Signs of the Pest
As their name implies, brown recluse spiders live secluded in dark, seldom-used areas. Their webs are loosely constructed and irregular in shape, with off-white strands. The spider webs do not trap prey because recluse spiders hunt for their food and use their webs only for retreats. You may find those retreats in dark, dry places like closets, crawlspaces, ductwork, basements, cellars and attics. The spiders may also spin webs under undisturbed furniture, papers and linens as well as in clothing, shoes, storage boxes and tires. Their potential for reproduction is high, so finding just one recluse at a time is uncommon.
Dangers of the Pest
Brown recluse spiders often hide in shoes and clothing and may bite someone who puts on an article of clothing in which they have been lurking. Reaching into a drawer or under a pile of unused clothing without first looking for spiders can be dangerous as well.
Damage the Pest can Cause
Even though the bite of a brown recluse spider may not produce any symptoms in some people, it can be quite serious and potentially fatal for others. Recluse bites are more toxic to humans than are the bites of most other spiders, and the venom can cause blackened lesions or systemic reactions that may be very dangerous or even fatal.
Controlling brown recluse spiders is difficult, partly because they are secretive and like to hide in dark, undisturbed areas. In addition, they can walk across areas treated with bug spray without harm because the bottoms of the pests’ feet have long hairs that keep them up off the sprayed surfaces. Effective eradication requires persistence and skill, and because the spiders pose a health threat, it is best to leave their extermination to knowledgeable pest-control experts instead of attempting to control the pests without professional assistance.