Brown Recluse Identification and Prevention

Brown Recluse Spider

Summer time in Oklahoma means an increase in insect activity. Among the household pests that we start getting lots of calls about are brown recluse spiders because their peak season ranges from March to October. While they are definitely a nuisance, brown recluse spiders can also be very dangerous as their bites can cause severe pain and scarring. Let’s look at what you need to know to keep your family safe from this highly venomous spider.

Identification

Brown recluse spiders are plentiful and widespread in the lower midwest. They range in size from 6-20 mm. They are typically a medium brown color, but most shades of brown can be seen. Brown recluse have gained the nickname of “fiddleback” because of the dark marking on their backs that resembles a violin or fiddle with the neck pointed toward the rear. This marking alone can not positively identify a brown recluse because other species have similar markings. To confirm that it is a brown recluse you are dealing with, you can check the eyes. Most spiders have 8 eyes, arranged in 4 sets of 2. The brown recluse has 6 eyes in 3 pairs.

 

Brown Recluse Spider

 

Behavior

Brown recluse spiders are usually not aggressive unless trapped or threatened. They tend to hide in dry, dark places and only come out to hunt for prey. If a brown recluse does bite, it is not usually fatal, but the venom can cause serious pain and scarring in some individuals. At the beginning, you may not even know you have been bitten. Some people may only experience some slight swelling and a pimple-like wound. Other more serious complications can include a necrotic (flesh destroying) lesion with blood and pus or systemic symptoms, which affect the whole body.

Prevention

Since the bites can be so serious, it is best not to mess with brown recluse spiders. On the outside of your home, make sure that screens and weatherstripping around windows and doors are in good condition and replace any that may have holes. You should also fill any holes or cracks in the walls and foundation of your home. Eliminating things in your yard like wood piles, dead shrubs or bushes, and general debris can help keep them from making a web near your house.

 

Inside your home, you can use sticky traps in the corners of the rooms to catch brown recluse spiders. These traps are unlikely to control the spider population, but they can give you an idea of how many you are dealing with. Sprays also tend to be ineffective. They kill on contact, but provide no barrier to prevent future spiders. Hiring a professional pest company is often the most effective means of controlling brown recluses and giving you peace of mind. Midwest Pest Control can help you identify and control the brown recluses around your home. We guarantee to take care of the problem and keep your family feeling safe and confident in your own home.

 

Grant ChristensenBrown Recluse Identification and Prevention