Brown Recluse Spiders
- Latin Name: Loxosceles reclusa
- Size: 5/8” in diameter
- Color: Varying shades of brown and yellow with a dark brown violin shaped spot on the back
- Shape: Round, eight legs and six eyes
- Found in: Southern, Western and Midwestern parts of the United States.
- Overview: Brown recluse spiders are poisonous and release a necrotoxic venom when they bite. They are typically found inside homes in the middle section of the United States.
Climate: These spiders are typically found inside and thrive in moderate temperatures. They prefer dry and warm places to nest.
Favorite Foods: Cockroaches and crickets are the two favorite foods of a brown recluse spider. The brown recluse spider does not trap his meals in his web instead he leaves the web to hunt for insects. They can go for months without eating.
Family: A female brown recluse spider will produce five egg sacs during her lifetime. Each egg sac can contain up to 300 eggs. The eggs take one year to develop into adult spiders.
Unique Facts: The web is gray in color and not very elaborate. The brown recluse spider has three pairs of eyes compared to most other spider species with four sets.
Signs of a problem: Brown recluse spiders live outside in trash piles or wood piles. Inside a brown recluse spider can be found all over the home in bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, basements and attics. It is common for them to make webs in or near vent work for the air-conditioner or heater. Always keep your house clear of hiding spots by removing unused boxes and using airtight containers for clothes storage. Look for webs near the ground. These spiders are nocturnal and typically hunt for food at night.
Do they attack humans? Yes, brown recluse spiders bite in self-defense. The bite feels like a bee sting and will cause a painful open sore and other side effects including nausea, vomiting, chills, fever and muscle aches. After about 24 hours, the sore will become itchy. It will take a long time for the sore to heal and it will most likely leave a scar. Brown recluse spiders do not cause death, but if bit you should seek medical attention. The necrotoxic venom in spiders can cause tissue damage.
Stopping an infestation: The first step to avoiding an infestation is removing all clutter from your home. Make sure all areas of your home are kept tidy by vacuuming and dusting regularly. If you need to store clothes in the basement or attic, do so in plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes. Eliminating potential food sources for the spider is also a necessity. If you have issues with cockroaches or other insects, call a pest control professional and make sure any traps are removed frequently. Because brown recluse spiders are poisonous, it is strongly recommended that you call a pest control professional to treat a problem in or around your home. The pest control professional may suggest putting out sticky traps to determine where in your home the brown recluse spiders are living. Once the location is found, pesticides can be used. A professional will be able to make the best recommendation on chemicals based on whether or not you have children and pets in the home.