How do you identify a brown recluse spider? Brown recluse spiders are usually between 1/4- and 3/4-inches long, but may grow larger. While typically light to medium brown, they range in color from whitish to dark brown or blackish gray. These spiders usually have markings on their dorsal side, with a black line coming from it that looks like a violin with the neck of the violin pointing to the rear of the spider, resulting in the nicknames fiddleback spider, brown fiddler, or violin spider.
The brown recluse spider is known for its “reclusive” behaviors, because it prefers to take residence in warm, dry and dark environments, such as woodpiles, basements and closets.
This arachnid bites when it feels trapped, typically when a hand or foot reaches into a shoe or piece of clothing or in a box in the attic or basement where a brown recluse has made its home. The female spins an irregular web in undisturbed areas, like the garage, attic and basement. The web is not used to catch prey, but rather as a retreat.
Outside, brown recluse spiders are typically found around rocks, piles of inner tubes, utility boxes, woodpiles, block-wall voids, under bark, etc.
Inside the home, brown recluse spiders can be found in almost any undisturbed area. They are most commonly found in boxes, among papers, and in seldom-used clothing and shoes, although they can be found in corners, underneath tables and chairs, or in crevices such as those found along baseboards, doors, and window moldings. Storage areas such as closets, bedrooms, attics, crawl spaces, and basements are preferred nesting areas.
BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER BITES
Both male and female brown recluse spiders can bite and inject venom. Injection of their venom may produce necrosis or dead tissue, resulting in an ulcerating sore. Healing is very slow and usually takes several weeks, resulting in dense scar tissue. In severe cases, plastic surgery may be required.
The bite of a brown recluse spider is usually not felt, but it may produce an immediate stinging sensation followed by intense pain or this reaction may be delayed for 6–8 hours. A small blister usually appears and the surrounding bite area becomes swollen. Symptoms include restlessness, fever and difficulty sleeping. The dead tissue gradually sloughs away during the next 10–14 days, leaving an open ulcer and possibly exposing the underlying muscles and/or bone. Call a physician or go to an emergency room immediately if bitten, and take the spider along for identification purposes.
- Inspect the outside of the home for any small openings or holes, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter the structure. Seal any such openings with a silicone caulk to prevent spiders and other insects from gaining access inside.
- Stack firewood at least twenty feet from your home and five inches up off of the ground to deter spiders from hiding out in the woodpile. It’s a good idea to wear gloves when moving the wood, and inspect it carefully before bringing indoors.
- Clothes and shoes should not be left on the floor, or they must be shaken out before wearing, especially if stored in the basement, garage, or other dark area.
- Store seldom-used items, such as boots, baseball mitts, skates, gardening clothes, and gloves, in tightly sealed plastic bags or boxes.
How do you identify a brown recluse spider? Control of brown recluse spider infestations should be left to a licensed pest-control professional. If you suspect a problem, please contact us HERE at ClearDefense Pest Control. We can help!
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