Skip to content

Beware of the Brown Recluse

Description

The first step in any battle is getting to know your enemy. In this case, that enemy is a spider known as the brown recluse. These creatures are aptly named as they often live in solitude, lurking around in dark corners and hiding spots. Like many spiders, they prefer not to be found and to hunt alone. Perhaps these facts are obvious by the creatures title, but did you know there is another name for these eight-legged pests?

They are also known as fiddle-back spider for the violin-like marking they have on their backs. This is not always apparent from afar however as it may not be distinct against the rest of the recluse’s brown body. Another key way to identify a brown recluse is to look at its eyes.  A recluse has a total of six eyes instead of the typical eight that other spiders have.

A recluse is a nocturnal spider who hunts for its prey at night. They typically hunt for insects such as moths, flies, crickets, and cockroaches using their venom and fangs as their main weapons. However, these spiders are able to live for months between meals.  During the day, they can be found resting in their webs awaiting the next nightfall.

Threat Level

Though they may be small, they live up to their reputation as nasty pests to have around the home. Their venomous bites can have negative effects on your loved ones and pets alike. However, they are not aggressive towards humans unless provoked and typically only strike out in self-defense. The common symptoms of a brown recluse bite include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pain or redness at the wound
  • Ulcers around the wound
  • Seizures or Coma in more extreme cases

In most cases, the bite should have little effect beyond slight pain around the affected area. However, necrosis, or skin death around the affected area, is possible should the bite continues to worsen in pain and other symptoms and go untreated for over 12 hours. Should the affected area begin to show signs of worsening please contact your medical provider.

Prevention

One female recluse is enough cause for concern as a single female can mate only once in her life and continue to produce eggs nearly 150 eggs in a year. This can quickly result in an infestation should they be contained within your home or yard. For this reason, it is crucial that proper prevention tactics are undertaken.

As we know, the brown recluse prefers to spend its time safely in their hiding spots. These spots can take many forms depending on the environment. When outdoors, they like to hide amongst the trees under bark or on the ground between rocks or woodpiles. Indoors they can often be found in attics, crawlspaces, or in any storage area that is not around a lot of activities.

There are two key ways to prevent these creepy-crawlies from taking control of your home. The first is to check every item you bring into your home from the outdoors before storing it away. They often enter your home via boxes, hang-dried laundry, firewood, or other items that then get out on a shelf to be forgotten about. Next, you should make sure they cannot enter your home through vents, windows, fireplaces and more by sealing those areas thoroughly.