What Does A Brown Recluse Look Like?

brown recluse spider outside of tyler texas home

There are over 35,000 species of spiders in the world. So, it's not surprising that we have a hard time telling one spider from another when they find their way into our homes. But here in Texas, there is one spider you should become an expert at identifying: the brown recluse spider. These spiders are plentiful in our area, and they have no aversion to invading homes and other buildings and establishing themselves inside. Here's what you need to know most about these harmful spiders:

Why is it important to properly identify a brown recluse?

There are only a handful of spiders in the United States that are considered a household threat. On this short list of spiders, most prefer to be outside and rarely establish themselves in homes. But the brown recluse spider is just as happy inside as it is outside. This would not be an issue if not for the threats that they pose. These spiders have a venomous bite that can destroy the blood vessel walls near the bite wound and can lead to significant necrosis as phospholipid molecules are turned into simpler lipids within the cell membrane. In other words: it can rot your flesh and turn a small bite into a serious injury. Fortunately, brown recluse spiders aren't overly aggressive and don't prefer to bite humans, and bites are only likely to occur when these spiders are brought into contact with the skin.

Visual Identification

The average brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) is only about 1/4 of an inch long, with an additional 1-inch leg span. Altogether, that is only 1 ¼ inches for an adult spider. That means you're going to have to look closely to make out the tiny, dark brown, violin shape on its tan back. Some prefer to call this a fiddle-shaped marking, which is why brown recluse spiders are also called fiddleback spiders. This shape is helpful for identifying these spiders when they're not moving. Sadly, when we see one, it is usually moving quickly to get away from us, and that tiny fiddle marking will be nothing but a blur. But, that quick movement is also one of the ways you can identify a brown recluse spider as other brown spiders that get into homes do not move so quickly.

If you see a fast-moving brown spider in your home, you'll also want to look to see if it's hairy. The brown recluse spider is mostly hairless, and understanding this will help you to immediately distinguish it from another common brown spider with a similar appearance: the wolf spider.

Another important distinction for the brown recluse spider that separates it from other spider species is its long thin legs. Since its legs are three times longer than its body length, from head to rear, this is an easy-to-distinguish spider, even when it is zipping away from you at top speed.

Web Identification

Most of the time, you're not going to see a brown recluse spider scaling your wall or disappearing into a dark crevice. Typically, the only sign you're going to get that these spiders are present in your home are the webs they create. Brown recluse spiders are predatory spiders. And, since they hunt large creatures that usually crawl around on the floor, they establish their webs down low. Most of the time these webs will look like a tangled mess. It isn't because brown recluse spiders don't have the skill of an orb weaver spider, whose webs are the inspiration of Halloween decorators. Instead, it's because they make their webs for the precise purpose of capturing their prey including cockroaches, crickets, firebrats, and other crawling bugs.

Pest Control Identification

If you've properly identified brown recluse spiders in your home or recognized their tangled webs in low places, the next step is to properly identify a pest control company that will be able to help take care of your spider problem, like the pest control experts at Innovative Pest Control! If you're not located within our East Texas service area, find a trusted pest control company in your area that backs their services with a customer satisfaction guarantee. That's probably why we have so many satisfied customers. But, don't just take our word for it. Check out our reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp!

The brown recluse spider is a fast-moving, hunting spider with a venomous bite that can lead to serious injury. Therefore, when these spiders start appearing in and around your home, it is vital to properly identify them and invest in a quality home pest control plan to resolve your spider problem.

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