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Brown Widow Spider


Actual Size: ¼ to 1”

Characteristics: Black or dark brown; orange or yellow hourglass marking on the underside of the abdomen.

Legs: 8

Habitat: Typically inhabits sheltered outdoor areas such as under rocks, in leaf litter, or around buildings, favoring warm climates.


  • Only fully grown female brown widows bite.
  • Reclusive species that avoids human activity.
  • Looks similar to a black widow, but is brown in color with a yellowish hourglass marking.

Brown Widow Spider

Brown Widow Spiders in Atlanta, GA

Here in Atlanta, GA, brown widow spiders are a fairly common pest. They’re also often called cobweb spiders due to their distinctive and irregular-shaped webs, which they usually leave in cluttered areas like leaf litter or building corners. Their appearance bears a striking resemblance to the notorious black widow, yet their defining hourglass marking is a shade of yellow or orange, diverging from the bright red of their infamous counterpart. While the males of this species are non-aggressive and do not bite, the female brown widow is a venomous arachnid, injecting a potent neurotoxic venom into its prey when it bites.

Brown Widow Spider Habitat

Brown widow spiders originated in Florida and typically prefer to live in warmer climates. They build intricate webs in sheltered areas, especially around residential areas with woody vegetation. Brown widows are a shy species that prefer to live in quiet locations such as empty containers, old storage closets, and garages. In some cases, they may even build nests beneath patio furniture or railings. Unlike black widow spiders, this species is drawn to slightly more exposed areas, which means you’re more likely to run into a brown widow than a black one.

Brown Widow Spider Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Despite having venom that is twice as potent as black widows, the brown widow injects a lesser amount of the neurotoxin, making their bites much milder. Since brown widows are also timid, their bites usually only occur if the spider feels threatened or trapped. While their bites typically pose minimal medical threats, individuals with heightened sensitivity should promptly seek medical attention if faced with severe pain and swelling. If you have a brown widow problem on your property, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local spider exterminators for a fast and safe removal.