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How to Protect Your Home From Brown Recluse Spiders

Most people are terrified of spiders, and with good reason! Spiders are creepy-crawlies that can live unannounced in your home and without your permission. Brown recluse spiders are likely at the top of the list of bugs you really don't want inhabiting your home. Here are some tips on handling them from our trained pest control specialists.

Identifying a Brown Recluse

In colder-weather months, a brown recluse spider is more likely to be found in your home. As their name suggests, homeowners often don't see this silent threat. Brown recluse spiders tend to hunt for their food at night instead of using a spider web and waiting to trap their prey. Spiderwebs in open areas don't belong to this species. These spiders only make loose, hidden, webs for the purpose of holding eggs. The body of a brown recluse is a light brown or tan color. Their bodies measure at up to half an inch long. The telltale identifier of a brown recluse is the violin-shaped marking they all have.

Where a Brown Recluse May Hide

In the outside world, a brown recluse spider may make it's home under a rock, under bark, or in your outside utility boxes. When a brown recluse makes your house their winter home, they can typically be found in undisturbed areas such as boxes in your basement or attic, in unused clothing or shoes, or in small crevices like baseboard and windows.

Understanding the Brown Recluse

A brown recluse is generally a non-aggressive creature as it may run and hide if it spots you. A brown recluse is known to bite if they feel trapped or if you disturb them on accident, such as by moving a box they are hiding inside. Both males and females contain dangerous venom. If you are bitten by a brown recluse, you should seek medical attention immediately as a bite from a recluse is a very serious and detrimental bite. There are a few steps to take to reduce the damage from a brown recluse bite while waiting on medical attention. You should clean the bite with soap and water immediately, apply antibiotic cream and ice, as well as elevate the bitten area while resting (if possible).


Take a walk outside of your house and check if there are any small openings or exposed holes, especially where pipes enter the exterior. One pest prevention tip is to seal any openings with caulk. Be careful not to stack firewood too close to your residence because this is a popular home for a brown recluse. Gloves should be worn when handling wood. If possible, try and eliminate places where brown recluse spiders could live. For example, get rid of old shoes, clothing, and boxes you no longer use in order to eliminate a potential spider home. Always shake out clothing that has been sitting on a shelf or in a drawer, and when possible, store unused clothing and papers in plastic sealed containers.