All spiders use venom to kill and digest prey. The specific components of spider venom varies significantly between species, but most spiders are of little public health significance since few possess venom that will affect humans. Still, spider bites can result in uncomfortable pain and swelling. Spiders usually only bite people in self-defense, or because someone has accidentally disturbed a spider in an unexpected area.
Brown Recluse Spiders (Loxosceles reclusa), a well-known notorious species, does not occur in California or Alameda County. However, the Chilean Brown Recluse Spider (L. laeta) and the native Desert Recluse Spiders (L. deserta) are closely related species that are found in southern California and can inflict similar venomous bites.
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