

The brown widow recluse is also among California’s most dangerous spiders. These spider species are considered dangerous due to their venom. Just as the name implies, these spider varieties have a combination of tan and brown.

These are easily distinguished by their longitudinal abdominal stripes. This spider species lives in seclusion.

They prefer to build their nests in and around protected areas.

Homes and woody vegetation provide ideal nesting grounds for these creatures. Brown widow spiders will build their homes in storage closets, garages, and recessed hand grips of plastic garbage containers.

These are also found around corners of entryways.


Luckily, brown widow spider bites aren’t as deadly as compared with those of black widow spiders. However, such bites are painful and you’d do better to avoid them.

Your best bet against these spiders is to get them out of your home. This can be achieved by using common spider insecticides.

  • Yellow Sac Spider

This poisonous spider species is also found in California and has a pale yellowish-green appearance.

These nocturnal creatures prey on smaller insects as well as other spider species. There have been more complaints about yellow sac spider bites than there have been of other spider species. It’s best to immediately clean and disinfected after a bite.

Unlike other venomous spider bites, those from yellow sac spiders aren’t as severe. However, persons having allergies may experience more severe symptoms.


This species of California spider makes their dwelling in both indoor and outdoor environments. You’re likely to spot their silken sacs along your baseboards, behind and beneath furniture, and along with ceilings.

In outdoor environments, you’ll find yellow sac spider sacs under logs, stones, door frames, window sills, and tree barks. Your best shot at avoiding their stings is by getting rid of them.

One way to start is by removing their sacs and sealing all cracks that may serve as entryways. Tight-fitting screens should be installed on all vents especially those on the foundation and attics.

  • Black Widow Spider

One of the ways to easily identify black widow spiders is through the unique hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomen. These spiders are among the most venomous spider varieties. According to National Geographic, black widow spiders are reported to be among the most poisonous variety.


Luckily, black widow spiders don’t go out of their way to sting people. Instead, they only bite in self-defense. Plus, you could easily sit on them. When stung by black widow spiders, it’s highly unlikely that death will result.

How to Avoid Getting Stung By Spiders In California

Having listed common spider varieties in California as well as the most venomous, it’s necessary to take precautionary actions to protect yourself.

One of the ways includes shaking out old clothing or clothes stored for long. This action is necessary as spiders may be hiding in them.

You may also need to put on gloves when reaching into dark corners, high shelves, and sheds or moving lying logs or rocks. This helps protect you from unnecessary bites that may result.

More importantly, keeping spiders out of your home is the best approach.

Spiders may find their way in through cracks or in boxes or other infested items were taken indoors. Check to be certain that no item holds these creatures before taking them indoors.

These are the most common spider species you’ll find in California. While most of these are harmless, a few are venomous as discussed above.

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