Home & Garden Pest Control

Do You Recognize A Brown Recluse Spider When You See One?

If you're familiar with the brown recluse spider he's an easy pest to recognize.
But to most of us a spider is a spider.
Some are skinny; some are fat, some big, and some small.
I know I had no idea what a brown recluse looked like before my pest control technician days.
Developing the ability to know when a spider is a recluse is a talent I learned fast when I got that pest control job.
And many times I found myself very happy for that fast learning experience.
Do you know that the adult recluse grows no longer than a half-inch? See this word "brown" here? It's in size ten-text font, and it won't fit into a half-inch wide text box.
The adult recluse is shorter than that word.
And the body is very narrow.
In fact the body itself is normally not the first thing you see when you look at this bug.
This insect's legs are very long.
When you place this spider inside that box I mentioned above those legs stick outside the box's borders.
The legs of the recluse are the first things I learned to identify.
They're distinctive as far as spiders go.
They come upward from the body at an angle close to forty-five degrees, and then bend back toward the ground sharply.
Brown recluse spiders come in different shades of brown also.
Some are dark brown, but others are lighter shades of brown ranging all the way to the same color as your skin.
The most certain way you know if a spider is a recluse is when you see that violin, or fiddle, shape on its back.
The bottom of the violin points toward the spider's head, with the fiddle's neck pointing toward the rear end.
The violin shape is a darker brown than the rest of the body, and easy to see once you get close enough to the spider to actually see it.
Of course when you get that close you're way too close if the spider is still alive.
I don't recommend identifying a live recluse that way.
This spider has a nasty bite.
Its venom is highly poisonous, and once it enters your body that venom starts eating your flesh away.
Most of the time you won't feel that bite, if you do it's a mild stick.
Thing is, soon the spot where the spider bites you starts turning red, and the pain begins.
An hour or so later the skin starts dissolving.
The recluse spider only bites when you disturb it.
When you touch the nest the spider feels vibration along the web strands, and thinks food.
It runs out to bite the food to numb it, and then realizes it just bit something too big for it to eat.
And the spider runs away.
Or the spider lives inside some rarely worn article of clothing or shoes.
When you put them on you disturb the spider, and he bites.
Again he's thinking food, or perhaps self-defense.
If you want to learn how to recognize these insects study some pictures of them.
Note the legs especially, and get the look of them fixed in your head.
When you know a recluse by its legs you won't need to get close enough for it to bite you.
Brown recluse spiders live all over the place.
I recommend you learn how to recognize them, and learn how to properly treat for them.
This spider does eat flying insects, keeping those pests from bugging you.
But the brown recluse is not a spider that you really want to share your home with.

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