Brown Recluse Spiders
What do brown recluse spiders look like?
Female adult brown recluse spiders are larger than their male counterparts. Adults have a body length between 1/4 and 3/8 of an inch, and a leg span of 1 to 1-1/2 inches. Depending on their specific species, they can range from yellow-gray to dark brown, and their abdomens are covered in gray hairs. Compared to other spider species, brown recluse spiders have long legs that are darker than their bodies and have a distinctive “violin-like” pattern on the top of their bodies. They also have three pairs of eyes that are arranged in a semi-circle pattern.
Where are brown recluse spiders found?
Brown recluse spiders do not build webs. Instead, they hide underneath woodpiles, leaf piles, rock piles, and inside outbuildings like sheds and garages. They are nocturnal and hide during the day, emerging at night to hunt for their prey. Brown recluse spiders may accidentally enter Iowa & Illinois homes while they are hunting, and once inside, hide in dark, quiet places such as closets, attics, and basements. In regions where brown recluse spiders exist, it is a good idea to check shoes and clothing for these arachnids before putting them on. Brown recluse spider bites are dangerous, and medical attention should be sought if you are bitten. Swelling and tenderness occur approximately eight hours after the bite. Within a few days, the skin around the bite will begin to ulcerate and the wound area will become prone to infection. Healing from a brown recluse spider bite is slow; it can take weeks or months for the area to heal, and can result in a disfiguring scar. Though uncommon, a brown recluse spider bite can lead to death.
What do brown recluse spiders eat?
Brown recluse spiders feed on insects that they catch. They inject their prey with a special fluid that lets the spider suck out the now liquid insides of their prey.
DIY brown recluse spider prevention and control tips
Sealing cracks and crevices in your building’s foundation.
Installing door sweeps, caulking around windows and doors, and repairing or replacing screens in windows and doors.
Placing woodpiles up off the ground and a distance away from the exterior of your home.
Keeping clutter to a minimum in storage areas.
Shaking out clothing and shoes before putting them on.