The brown recluse spider is one of only two truly dangerous spiders in the United States and one with which I have had some experience with. Being infested with them is an absolute nightmare for a homeowner. Fortunately, most brown recluse spider infestations can be eliminated or controlled with some hard work and attention to detail.
How would I know that I have a brown recluse spider infestation?
This seems like an silly question, but it truly is not. It is possible to have a brown recluse infestation and not realize it. That is, you do not realize it until it is to late and you get bitten by this dangerous spider.
To be infested, you need only have enough brown recluse spiders that they are breeding. Just a few spiders can reproduce enough to give you a problem. If you are seeing brown recluse spiders once a week or so, it is better to be on the safe side and take some precautions.
How do I know what a brown recluse spider looks like?
Brown recluse spiders are actually fairly hard to identify if you have not seen them before. Generally, the best way to tell is the violin shape that is on the spiders cephalothorax. For the layperson, this is the part of the spider that all the legs are attached to. It is fairly easy to recognize.
Also, a brown recluse has six eyes rather than the usual eight in most spiders. The color of a brown recluse can vary with region, but generally is a light tan to brown. The brown recluse is about the size of a quarter, including its legs.
I know I have a brown recluse infestation, but how do I get rid of them?
First, you want to identify how bad the infestation is. If you are seeing brown recluse spiders every day, then stop reading and call the exterminators. You are infested big time. I once saw a house that literally had brown recluse spiders in almost every corner. Not a place that you want to be.
Assuming your brown recluse infestation is a minor one, start with some glue traps. These can be found at the local hardware store, as well as many grocery stores. Place these glue traps along walls, under beds, behind furniture, in corners, and anywhere where the spiders can hide. Think like the spider and ask yourself where you might hide if you were a brown recluse spider.
These glue traps do work, especially if there are limited spiders in the area.
Next, you will want to remove any clutter from your home. Inside, outside, and under your home, eliminate any places for the brown recluse spider to hide. Wood piles close to the house are a particularly bad idea. The black widow spider is fond of woodpiles as well. Move them away from your home.
Eliminate as much clutter inside your home as possible. If you provide hiding places, you are making the infestation worse without even realizing it. Brown recluse spiders do not like to encounter humans, cats, or dogs. They do not want to be seen. Take away the spider’s hiding places.
Spider proof all of your storage. Plastic containers with lids cost a bit more, but it is much better than having a box full of spiders breeding. Spend the money, and you will eliminate a favorite hiding place of the brown recluse spider.
Finally, you will want to walk the outer edges of your home. Do you have any cracks, crevices, or holes that the spider can use to get in the house? Most homes do, and taking the time to seal these areas will help immensely. Brown recluse infestations begin with an entrance of some kind into a home. Eliminate those entryways.
Eradicating a brown recluse infestation is not as difficult as it might seem if you take the time to think like the spider. Take away the spider’s comfort, and you will eliminate the pest.