Ever since moving to California's Sacramento Valley a couple years ago, I have pretty much walked through a spiderweb every single day. The little suckers get busy spinning at night here, and in the morning you go outside and get those invisible sticky strands across your face. But I almost never saw the spiders when this happened, and when I did they were very small and unassuming, and anyway they eat all the OTHER annoying bugs here, so I began to relax my hatred for spiders and let them live. Since they theoretically ate mosquitoes, the aphids that munched on the roses, and the sugar ants that periodically invaded the kitchen, then fine, their lives could be spared.
The Northwest had worse spiders anyway--these huge, gnarly "aggressive house spiders" (their actual name), a couple inches across including leg-span, dark-colored, spindly and sinister, who had a habit of running across your carpet or appearing in your bathtub at unexpected times. They liked living in houses. We did not like to have them in our houses. It was something of a war.
Here, I was pleased to see, there weren't really any of these. Just a myriad of daddy long-legs and small garden spiders. Oh, and yeah, people mentioned that black widows live here too, but they're shy and don't like being around light and noise, so you won't see those unless you dig through woodpiles, probably.
Or maybe you'll just open your garage door someday, and notice an evil little bulbous-bodied, long-legged, shiny black spider hanging in a web under your husband's project sportscar. And maybe, when you get closer, you'll notice some interesting red markings on its belly. Oh goodie. And then maybe, like me, you'll attack it with a long-handled scrub brush (the nearest and most viable weapon available), but it will skitter with lightning speed into some hidden crevice in the car, where you will never find it.
So yeah. That's where we stand: something that is most likely a black widow, most likely still alive, lurking in the garage.
I no longer feel kindly toward spiders. The war is on.