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Brown Recluse Spider Control

Brown Recluse Spider Description

The violin pattern is not diagnostic, as other spiders can have similar markings (e.g. cellar spiders and pirate spiders). For definitive identification, it is imperative to examine the eyes. While most spiders have eight eyes, recluse spiders have six eyes arranged in pairs (dyads) with one median pair and two lateral pairs. The brown recluse’s violin marking can vary in intensity depending on the age of the spider, with mature spiders typically having dark violin shapes, according to The Ohio State University. The violin shape points toward the spider’s bulbous abdomen. The violin shape is easy to misinterpret, so it is best to look at the eyes when determining if a spider is a brown recluse.

Only a few other spiders have three pairs of eyes arranged in this way (e.g., scytodids). Recluses have no obvious coloration patterns on the abdomen or legs, and the legs lack spines.The abdomen is covered with fine short hairs that, when viewed without magnification, give the appearance of soft fur. The leg joints may appear to be a slightly lighter color.

Brown Recluse Spider Habitat

Brown recluse spiders build asymmetrical (irregular) webs that frequently include a shelter consisting of disorderly threads. They frequently build their webs in woodpiles and sheds, closets, garages, plenum spaces, cellars, and other places that are dry and generally undisturbed. When dwelling in human residences they seem to favor cardboard, possibly because it mimics the rotting tree bark which they inhabit naturally.

Human-recluse contact often occurs when such isolated spaces are disturbed and the spider feels threatened. Unlike most web weavers, they leave these lairs at night to hunt. Males move around more when hunting than the females, which tend to remain nearer to their webs.

Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Frequently, the bite is not initially felt and may not be immediately painful, but it can be serious. The brown recluse bears a potentially deadly hemotoxic venom. Most bites are minor with no necrosis. However, a small number of brown recluse bites do produce severe dermonecrotic lesions (i.e. necrosis); an even smaller number produce severe cutaneous (skin) or viscerocutaneous (systemic) symptoms. In one study of clinically diagnosed brown recluse bites, skin necrosis occurred 37% of the time, while systemic illness occurred 14% of the time.[20] In these cases, the bites produced a range of symptoms common to many members of the genus Loxosceles known as loxoscelism, which may be cutaneous and viscerocutaneous. In very rare cases, bites can even cause hemolysis—the bursting of red blood cells.

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