What to do if you find a brown recluse in your home?
The recluse brown spider ( Loxosceles hermit ) is a small species of arachnid belonging to the Sicariidae family. Their small bearing does not match their fearsome fame since these spiders hardly exceed 20 millimeters in length; Some specimens can measure nothing more than 6 millimeters.
How to remove brown recluse spiders at home
When we see a spider, we should use an insecticide for spiders in spray form. Always avoid crushing them with your hand to prevent bites or skin irritation from the venom. If you try to break it with a shoe, you run the risk of it escaping (many spiders are very fast) or jumping out (some are aggressive when they feel threatened).
Eliminating spiders at home is a task that, except for large infestations, we can carry out ourselves.
The guidelines to follow are simple:
we must act primarily in places where dust accumulates and rooms of little use. Spiders, in general, do not like to interact with larger animals, so they prefer to settle in quiet places.
Please pay attention to storerooms, brooms, and closets, where we keep clothes and belongings from another season. Naturally, we must remove the cobwebs we observe.
Avoid storing firewood at home:
it is widespread to find spiders hidden among the logs. If you have a woodshed or room for this purpose outside, store the wood there and only bring in the wood that is going to be consumed.
Be careful not to bring into the house pots or garden objects: if you are going to bring into the house plants or objects that have been outside during the hot season, check them carefully.
Eliminate food sources:
as we have mentioned, spiders are carnivorous so that they may be feeding on ants and other common insects in the house. Insecticide gels are useful for eliminating ants and other crawling insects.
To systematically eliminate flies, we can use insecticides in granulated baits, which attract and remove them.
If we see webs, we will proceed, once we clean the area, to spray with a persistent insecticide ready to use, a spider repellent that will prevent given its permanence that the spiders return to that place.
The brown recluse spider is a species very feared for its potent necrotic toxin. Although their bites are not as frequent because of their shy nature, almost 15% of attacks on people often cause systemic damage. Next, we will know a little more about this species and the reasons why its poison is so potent.
Of course, ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS ON THE SAFE USE LABEL OF ANY PESTICIDE!
Physical characteristics and taxonomy of the brown recluse spider
Its appearance is also very discreet compared to the other poisonous spiders. Its body is thin and well-delineated, with a marked ‘waist’ between the cephalothorax and the abdomen (similar to a violin). In it predominates a slightly lighter brown tone than a brown.
Nor are specific color patterns observed in your abdomen or on your legs, which lack spiny hairs. The most observed colors are black, gray, cream, or brown; In his stomach, we find a lining formed by fine and very soft hairs.
Like its ‘relatives’ of the genus Loxosceles, the violin spider has three pairs of eyes (six eyes in a dyad arrangement). One pair is centered in its head, and the other two are arranged in parallel. It is a peculiar characteristic among arachnids present in a few species.
Habitat and feeding of the violin spider
The brown recluse spider is a species native to North America. Its population extends over almost the entire American territory, although it reaches northern Mexico. However, its highest concentration is in the southeastern United States.
It usually lives in darker and more reserved areas, such as between stones and logs or in accumulations of wood and firewood. Although it is rarer, they can also adapt to living inside homes, especially in closets, shoes, between clothes or near a warm place, and with low brightness.
It is a carnivorous animal whose diet is based on the consumption of crickets, mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, and other insects available in its environment. This species maintains nocturnal habits, which only go out in search of their prey at night.
During the day, they usually rest and take care of their shelter built with their white or grayish sticky cobweb. Although they are excellent hunters, they can spend months without hunting and without feeding, especially during the winter or times of low food availability.
Why is the recluse brown spider venom so scary?
In practice, the most recognized and feared feature of recluse spiders is their potent poison. Their bites can cause complex symptomatology in the body of the victim that is known as ‘Loxoscelism.’ That is a set of symptoms caused by the spiders of the genus Loxosceles.
The powerful hemotoxins in the venom of these spiders cause necrotic wounds in their victims. Thus, the symptomatology derived from a bite shows two variants: cutaneous loxoscelism. When the action of toxins is limited to the skin, we face a cutaneous loxoscelism.
However, if the poison reaches the bloodstream and reaches other organs, we talk about a visceral loxoscelism. The latter cases are much more severe since they can cause general and irreversible damage to the organism.
Symptoms and effects of bites
Among the main symptoms of this spider bite, we find fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, skin rashes, pain in the muscles and joints.
Currently, it is estimated that almost 40% of inmate spider bites end in necrotic wounds, while approximately 14% of victims have systemic or visceral damage caused by their hemotoxins.
For all these reasons, it is essential to go to a medical center after being bitten by a spider or after the appearance of the aforementioned symptoms. When taking walks to rural areas, fields, or farms, it is essential to take preventive measures to avoid insect bites and arachnid bites.
In addition to applying the repellent, it is essential to wear closed shoes, clothes that protect the skin and avoid entering unknown areas. In the home, optimal luminosity and ventilation will help drive away from the brown recluse spider.
If bitten, collect the spider if possible for identification get medical attention immediately.
Apply ice packs to relieve the swelling in the brown recluse spider bite area.
National Hotline Poison Center : 1-800-222-1222
- University of California, Riverside: How to identify brown recluse spiders
- NIH: Picture of brown recluse spider bite
- Illinois Department of Public Health: Brown Recluse and Black Widow Spiders
- What to do if you find a brown recluse in your home?
- How to remove brown recluse spiders at home
- Avoid storing firewood at home:
- Eliminate food sources:
- Use Insecticides:
- Physical characteristics and taxonomy of the brown recluse spider
- Habitat and feeding of the violin spider
- Why is the recluse brown spider venom so scary?
- Symptoms and effects of bites
- Additional resources