Meet the Brown Recluse

spider exterminationMost people have heard of the brown recluse, but could you identify one if you found it in your home, or would you know what to do if one bit you? In this post, we take the time to familiarize you with this dangerous pest, so you can understand how to avoid them and how to respond if you happen across one.


The notorious brown recluse spider can be difficult to identify simply because its appearance can range so widely. It can be as small as a 1/4 inch long or as large as over 3/4 inches. They can be an almost-white shade of light brown to a dark brown or almost-black gray.

One of the most widely recognizable ways to identify the brown recluse is a black violin-shaped line on the spider’s back, earning it the nicknames “fiddleback spider” and “brown fiddler.” Additionally, unlike most spiders that commonly have eight eyes, the brown recluse has only six, arranged in three pairs.


While brown recluse spiders are not naturally aggressive, if they come into contact with a human or are startled they are likely to bite. Most bites occur when a brown recluse spider has found its way into a bed, piece of clothing, or shoe, and finds itself suddenly being pressed against. While these bites are not always serious, the brown recluse does possess a venom that can cause a wide range of dangerous symptoms.

At its simplest, the venom is a necrotic substance that can cause the skin around the bite to die and become gangrenous. This will sometimes resolve on its own, but often requires medical intervention as these wounds can grow up to 10 inches. In more serious cases, the venom can cause more serious internal damage, including organ damage and death. These dangers make spider control an important step in keeping your family safe.


As you can see from the description of the bites, the brown recluse is not a pest you want in or around your home. Pest control professionals can help you assess the possibility of a brown recluse population in your home, and can make suggestions about how to prevent them from making their way in. If you already have spiders in your home, spider control can help you eradicate the current population as well as teach you how to avoid future problems. Some of these solutions will likely include removing debris, such as wood piles, shrubbery, and toys from close to the exterior of the home, as well as a recommendation to keep clothes and shoes off the floor so no spiders are tempted by them as a place to hide. For this same reason, any clothing that needs to be stored without being worn for long periods should be stored in sealed plastic containers.

Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different types of pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.

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