Spiders aren’t usually a dangerous pest to have in your home, but some can be a whole lot nastier than others. Learning how to tell spider species apart, and how to reduce the factors that attract them in general, will help you stay safe from potentially dangerous bites.
Brown Recluses: Tough To Identify
All spiders have venom and fangs that they use to incapacitate their prey. Luckily spiders tend to avoid people and most species are harmless to us. In North America, we have only two species of spiders that are considered dangerous. Unfortunately, one of those two species is the brown recluse -- one of the most misidentified pests to invade homes. If you don’t know what to look for, you might mistake a brown recluse for some more harmless garden spider or household variety, not even realizing that you and your loved ones could be one wrong move away from spooking the spider and getting a nasty bite. To save yourself a trip to the emergency room, you need to learn how to tell spider varieties apart and prevent populations from forming on your property in the first place.
How To Spot Brown Recluses
Brown recluse spiders may look a lot like other common spider varieties, but their bites are far more dangerous to people and pets. While they tend to spend most of their time outdoors, since they prefer moist and wooded environments, they can and will enter homes in search of insects to hunt. Here are key traits to look for to spot a brown recluse:
- Size: While brown recluses do tend to grow larger than most other house spiders, a spider’s size is more related to how much food is around than what species they belong to.
- Color: Brown recluses, like their name suggests, are typically light brown or tan in color. However, so are most other spider varieties, so you’ll need to look for more specific features to tell for certain.
- Markings: The telltale sign of a brown recluse is their guitar-shaped marking on their backs. If you see this shape, stay away and call in the experts.
- Webbing: Brown recluses don’t spin “webs” per se, more like loose strands of thread that they blanket their entire nesting grounds with. They spin their eggs sacs deep into the webbing of their lairs, and they build up an outer mesh to quickly move toward ensnared prey.
Dangerous Recluse Bites
The other thing you need to be able to do is to spot the signs of a worsening spider bite. Most spiders merely leave behind itchy welts, but brown recluses can cause all of these symptoms:
- Rash: Brown recluse venom is far more potent than typical spiders’, so you may notice a rash that spreads around the skin even just a few minutes after a bite. Left untreated, the circulating poison can cause necrosis -- the death of the skin cells.
- Fever: One of the first signs that venom is making you sick is the sudden fever or chills that the spider bite brings on. If you notice yourself getting sick following a bite, seek medical attention.
- Nausea: Another sign of sickness from a spider bite is nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, the only antivenom will get the poison out of your system.
Spider Prevention Tips
To prevent brown recluses and other spiders from moving in, you need to address the larger pest populations that draw them in. Spiders hunt for all their food, so if you’re seeing them around your home it means that other pests are already there, too. To address these factors, do the following:
- Food storage: Make sure not to leave food out -- including pet food -- and store your food in containers that can’t easily be chewed through by foraging pests that spiders hunt.
- Trash storage: The other food source that pests utilize is found in your trash cans, so you need to keep your bins covered and inaccessible in and around your home.
- Crack sealing: You also need to frequently check for points of entry around exterior walls, sealing up any cracks or holes you find that pests might squeeze through.
The Best Way Is The All-Safe Way
Even clean homes can end up with pest infestations that attract brown recluse spiders. That’s why smart homeowners turn to professional help for true protection against pest infestations. At All-Safe Pest & Termite, we can get started right away on an inspection that checks for all signs of spiders or the bugs they hunt. We’ll work with your schedule and budget to provide effective prevention measures or fast solutions that remove existing populations. To keep brown recluse spiders at bay, contact us today.