When you think of a spider, you probably picture a big, round web with its resident spider poised in the center, waiting for a hapless fly to land in the web's sticky strands. With few exceptions, you would be thinking of an orb weaver spider of the family Araneidae. (About Insects)
Most commonly found near human habitations, orbweavers spin large webs in which to trap their prey. Their hope is to catch many flying insects. Later, these webs are almost entirely consumed before new ones are built, since by eating their own webs, orbweavers are able to recycle the silk.
One of the larger varieties of orbweaver is the Golden Silk Spider, better known to many as the "banana spider." These spiders prefer a tropical climate, and often spin their large, sticky webs in the branches of trees or in the dense undergrowth of the woods, where they become the bane of hikers and hunters. In more inhabited areas, they will make their webs in the eaves of buildings or along utility lines.
Although they will bite if frightened or trapped, their bites are described as less painful than a wasp sting. In the end, their greatest threat to humans is that of annoyance. Hunters, bikers, joggers, horse-back riders, and campers often find themselves having to deal with the annoying presence of giant, sticky webs inhabited by rather large, scary-looking spiders squatting in the centers.
If you live in the California and find yourself dealing with the annoying habits of the orbweaver, it might be time to consider consulting with a pest control professional.