Brown recluse spiders are one of the most dangerous spiders in the United States.
While most spider bites are completely harmless, the brown recluse spider is dangerous.
Their bites are painful and if not treated by a medical professional can become lethal.
Don’t worry. In this post, I will go over everything you need to know about brown recluse spiders and seven ways you can get rid of them.
Let’s get started.
How To Identify Borwn Recluse Spiders?
Brown recluse spiders get their name for their brown or tan color. They are one of the most dangerous spiders that invade homes. Their bites are highly painful and dangerous if not treated by a medical professional.
- ⅜ in length
- Dark violin shape on the cephalothorax of the area between the head and abdomen
- Uniformly colored abdomen
- Six eyes arranged in three pairs of two
- Evenly colored legs – no spots or stripes
- Fine hairs on its body and legs but doesn’t have spines on the body.
- Webs are made hidden and out of sight
How To Identify a Brown Recluse From Other Spdiers?
Sometimes differentiating between a brown recluse and another spider is difficult.
This is especially true when they are the same color and around the same size.
Fortunately, there are some key characteristics that you can look for to avoid confusing other spiders with a brown recluse.
Below are characteristics that brown recluse spiders don’t have. If the spider in question has any of these features it’s not a brown recluse spider
- Most species of spider have 8 eyes compared to the 6 eyes of the brown recluse spider.
- Patterns, stripes, or bands on a spider is a clear indication that it’s not a brown recluse
- Missing Violin mark at the top of their head. Other patterns on colors on the cephalothorax.
- Large spines on the body –
What Do Brown Recluse Look Like?
The brown recluse spider is typically brown or tan.
The signature marking that helps identify a brown recluse spider is the violin-shaped area on its body’s font.
On the symbol, the violin points towards the spider’s belly.
The brown recluse can grow as large as ¾ and as small as ¼.
Another key characteristic of the brown recluse is their long, skinny legs. These legs often make it appear larger than what they are.
They have six eyes with two in front, two on each side of their head.
How Long Do Brown Recluse Live?
Brown recluse spiders typically take around one year to mature. They can then live for between two and four years. Scientists report that brown recluse spiders can live as long as ten years under the right conditions.
Where Can You Find Brown Recluse?
Brown Recluse are found frequently both outdoors and indoors.
Outdoors tend to hide around rocks, woodpiles, and other organic matter.
Indoors they tend to hide in any undisturbed areas such as basements and attics.
This means they can hide in an open box, unused shelves, crevices, baseboards, windows, and door moldings.
What Do Brown Recluse Eat?
Brown recluse are hunting spiders. This means these spiders are active hunters that don’t use their web as a primary method but rather hunt their prey.
Brown recluse spiders primarily feed on small insects such as crickets, cockroaches, moths, flies, silverfish.
These spiders are also known to be cannibalistic eating other recluse spiders.
What Attracts Brown Recluse To Your Home?
1. Potential Food
One of the primary things that attract brown recluse spiders is food. The most common food source for brown recluse spiders is small insects.
The most common reason brown recluse spiders will be attracted to your home is that there are populations of small insects around your home.
Some of the most common insects that brown recluse spiders feed on include:
- Other small, soft-bodied insects
To avoid brown recluse spiders, you want to make sure that you get rid of any potential pest populations outside or inside your home.
The other thing that commonly attracts brown recluse spiders is clutter. Clutter gives brown recluse spiders somewhere to hide.
This shelter is ideal because they often use this shelter to help them hunt. The more clutter there is the more places that brown recluse spiders have to hide.
For brown recluse spiders, shelter can include clutter, debris, overgrown vegetation, trash, or other paper products.
If you provide sufficient shelter and food for brown recluse spiders then you are likely to have brown recluse spiders.
3. Moisture or Sources of Water
Moisture and water are not always a necessity for brown recluse spiders. This is one of the reasons that brown recluse spiders are attracted to water.
Although they can live without water for between 10 and 12 months, they will seek out water.
If there are locations of excess moisture, such as leaking pipes, these will attract brown recluse spiders.
One of the main reasons that water attracts brown recluse spiders because moisture often attracts other insects.
Try to limit excess moisture when possible to reduce the possibility of brown recluse spiders.
How To Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spider
1. Clean and Eliminate Clutter
If you have brown recluse spiders inside your home, it’s good to clean up and remove any clutter.
Brown recluse, like other spiders, thrive in clutter. The more clutter there is inside your home, the more shelter you provide for brown recluse.
They prefer areas that are secluded and dark. This gives them somewhere to hide and prey on other insects.
If there are plenty of hiding spots for spiders, there are plenty of hiding spots for other insects.
It’s also ideal to always bag or box things to prevent spiders and other insects from living within your belongings.
Cleaning and decluttering are essential in basements, garages, cellars, closets, storage rooms, or unused rooms because this is commonly where brown recluse spiders prefer to live.
Key places that often get overlooked when cleaning include: behind and under furniture. It’s important to move everything to ensure that you are cleaning as much as possible.
2. Keep Your Yard Well Maintained
Keeping the outside of your home clean and well maintained is just as important as cleaning the inside of your home.
Clutter, overgrown vegetation, and rotting organic material will attract brown recluse spiders.
One of the first steps you can take to get rid of brown recluse spiders is to cut your grass and trim all bushes and trees.
It’s important that you dispose of all trimming properly and not leave them loose in your yard, These are ideal hiding spots for brown recluse spiders.
Second, you want to dispose of any rotting organic material such as fallen branches, dead leaves, or decaying fruits.
These will attract other insects and therefore attract brown recluse spiders.
Finally, you can reduce clutter around your yards such as unnecessary furniture, gnomes, or firewood.
Keep these items to a minimum and cover them when not in use to prevent spiders and other insects from hiding on them.
3. Seal All Entry Points
The first thing you can do to help get rid of brown recluse spiders is to seal all entry points.
Like most other spiders, spiders can only get into your home if there is an entry point.
You might think because brown recluse spiders are long and big that they don’t fit in certain places. The reality is that they can fit into very small entry points.
Below are some areas that you should ensure are sealed to prevent brown recluse spiders from entering your home.
- Weatherproof doors and windows
- Apply doors sweeps to all doors
- Install screen doors if you like to leave your doors open
- Fix or replace screen doors
- Apply bugs screens to vents on basements and attics
- Apply caulk to any cracks, crevices, or holes inside and outside your home
Taking all the steps above will make it much harder for spiders to enter your home. The next several steps will help you address the spiders that are inside your home.
4. Elimnate Other Pest Issues
One of the main reasons brown recluse spiders live in a particular area is because there is plenty of food available.
One way to get rid of brown recluse spiders is to eliminate other pest issues.
In particular, you want to get rid of any other common insects around your home.
The most common include:
- Other small, soft-bodied insects
The best way to eliminate other common pest issues is to use a broad-spectrum insecticide on the exterior of your home.
This will eliminate other pests and brown recluse spiders as well.
The most effective insecticide is a residual insecticide that will provide coverage for three to six months after the initial application.
5. Remove Webs, Spiders, And Egg Sacs
To reduce the population and make your home less appealing, I recommend using a vacuum to remove all webs, live spiders, and egg sacs in your home.
This is an effective and fast way to remove webs, spiders, and egg sacs and to dispose of them properly.
I recommend using a vacuum cleaner with a tube extension that allows you to easily get spiders and webs on ceiling corners, behind furniture, or in other hard-to-reach areas.
6. Apply Insecticide Indoors And Outdoors
It’s often unnecessary to apply insecticide indoors for brown recluse spiders since they commonly live outdoors. It’s only necessary to apply insecticide indoors if the infestation is large.
The most effective type of insecticide for brown recluse spiders is a residual spray. A residual spray provides a lasting effect that will kill any insects that come into contact with the insecticide between 3 and 6 months later.
When applying insecticide spray you want to target your foundation as well as 3 feet upwards from the floor on your walls.
You should also apply the residual spray around doorways and windows to prevent spiders from trying to sneak into your home.
You should also consider spraying any outside structures to prevent brown recluse spiders from making their home inside those. This includes sheds, garages, and patios.
You can also apply the residual insecticide to your grass, plants, and other areas outside your home.
7. Use Glue Boards To Monitor And Kill Stragglers
To eliminate brown recluse spiders that are already inside your house is using glue boards.
Glue boards tend to be very effective at eliminating any remaining spiders and monitoring your home activity. They will help you identify which rooms in the house see the most activity and where you should focus your attention.
They also allow you to trap and eliminate the infestation while you sleep. Place these glue boards under appliances, furniture, baseboards, guidelines, and any other place you’ve seen spiders.
As bait, you can place a small insect at the center, which will draw brown recluse spiders towards the trap.