Brown Recluse Spiders: Identification And Facts

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The brown recluse spider is a notorious spider known for its venomous bite. Let us get to know about Brown recluse spiders in this article. This spider species is found throughout the United States and typically resides in dark and damp areas such as basements, closets, and garages. This brown spider has a violin-shaped marking on its back, which is how it got its name.

Brown recluse spiders are venomous, and their bites can be fatal. They are mostly found in the south and the central United States, but they have been spotted in a few other states as well.

Brown Recluse Spiders

The brown recluse spider is easily identified by its unique violin-shaped marking on the cephalothorax. The neck of the violin points toward the spider’s rear, or bulbous abdomen.

spider on its web

They are light to medium brown but can also be black. They range in size from 3/8″ to 1″ in length. Brown recluses are generally shy and non-aggressive spiders, but they can bite if threatened.

The spider’s abdomen is covered in fine hairs, giving it a velvety appearance.

One way to identify brown recluse spiders is by the fine hairs on their body- they don’t have spines as some non-recluse spiders do. 

What attracts brown recluse spiders?

Brown recluse spiders are found in many parts of the United States. They prefer warm, dry areas with a lot of weeds and overgrowth. They are often found near structures, such as homes, garages, and sheds.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Spiders can be found in any home; they are most commonly found in areas with construction materials, rocks, or other places where they can hide. Homeowners should be aware of brown recluse spider infestation signs when they are found as a group and take steps to address them if necessary.

What Do Brown Recluse Spiders Look Like?

Brown recluse spiders are typically about 1/4 to 1/2 inches long but can grow slightly larger. They have characteristic violin-shaped marks and eyes on their heads, and their bodies are light brown. These species have four pairs of legs and are typically shy and reclusive, preferring to stay hidden.

Brown Recluse Spider with its eggs

In addition, their color usually ranges from tan to dark brown. Another key identifier is the darker fiddle-shaped marking on their dorsum, or top of the cephalothorax.

The life cycle of brown recluse

Interestingly, their life cycle is quite complicated, involving four stages: egg, larva, juvenile, and adult. The adult brown recluse spider is about one to two years of age. They will mate and lay eggs. The eggs hatch into spiderlings, which will eventually grow into adults.

Two weeks later, the spiderlings disperse. They will reach sexual maturity in about six months to a year. Brown recluse spiders have one generation per year. Female brown recluse spiders produce several egg sacs over two to three months, with approximately fifty eggs in each sac.

The time it takes for them to reach maturity depends on the availability of food and temperature. Additionally, brown recluse spiders are resilient and can tolerate up to six months of extreme drought and scarcity or absence of food. The brown recluse spider will cannibalize another if food becomes scarce.

The brown recluse spider is typically quite active between June and September. 

Where do brown recluse spiders live?

Brown recluse spiders can be found in various areas in and around the home. They generally prefer dark, undisturbed areas, such as closets, attics, and basements. However, they can also be found in more open spaces like garages and sheds.

Brown recluse spiders are typically found in undisturbed areas such as closets, boxes, and among papers. They can also be found inside seldom-used clothing and shoes.

Brown recluse spiders are found mostly in the central and southern United States. They prefer to live indoors, near storage areas or commercial buildings. Outside, they can be found under rocks, logs, or in piles of leaves.

How can I treat a brown recluse bite?

If a brown recluse bites you, it is important to clean the wound and cover it with a bandage. Spider bites can be dangerous if not treated properly.

Clean the wound daily and debride any necrotic tissue. You may also want to apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound.

Most brown recluse spider bite symptoms result in a mild, erythematous papule that resolves without treatment. However, if a lesion does develop, it can be treated with antihistamines, topical corticosteroids, or both.

Brown Recluse Spider Bites

Brown recluse spider bites are not always deadly, but they can produce serious side effects. The bites usually cause an immediate stinging sensation followed by intense pain. The venom can cause necrosis (tissue death) in some cases, and the victim may require surgery.

In some cases, a dead tissue gradually slays away during the next 10-14 days, leaving an open ulcer and possibly exposing underlying muscles or bones. The bitten person may also experience fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and a general feeling of illness.

Signs of an Infestation

A few signs indicate you have a brown recluse spider infestation in your home. One of the most common is spotting webs or spiders around your home. 

If you believe that you have a brown recluse spider infestation, it is important to contact a licensed pest professional for inspection and treatment. These professionals have the experience that is necessary to identify the spiders and address the problem properly.

Brown recluse management

Brown recluse spiders can be found near the house and are difficult to control with chemicals. They hide in dark, undisturbed areas, such as closets, crawl spaces, and basements.

The brown recluse spider is notorious for being difficult to identify and even more difficult to get rid of. This will greatly reduce your odds of becoming an unwitting host. 

  • Remove or reduce outdoor trash and unneeded structures where spiders might live.
  • Be sure to check any boxes or furniture before bringing them inside.
  • To reduce the likelihood of encountering brown recluse spiders, you must take preventative measures. Under the bed, as this is where the spiders like to hide.

How to get rid of a brown recluse spider?

If you live in a state where recluse spiders are found, it is important to protect your space from the bugs that these spiders feed on. Brown recluse spiders hide in dark, undisturbed areas, so make sure to clean and vacuum your home regularly. If you do find a spider, don’t try to kill it yourself—contact a professional.

There are a few steps you can take if you come across a brown recluse spider in your home.

  • Making sure that all your windows and doors are well-sealed will stop them from entering your home.
  • Keeping your home clean will also help, as they don’t like to live in a clean environment.
  • Limiting where you eat and don’t leave food lying around will stop them from congregating.
  • If you can’t get rid of the bugs on your own, reach out to a pest-control specialist.

Final Thoughts

Brown spiders are venomous and can be dangerous if they bite you. They are typically found in the south-central United States, midwest, and especially California, but they can also be found in other parts of the country.

If you live in an area where brown recluse spiders live, it is important to know what they look like and where they prefer to nest so that you can avoid them.

In conclusion, brown recluse spiders are venomous and can cause skin problems. If you are bitten, try to capture the spider and bring it with you to your doctor. Clean the bite area with soap and water and keep an eye out for any changes.

If a boil or ulcer forms, or if the wound becomes hot, hard, or worsens, see a doctor right away. In rare cases, you may be susceptible to loxoscelism, also known as loxosceles reclusa, a condition in which the skin around the bite begins to die.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.