For some people, spiders are the stuff of nightmares. Harmless or not, the very sight of one of these creepy-crawlies can send shivers down a spine. Add a potential venomous bite to the equation and that is enough to send a person running in fear.

Few spiders have a worse reputation than the Brown Recluse spider. But is it warranted? Are they really as bad as people think? Or is this spider (found throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska) simply misunderstood?

What Are Brown Recluse Spiders?

Like their name implies, the Brown Recluse is both brown and reclusive. The body of an adult Brown Recluse is light brown, except for a darker, violin-shaped marking on the back, right behind its eyes. Brown Recluse spiders have six eyes arranged in three pairs, as opposed to most spiders which have eight eyes.

Brown Recluse spiders are most active at night. Their diet includes soft-bodied insects such as crickets, roaches, moths, and flies. Not unlike humans, female Brown Recluses are more apt to choose a male who dances well and brings gifts. Females can lay around 50 eggs at a time. The baby spiders hatch in about 30 days. If a baby Brown Recluse makes it to adulthood, it can live for up to two years. These spiders can survive as long as six months without food or water.

Where Do Brown Recluse Spiders Live?

You are likely to find a Brown Recluse spider exactly where you might imagine…lurking in a dark, secluded space. They prefer spots that offer darkness and a safe place to hide. If they have found their way inside, Brown Recluses typically prefer to reside on wooden surfaces, such as inside furniture, cardboard boxes, wall voids, and in the wood framing of crawlspaces, basements and attics. Outside, they usually live under rocks, logs, wood piles, or other natural debris. Often, Brown Recluse spiders are unwitting travelers when whatever they’re hiding in gets moved to a different location

Are Brown Recluse Spiders Dangerous?

If you had any question as to whether or not a bite from a Brown Recluse was painful or harmful, wonder no more. Brown Recluse venom is very potent. It destroys cell membranes, breaking down skin, fat, and blood vessels. This results in the death of surrounding tissue (necrosis). Fortunately, however, most Brown Recluse bites remain localized and cause minimal tissue damage. You can expect the site to be red, swollen, and tender, but symptoms typically clear up within three weeks without the need for medical attention.

Occasionally, however, Brown Recluse bites can cause significant or even life-threatening damage. They may result in severe pain, ulcers, fever, chills, nausea, joint pain, or even seizures. If you believe you’ve been bitten by a Brown Recluse spider you should see a doctor just to be on the safe side.

The good news is, the Brown Recluse has never been known to attack a human. They only bite when provoked. AND they have small fangs when compared to most spiders. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to keep your distance.

How To Treat For Brown Recluse Spiders

There are several options for getting rid of Brown Recluse spiders. You may choose non-chemical measures at first. These include eliminating their hiding spots in and near your home (clearing away piles of lumber, cutting back heavy vegetation, and storing boxes off the ground), vacuuming up existing spiders, sealing cracks and other possible points of entry. Some homeowners also choose to use sticky glue traps to effectively trap spiders in and around their house.

If non-chemical measures don’t completely eliminate your Brown Recluse problem, you might try chemical treatments on the interior and exterior of your home. Some of these chemical products are dust application, contact sprays, and spot treatments.

The Brown Recluse is an expert at squeezing into small spaces and hiding from your best pest control efforts. If after trying both non-chemical and chemical treatments, you still have a Brown Recluse problem, call McCarthy Pest & Termite Control. Our technicians are skilled at finding those pesky spiders and getting rid of them for good. Let McCarthy help ensure that you and your family are safe from a potential run in with a Brown Recluse spider.

Call us today to schedule a personalized treatment and get rid of the pests in and around your home.