There are more than 45,000 known species of spiders in the world. Fortunately, most are harmless and provide an important benefit in the ecosystem to control the bug population. Some can be deadly, however, so it’s good to know the types of spiders you may encounter in your neck of the woods. Because of climate and migration, the types of spiders you may find in your area will vary widely from other parts of the country. In the Monterey County area of California, we have a few types that largely dominate the spider population.

Black Widows

The most dangerous spider in California is the black widow. Recognized by its black body and red hourglass shape on its abdomen, the black widow has a venomous bite that is rarely fatal, but can cause muscle pains and nausea. These spiders like to hang out in attics, woodpiles and other hidden places. They are non-aggressive, so don’t bite unless they feel threatened.


The tarantula is one of the most recognizable spiders in the world. With its intimidating size and furry body, this is the kind of spider that nightmares are made of. But the truth is that tarantulas are harmless to people and are typically very mild-mannered. People even have them as pets since they can live for a very long time.

Grass Spiders

A variety of grass spiders can be found in Monterey County. They build funnel webs near the ground to trap their prey.  Because grass spiders don’t have poisonous venom and have such small teeth, they struggle to pierce human skin to bite, so they pose little threat to humans.

Wolf Spiders

Among some of the most common spiders in the world are the wolf spiders. They are relatively large and actively hunt their prey at night. The bite from a wolf spider can be painful, but does not pose any dangerous threat to humans.

Black & Yellow Garden Spiders

These spiders are common all across all of the United States, including California. The garden spider weaves a large web to trap its prey and can be found in lawns, gardens, fields, forests and orchards. Their oval-shaped bodies and extremely long legs are often colored with black and yellow stripes or dots.

Orb Weavers

Many different types of orb weaver spiders may be found in this part of California. These spiders build classic orb webs to catch their prey in forests or heavily wooded areas. The venom of an orb weaver is not harmful to humans or pets which are much bigger than their targeted prey.

These are just a few of the types of spiders you may find in Monterey County. The infamous brown recluse is not found in California, so black widows pose the most serious threat to humans. Other than this, most of the spiders in our area are harmless to humans. Even still, a pest control expert can keep all types of spiders out of your home and out in nature where they belong. Contact us today if you would like more information about keeping these and other pests away from your most valuable asset.