What You Need To Know About the Brown Recluse Spider

The brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is well-known throughout the tri-state (Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky) area. While most people have heard at least one story of someone who had a traumatizing experience, most don’t know the most dangerous part of an encounter with a brown recluse. It’s the fact that the bite itself is painless at first. Many don’t know they’ve been bit until the symptoms start getting more severe. Skin necrosis can develop rapidly so it’s important to be seen by your doctor as soon as possible if you think you’ve been bit by a venomous spider.

About the Brown Recluse

The brown recluse is the most common of the recluse spiders in our area and one of the two venomous spiders. The other is of course the Black Widow spider. The trademark of the brown recluse is the violin on the cephalothorax, but it can be difficult to identify with an untrained eye. We see the hobo spider, jumping spider and wolf spiders all commonly mistaken as a brown recluse. While these other spider bites can require medical attention, they are not truly venomous.

Contrary to their name, while the brown recluse is typically reclusive, they are what’s known as a hunting spider. Instead of building an intricate web to catch prey, they actively go out at night and hunt. They can be found in any dimly lit area, such as basements and garages.

How To Identify a Brown Recluse Spider

  • They have six eyes and unlike other lookalike spiders, the eyes are grouped in pairs, with one pair in front and a pair on either side.
  • The signature violin shape on the cephalothorax.
  • Uniformly light-colored legs – no stripes, no bands
  • Uniformly colored abdomen which can vary from cream to dark brown.
  • No spines on the legs, only fine hairs
  • Recluses make small retreat webs behind objects, never out in the open.
  • It is about 3/8 of an inch in body length.

What to do if you are bit:

If you think you’ve been bitten by a venomous spider, the first step will be washing the area with soap and water to prevent bacteria from getting in the wound. If there is swelling, a cold compress will help as well. An antibiotic cream is also recommended. You should always monitor the wound for changes. If the bite shows any of the following signs, you should consider seeking medical attention. The symptoms of a Brown recluse spider bite include increasing pain over the first eight hours, fever, chills, or body aches. The bite wound will typically have a pale center that turns dark blue or purple with a red ring around it. Another telltale sign is a bite wound that grows an open sore with the skin around it dying.

How to prevent an infestation:

  • Keep beds away from the walls.
  • Don’t store boxes or shoes under your bed.
  • Seal any crevices, holes, gaps in your exteriors and walls.

That last one is a given, but we always urge our customers to give us a call at the beginning of summer for preventative treatment or to get set up on any of our affordable treatment plans. Brown recluse spiders are mostly only active from March through October, so while we recommend treatment during those months, we can always take preventative measures beforehand. So give us a call today.

At Romans Pest Management, we know that people tend to wait until they have exhausted all options before resorting to a professional. We get it! But, like most other professions, we’ll be the first to say, don’t wait! Instead of wasting time and money on over-the-counter products that are ineffective or wrong for the job, just give us a call to get it done right the first time. We’ll come out and do a FREE no-pressure inspection. If you’re not happy with the estimated amount, we’ll leave, no harm done.

Conveniently located in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, Romans Pest Management serves the whole Tri-State area, including Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana.