Brown widow spiders aggressively populating Southern California – pushing aside black widows

A poisonous spider is aggressively colonizing Southern California.

Panic.

Now, take a deep breath: The spread of brown widows could actually be good thing.

Newly released research suggests nonnative brown widows are pushing out more dangerous (and native) western black widows. Most of the time, brown widows have a bite similar to that of common household spiders, producing only a red mark and slight pain, according to the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside.

“The most common thing, anecdotally, that homeowners are saying is, ‘I used to have 3 or 4 black widows and now I have 10 to 15 brown widows,’” said Richard Vetter, a retired researcher at UC Riverside and lead author of a recent study about the interaction between the arachnids.

 

Learn more: U-T San Diego – Brown widows crawl across SoCal sprawl

 

 

Continue reading Brown widow spiders aggressively populating Southern California – pushing aside black widows

Solar Industry booming with 21% growth – Solar Leasing now has waitlists

Unlike much of the rest of the economy, the solar industry is growing rapidly. New solar installations in California jumped by 21 percent last year. An increasing amount of that growth is from “solar leasing.”

What’s commonly called “solar leasing” is now the most popular way for homeowners to install solar electricity.

A solar company installs the panels for the customer for free or for a minimal cost. Then it sells the consumer the electricity for about 10 percent less than local utility rates.

SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive, “before solar was more designed to those who could afford a large upfront cost of $20,000 to $25,000. Now the average person can go solar and just start saving money, there’s no investment.”

Rive says the option is so popular that in some markets his company has a waiting list of 4 to 6 months.

via Capital Public Radio

 

// Photo – Heritage Solar