Brown Recluse Spider Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from brown recluse spiders by learning techniques for identification and control.

Loxosceles reclusa
Dark, violin-shaped mark on dorsum
Light or yellowish brown cephalothorax

Treatment

How do I get rid of brown recluse spiders?

What Orkin Does

Orkin technicians are trained to help manage brown recluse spiders. Since every building or home is unique, your Orkin technician will design a special spider treatment program for your situation.

Keeping spiders out of homes and buildings is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkin’s exclusive A.I.M. solution is a continuing cycle of three critical steps — Assess, Implement and Monitor.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep spiders in their place...out of your home, or business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Brown Recluse Spiders

Appearance

The most telltale characteristic of brown recluse spiders is the presence of a dark, violin-shaped mark on the dorsum of the arachnid's light brown or yellowish-brown cephalothorax. The neck of this distinct violin pattern is directed toward the abdomen. Due to this marking, brown recluses are also commonly known as fiddle-back spiders. Baby brown recluse spiders do not have this distinctive marking. It develops as the spiders grow into adulthood. To positively identify a spider as a recluse, both the eyes and fiddle marking must be seen, since other spiders may possess one or the other characteristic alone.

Brown Recluse Spider Markings

Behavior & Habitat

Brown recluse spiders dwell in many of the same dark, sheltered places as black widows. They can be found in homes, barns and basements. Webs tend to appear disorganized and are built most commonly near ground level. The spider is a hunter, so the web is not intended to catch prey but instead roams around searching for prey. The brown recluse is found in the central southern part of the U.S., from Texas to the western most part of Florida.

Bites

Brown recluse spiders are shy and rarely bite unless provoked. Bites usually go unnoticed until effects manifest a few hours later. Most bites become red and fade away, but in uncommon cases necrosis or tissue damage can occur. A medical professional should be consulted if there are medical concerns.

More Information

Although urban myth purports that they are found throughout the U.S., studies have shown otherwise. Brown recluse spiders are endemic only to the American South and Midwest. Relocation of the brown recluse can occur in boxes or items moved from its native range. These usually are isolated events and do not result in an entire area becoming infested.

Many conditions are mistakenly diagnosed as brown recluse spider bites, including Lyme disease, diabetic ulcers, reactions to medication and bacterial infections.

Due to misinformation and fright, many people identify harmless spiders as brown recluses. They are also referred to as fiddleback spiders due to a distinctive marking on the thorax, which resembles a violin. Brown recluses have uniformly colored legs and abdomens; so any spider exhibiting distinct color variations and patterning on the legs or abdomen is not a brown recluse.

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Brown Recluse Image Gallery

Brown Recluse Spider Bite

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Brown Recluse Life Cycle

Brown Recluse Spider Closeup

Brown Recluse Spider

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