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Five W’s and an H About Brown Recluse Spiders

December 14, 2016

large brown recluse spider in a jupiter fl home


What makes brown recluse spiders so threatening?

Brown recluses are considered threatening because their venom is incredibly poisonous. Their venom is way more poisonous than that of most venomous snakes. However, when they bite, brown recluses inject a much smaller amount of venom than the amount that most venomous snakes would inject.

What features are used to indisputably identify a spider as a brown recluse?

There are two features unique to brown recluse spiders: their number of eyes and the unusual markings on their backs. First, brown recluses have only six eyes, which is two less than the number of eyes that a typical spider has. The second best identifying feature of a brown recluse is their distinct markings in the form of a lone little violin that has it’s body close to the head with a thin line extending towards its rear. 


Who is most at risk of being bitten by a brown recluse spider?

The bite from a brown recluse spider is what makes them so threatening because their venom is very poisonous. However, the venom affects different people in different ways.  For some, the only symptom is a small reddish bump at the site of the bite, resembling a pimple. On the other hand, some have very bad reactions to bites that result in large, necrotic lesions at the wound site, which causes surrounding tissue to die. Specifically, you have a 1 in 10 chance of having a more severe reaction when bitten by a brown recluse.


When are brown recluse spiders most active?

Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal meaning they are most active at night. They tend to hide away in dark and secluded places, preferring to go looking for their prey under the cover of nightfall.


Where are brown recluse spiders most commonly found? 

Brown recluse spiders prefer to inhabit dry climates, and they are commonly found in the warmer states in the central regions of the United States, living as far west as the Rockies and as far east as the Appalachians. In addition, they are often seen in a range states in the southern most regions of the United States, starting in Texas and extending through Florida.


Why are brown recluse spiders so misunderstood?

Brown recluse spiders are so misunderstood because they are often misidentified. Many bite victims mistakenly blame brown recluses, but most of the time they were actually bitten by a more aggressive insect that they believe is a brown recluse. In fact, brown recluse spider bites are extremely rare.


How should you treat a bite from a brown recluse spider?

If a brown recluse has bitten you, then you should seek medical treatment immediately. Some things that you can do to manage the symptoms are to clean the wound with soup and water, then to apply antibiotic ointment if you have it in order prevent future infection, and to manage any swelling by icing and elevating the affected area if possible. Lastly, you can help your doctor by finding, killing, and holding on to the spider at fault in order to identify exactly which species of spider bit you and from there decide on the proper treatment for that specific kind of spider.

If you have any questions about brown recluse spiders or if you are interested in our pest control services, please or call one of our Nozzle Nolen representatives at (888) 685-0376.


"Brown Recluse Spider." Brown Recluse. Arksin, 2007. Web. <>.

Drake, Nadia. "Why You Need Not Fear the Poor, Misunderstood Brown Recluse Spider." Conde Nast Digital, 15 Nov. 2013. Web. <>.

The EarthSky Team. "Top 10 Things about Brown Recluse Spiders |" EarthSky. EarthSky COmmunications, Inc, 25 Apr. 2016. Web. <>.

Jones, James. "Brown Recluse Spider." Creepy Crawlies. N.p., 2016. Web. <>.

"10 Facts about Brown Recluse Spider." Fact File. Fact File RSS, 07 Sept. 2015. Web. <>.



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