There are few spiders in the world that are as feared as the brown recluse. So, it isn't surprising that other brown spiders are often mistaken for recluse spiders. If you're concerned about brown recluse, and you want to be able to easily recognize one when it gets into your home, you've come to the right place. We're going to give you some details that you can't get from looking at photos on the internet. Here are ways you can properly identify a brown recluse.

brown recluse spider on a rock
brown recluse spider in a phoenix yard

How big is a brown recluse spider?

These spiders range in size. Adults may be between ¼ and ½ an inch in length, and newly hatched recluse spiders are a fraction of this. Let's put this in perspective. A small, adult recluse spider is going to be slightly larger than a penny. A large, adult recluse spider will be slightly larger than a quarter. When you look at pictures on the internet, it is difficult to understand the scale. Even when you look at a photo of a brown recluse sitting next to a quarter or a penny, the scale is off. Hold a coin to your screen and see how it compares in size to what you're seeing. You may be surprised.

Why does it matter how small a brown recluse spider is?

Because the violin-shaped marking on smaller brown recluse spiders is very small, when you see a live recluse in your home, if you're expecting to spot this marking easily, you're going to be disappointed. This marking may look like no more than a darkened line.

Are brown recluse spiders actually brown?

There are different species of brown recluse spiders that range in color. Some are tan, tannish-brown, or even slightly yellow in color. However, these spiders are typically light brown with a dark brown abdomen.

Does a brown recluse spider have hair?

If you see a brown, hairy spider in your home, it isn't a recluse. It is more likely to be a wolf spider, grass spider, or hobo spider. Brown recluses are not visibly hairy spiders. If you're aware of this, you can exclude many spiders when you try to determine what spider you're seeing.

Do brown recluse spiders have round abdomens?

There are two venomous spiders that are a serious threat in the United States: the brown recluse and the black widow. If you're aware of this, you may think that the brown recluse has a bulbous, round abdomen like the black widow. This is not the case. The brown recluse has a pill-shaped abdomen that is roughly the size of its cephalothorax—which is the other large part of their body that you'll see.

Where are brown recluse spiders found?

If you want to see if you have brown recluse spiders in your home, you're going to need to look in dark and secluded locations. This is important to note because you may not be able to easily see a brown recluse, even if you know what they look like.

How do you detect brown recluses if you don't see them?

These spiders create webs over holes, gaps, and recesses. They use this webbing to protect themselves when they need a place to retreat to and are not used to capture prey like other spider webs. If you go looking for these spiders with a flashlight during the day, you may find them inside their webbing at the base of walls, in corners, between stored boxes, and in other similar hiding places. If you do (and you have the courage to get close enough) you can take a photo of one with your phone. This will help with identification.

Should you be afraid of being bitten?

Brown recluse spiders aren't looking to bite you. If you enter a space with these spiders in it, they're likely to stay out of your way. But they will bite you if you threaten them. We would recommend that you don't as these spiders are venomous and their bites can have quite a few negative side effects. It is best to contact a licensed pest management professional if you spot small, brown, hairless spiders, especially if they are in low, tangled webs inside your attic or in other secluded spaces as they are likely brown recluse spiders.

How do you get control of brown recluse spiders?

There are many things you can do to reduce your chances of getting a brown recluse spider bite, but spider population control methods should be selected and administered by a trained and experienced professional. This will ensure the complete removal of the spiders from your home. Brown recluse do very well in our homes. If you don't get rid of them all, they can regrow their populations and continue to present a threat.

Phoenix Spider Control

If you live in Phoenix, reach out to Overson Pest Control for advanced pest and spider control. We can guide you in selecting the right treatment options for your spider problem. Drop us a line or give us a call. We're here to assist you with all your Phoenix pest control concerns.

 

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