Brown Recluse Spider
Facts About Brown Recluse Spiders
Also referred to as the fiddleback spider, fiddlestick spider or violin spider, the brown recluse spider gets these names not only from its color, but also because of the the violin or fiddle shaped marking on its upper body. There are eleven known species in the continental US, four of which can be dangerous to humans. You’ll find this spider in the south central and midwestern United States. There have been sightings of this spider in the northeastern states as well. brown recluse spiders don’t stray very far from their native lands and are often misidentified as other species of spiders. They don’t bite often, but when they do, they can inflict a lot of pain.
Brown Recluse Spider Bites
These spiders just want to be left alone. Unless they are disturbed or feel threatened, the brown recluse spider will not attack. This spider bites humans often as a response to feeling trapped. If these spiders are in your bed, you might accidentally roll on top of them, provoking a bite. Brown recluse spiders have very small fangs, so it is actually very difficult for them to bite through clothing.
Brown recluse spider bites may go unnoticed at first. If you are bitten, symptoms will appear up to eight hours later when the affected area may begin to turn red and swell. Most of the time, the wound will go away on its own over the course of three weeks without any extra attention.
While bites are not usually life-threatening, the venom can cause a lesion that appears as dry, bluish skin with a blister in the center of the affected area. The venom may destroy tissue and leave a deep scar. However, this effect on the skin may not be a spider bite at all. Instead, it may be a bacterial infection that causes similar damage to the skin. Medical professionals will be able to correctly diagnose the affected individual.
Bites from these spiders may also cause fever, chills, dizziness, and nausea in the most severe cases. Those susceptible to this reaction are either young children, the elderly, or the sick.
In order to reduce pain and swelling, apply ice and elevate the affected area. Immediately seek medical attention if any severe symptoms are present.
Life Cycle & Behavior
Mating begins in June or July. Females will lay between 20 and 50 eggs and will produce up to five of these batches during her lifetime. It takes young spiders up to year to fully mature, and they can live for up to three years.
As the name suggests, this spider is reclusive. It is often found hiding under rocks, boards, and logs. Inside, you’ll find them in walls or in any stored items. Any place that is warm and dry is the ideal home for one of these spiders. They are adaptable, too. Brown recluse spiders can live through temperature extremes and can go for months without food or water.
These spiders do not employ webs to trap their food. Instead, they hunt their prey (usually insects) after dark, and will feed on them whether or not they are alive or dead.
Types of Brown Recluse Spiders
Brown Recluse Spider Identification
Roughly the size of a quarter, the brown recluse spider measures about ¼ to ½ inch in length with a brown body. They are marked by a characteristic violin shape that is found near their eyes and neck. Both males and females look identical.
Brown Recluse Infestations In The House
It is hard to manage these spiders because hiding is in their nature. Any dark, sheltered area can be a home to brown recluse spiders.
It helps to reduce cluttered areas around your home to reduce their hiding places. If you are handling items that you haven’t touched it a while, it may be best to wear long sleeves and gloves to avoid potential bites. Outside, you won’t want to store firewood directly on the ground, and you’ll want to seal any cracks in your home’s foundation that may let the spiders inside.
Installing sticky traps around your home may help not only to reduce the number of spiders you see, but also identify where these spiders are living. This should be your first step before insecticide treatment. Chemicals are only necessary if you believe your home to be infested.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are brown recluse spiders poisonous?
Male and female brown recluse spiders can inject dangerous venom into people. The initial bite is usually painless but within a few hours the site of the bite will swell and blister. The tissue around the bite will start to die, creating an ulcer and eventually exposing muscle and bone. Other symptoms include fever and difficulty sleeping. Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider.
What are the Benefits of Professional Brown Recluse Spider Pest Control?
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a brown recluse spider problem. Finding and treating the brown recluse spiders can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the brown recluse spider infestation.