The brown recluse spider is a venomous arachnid mainly found in the south-central areas of the United States, including Florida, Texas, and Louisiana. It’s one of the most dangerous spiders in America, alongside the black widow.
The bite of the brown recluse is extremely venomous and there’s a risk of amputation if the victim’s wounds aren’t treated in time.
By combining a number of simple and safe techniques, we can show you how to get rid of brown recluse spiders.
How to Identify Brown Recluse
The species name of the brown recluse spider is Loxosceles reclusa. The spider is around half an inch long, and it’s further characterized by possessing six eyes rather than the standard eight eyes most spiders have.
The brown recluse usually doesn’t create its own web in open spaces where it might be identified with ease. The spider runs fast and is likely to get away if it’s spotted within the home.
Binomial Name (scientific name)
Brown Recluse Spider measure approximately 1.5cm in length
The body has no distinguishing coloration or markings other than a violin-shaped pattern on the back of their thorax (head). When viewed with the naked eye they appear fluffy due to fine hairs on their body.
Number of Legs
While most spiders have eight eyes, Brown Recluse has six eyes arranged in 2 pairs. This is there only distinguishing feature
Whiteish through to Dark Brown
When alarmed it appears to lower its body to the ground.
Brown Recluse Spiders are common in woodlands. In domestic locations, they will be found under log piles, rocks, or bricks. In your home, they will nest in woodwork, wall cavities, gaps in masonry, or behind facades.
Brown Recluse Vs Wolf Spider
Brown recluse spiders can be easily mistaken for wolf spiders, of which there are more than 200 species in the United States. The main point of difference is the absence of the violin shape that distinguishes the brown recluse from other spiders. Instead, they have distinctive stripes on their legs and bodies.
Do Brown Recluse Spiders Make Webs?
Brown recluse webs are loosely constructed and irregularly in shape. Like other types of spiders, the brown recluse builds its web using protein-based silks, produced by organs called spinnerets. The web’s strands are like white silk and very strong.
The brown recluse’s web is not built for trapping prey since the spider actively hunts for food. Instead, the web serves as a retreat.
While other spiders create webs in strategic locations to trap their prey, the brown recluse spider weaves their web in undisturbed quiet areas. The webs are usually found in dark, dry locations such as basements, attics, closets, cellars, and ductwork.
Brown recluse spiders often spin webs inside clothes, shoes, storage boxes, tires, papers, linens, and below undisturbed furniture. Outdoors, they may be found under logs, lumber, and rocks, as well as garages, storage sheds, and barns.
Are Brown Recluse Spiders Venomous?
In short yes. The brown recluse injects necrotic poison into its prey’s body to subdue it. To humans, these spiders can cause severe wounds and bites should be treated immediately.
The brown recluse isn’t an aggressive creature. Your risk of getting bitten is little even if your house is spider-infested. The spider only bites when it feels threatened, for example, when it’s trapped under your body.
What Attracts Brown Recluse Spiders?
When we consider how to get rid of brown recluse spiders, we must first understand what attracts them to our property in the first instance.
The brown recluse is attracted to dark, unclean, and cluttered homes that provide a great source of food and lots of places for hunting and cover. Like all predators there behavior is dictated by the opportunity to hunt, so they will go where their prey is easiest to catch.
What Do Brown Recluse Spiders Eat?
The diet of brown recluse spiders primarily consists of soft-body creatures like cockroaches, moths, flies, and crickets, they’re not all bad then! The spiders are also cannibalistic, which means they will feed on one other.
Unlike other types of spiders that ensnare prey on their webs, brown recluse spiders chase down their prey at night. Once captured, they subdue the prey with deadly venom. Like most spiders, brown recluse spiders can survive for months without water or food.
Where Do Brown Recluse Spiders Live
According to the Penn State Department of Entomology, brown recluse spiders are found in 15 states across the United States, including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, and Kansas.
Outside of homes, these spiders are usually found in places where they can hide with ease like the space between log piles and large rocks. You’re more likely to come across the brown recluse at home if you live near a wooded area.
What to Do If You Find a Brown Recluse in Your Home
To eliminate brown recluse spiders from your home, you first need to know where they are. They like to hide away (hence the name recluse). They also reproduce really fast if left unchecked, and can live for up to four years.
If you see the brown recluse, it’s more likely to be male. Males are more inclined to wander further from their nesting location to hunt. So it’s not surprising that it’s usually the male that bites when trapped underneath clothing or inside a shoe.
The brown recluse likes to live in piles of debris, wood, bricks, abandoned vehicles, utility boxes, as well as underneath rain traps, logs, and stones. It’s referred to as a wandering spider, meaning that it has to actively look for food as opposed to capturing prey using a web.
How to Kill Brown Recluse
A combination of sanitation and insecticide measures are normally needed to eliminate or reduce a deep-seated infestation. Before performing any form of pest control, be sure to seal any openings or gaps in the property structure to prevent further brown recluse spider infestations.
1. Brown Recluse Spider Spray
Residual sprays are an effective remedy for infestations. They will eliminate brown recluse spiders on contact. You apply the spray to surfaces indoors and outdoors where you see spider activity. The spider runs through the residue and job done.
Good residual sprays are pesticides that provide good sticking power and a long-lasting residual effect.
2. Dust Applications
Brown recluse spiders aren’t called recluse for no reason. They prefer to be hidden inside wall voids and cracks. Therefore, most brown recluse treatments involve a residual dust substance being puffed into cracks, wall voids, behind switch plates and outlet covers, and beneath the insulation.
Before you seal cracks in the walls outside your home, use residual dust to treat these openings to prevent brown recluse spiders from getting in in the future.
Brown Recluse Spider Traps
We recommend starting your clean up operation with Sticky Spider Traps. They play several roles in getting rid of spiders.
- Once a spider is caught in the trap you will have a positive identification of the species
- Trapping the spiders with a sticky trap is a safe and clean way to remove the Brown Recluse Spider from your home.
If you have a large infestation of the brown recluse, you’ll need numerous traps and you will need to check them frequently and replace them as necessary.
3. Trapping Spiders
Brown Recluse Spider Traps or Glue Traps are a simple cardboard device with an adhesive coating. When the critter walks over the adhesive coating, guess what…they’re trapped.
The simplest way to catch brown recluse spiders safely is to place several traps around your home in areas of spider activity. If you don’t see regular spider activity it will be a case of experimenting until to get a successful capture.
Keep an eye out for Brown Recluse activity in dark quiet corners. Look behind sinks, inside wardrobes, loft spaces, or under beds.
How to Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders Naturally
As brown recluse spiders like to hide out in dark areas of the home, it’s advisable to seal access to forestall infestation.
4. Seal Off Entry Points
Storing household items in tightly-sealed plastic containers may be a good way to protect your belongings. Other ways to help prevent an infestation of the brown recluse include:
- Applying wood adhesive or plastic wood filler to seal floorboard cracks
- Applying weather-stripping around window frames and windows
- Regularly vacuuming places with noticeable spider activity or webs
5. Remove the Spider’s Food Source
Brown Recluse Spiders love to eat other soft-bodied insects such as spiders, ants, cockroaches, moths, and other flying insects. As long as this food source is available within your home, don’t expect your unwanted guest to check-out.
6. Sanitize Your Home
We advise the following sanitization routine to get rid of the brown recluse habitats.
- Climbing Ivy or other vegetation on the side of your home should be removed
- Piles of firewood, lumber, boards, stones, or other remains should be kept as far away from home as possible, covered with plastic, and stored off the ground
- Tall grasses need to be routinely trimmed
- Storage in garages and basements should be improved by keeping items away from walls and off the floor. Eliminating clutter also minimizes potential spider habitats
7. Inspecting Stored Items, Including Boxes
When you find a single brown recluse spider living in a stored box, make sure to inspect all the other stored boxes. If you don’t deal with the problem right away, you can worsen the current infestation or transfer the infestation to a new place when you move.
While checking for spiders, make sure to wear long-sleeved tops tucked into spider gloves to protect yourself from bites. You can use a vacuum hose to quickly eliminate any spiders you find. After inspecting all stored items inside boxes, put the items back into the boxes and seal them with tape to prevent spiders from regaining access.
8. Use Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a natural substance that is used in many medical applications. In this case, it is used as abrasive dust that is spread on the ground for the spider to walk over. The abrasive properties of the soil, attach to the spider and damage its exoskeleton ultimately killing it.
Reapply every few days, as moisture damage will reduce the effectiveness of this treatment.
Brown Recluse Extermination Cost
If you’re struggling to deal with the brown recluse, consider calling a professional exterminator or pest control service.
Many different factors impact the overall cost of getting rid of brown recluse spiders.
The first one is the pest’s location. Brown recluse spiders living in difficult to reach sites like in the crawl space, attic, inside the walls, or in cracks and crevices might require more invasive ways to get to them.
In this case, places like wall avoids may have to be cut open to access the spider. Clearly resulting in additional repair costs.
Type of treatment is another thing that can affect the total brown recluse extermination cost. Simpler treatments like traps and aerosol sprays can be cheaper than natural approaches.
Finally, the total cost of eliminating brown recluse spiders can also be affected by how many treatments you need. We recommend applying DIY treatments such as trap sand powders initially. If the problem persists then consider calling in the professionals.
In Summary How To Get Rid Of Brown Recluse Spiders
So there you have it! An extremely venomous spider that delivers power toxins that can lead to significant problems and possible amputations. The risk is often underestimated, but you will be well advised to take immediate action to deal with any infestation within your home.
Deploy any one of our 7 tactics on how to get rid of brown recluse spiders to keep your family and pets safe.