Do you have a Brown Recluse infestation in your home? If so, don’t panic (we understand that this is easier said than done). Remember, there are several ways to handle the situation and regain control of your property.
Can take multiple approaches to get rid of Brown Recluse spiders depending on the severity of the infestation and your personal preferences. For example, there are natural approaches to Brown Recluse removal as well as options that utilize chemical insecticides.
Let’s take a look at an overview of how to get rid of Brown Recluse spiders so that you can get started right away. This article discusses how to get rid of Brown Recluse Spiders, natural ways to get rid of Brown Recluse Spiders, how to get rid of Brown Recluse Spiders from your garage, and when it’s best to call in a professional pest control service.
Identifying a Brown Recluse Spider
So, how do you identify a Brown Recluse? Here are some key factors to look for:
Violin-shaped marking on the spider’s back.
This is the most unique telltale feature to look for when spotting a Brown Recluse. Sometimes, Brown Recluse spiders are referred to as “fiddle backs” due to this distinguishing marking.
Sandy brown or yellowish color.
If you have an infestation of spiders that are another color, such as black, they are another species.
The center of the spider’s body is slightly darker than the rest of it.
The spider itself should be roughly the size of a quarter.
Short, fine hair.
Unlike other spiders, the Brown Recluse has skinny legs that appear almost hairless.
Location in which you live.
The Brown Recluse is most often found in the Southern United States. Infestations are most common in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas. However, the species has been spotted in multiple other “expansion states,” including Arkansas, Mississippi, and Georgia. It is a common misconception that Brown Recluse spiders live in California.
Six eyes instead of eight.
You may not want to get close enough to count a Brown Recluse’s eyes for obvious reasons.
Location of the web(s).
Brown Recluse spiders favor dry, out-of-the-way areas (hence the term “recluse” or reclusive) like woodpiles, sheds, garages, and so forth. If the webs that you are seeing are out in the open, they are not from a Brown Recluse. Unlike other spiders, a Brown Recluse hunts its prey, as opposed to trapping it in its webs. Usually, a Brown Recluse hunts at night and primarily targets insects.
Do the spiders in your home meet the features outlined above? If so, it is a fairly safe assumption that you do, in fact, have a Brown Recluse infestation. Therefore, you need to take some proactive measures, and fast, to mitigate the situation.
How do I know if I have a brown recluse infestation?
Importantly, make sure that you do indeed have a Brown Recluse spider infestation. Why is this important? Because Brown Recluse spiders are poisonous and can be quite dangerous to humans and pets alike. However, it can be easy to mistake a harmless house spider or similar species for a Brown Recluse, causing you unnecessary stress. Wolf spiders, for example, are just as large (if not larger) than Brown Recluse spiders. A black wolf spider in the house can be quite frightening if you are arachnophobic, but they are not harmful to humans, dogs, or cats.
Therefore, proper identification can mean the difference between attempting to treat the infestation yourself and calling a professional pest control service, which is arguably the safest approach to dealing with the Brown Recluse. Once you verify that you are indeed dealing with the Brown Recluse, you can decide how to get rid of the Brown Recluse spider infestation.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders
Now that you’ve determined you have an infestation, it’s time to choose how to get rid of the Brown Recluse spiders in your home. One approach you can take is to use chemicals, also referred to as pesticides or insecticides to remove the infestation. This includes chemical sprays, foggers and dust agents (dusters) that can be purchased online or at a hardware store.
Exercise extreme caution; insecticides can sometimes be harmful to pets and small children. Read all the directions carefully and plan ahead. You may need to vacate your home for a given amount of time immediately following the application of a chemical insecticide or fogger to avoid being exposed to a potentially toxic situation.
Also, be sure to wear long sleeves and protective gear, including eye protection and a mask, for your personal safety. If you are uncomfortable or unsure about applying an insecticide, consider hiring a professional pest control service.
Remember, Brown Recluse bites require immediate medical attention. That being said, the Brown Recluse typically is not aggressive and will not bite unless it feels threatened or trapped. However, if you are attempting to kill/destroy a spider infestation, the Brown Recluse may react aggressively.
As such, it is highly recommended that you wear gloves, long sleeves, long pants, eye protection, and a mask when attempting to mitigate a Brown Recluse infestation. If you are bitten, you will need to seek emergency treatment immediately. If you suspect your pet has been bitten, take your pet for emergency veterinary treatment right away.
Common symptoms of a Brown Recluse bite are:
- An immediate stinging sensation, similar to that of a bee sting.
- Redness, pain, or sensitivity at the location (site) of the bite.
- Joint pain.
- A deep red or purple, swollen ulcer at the site.
- Seizures or coma (these symptoms are rare and occur after the venom has had the opportunity to spread throughout your body).
A Brown Recluse spider bite is especially dangerous among children and the elderly and can be fatal.
How do you get rid of Brown Recluse spiders naturally? Surprisingly, there are some natural approaches to eliminating Brown Recluse infestations. A few of these options include:
Sticky traps or glue boards.
These makeshift traps involve the application of glue to a board, thus trapping the spiders. The traps should be placed throughout your home and garage in any areas where you have seen spiders.
The application of food-grade Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth is far less toxic to people and animals than other chemical options. It is applied as a powder, and the Brown Recluse is attracted to it. The powder breaks down the spider’s exoskeleton, eventually killing it.
Vacuuming your home carefully and removing any clutter.
As previously mentioned, the Brown Recluse is drawn to areas where it can hide. Removing any piles of things where the spiders may be lurking eliminates its source of shelter.
Removing any gaps.
Plug, patch, and protect your home. Get rid of any spaces or gaps in the walls, doors or flooring where the Brown Recluse may be gaining entry to your property. Perform an outdoor as well as indoor inspection.
Sealing your trash properly.
Trash is often a source of food, whether directly or via other pests, such as ants or house flies. Making sure your trash is properly contained is an important step in eliminating the Brown Recluse.
Keep your shoes in sealed bins or plastic bags.
Shoes are an ideal location for Brown Recluse spiders to hide. If you slide your foot into a shoe and a Brown Recluse is hiding inside, you absolutely run the risk of sustaining a very dangerous and painful bite. Keep your shoes protected and sealed.
Protect your bed.
Keep your bed away from walls and windows. Bedskirts should be eliminated. Make sure none of your bedding touches the floor. Regular dust and vacuum your bed and the surrounding areas, including underneath. Keep the area clutter-free, and do not use it for storage.
How do you get rid of Brown Recluse spiders in your garage? Follow the same steps outlined above. You can call a professional pest control service, utilize chemical insecticides and/or take the natural approaches previously discussed. Remember, an infestation in your garage is in very close proximity to your home, and needs to be taken just as seriously.
Additionally, spiders can get into your vehicles, creating an even more dangerous situation. You certainly don’t want a family of Brown Recluse spiders setting up camp inside your car; that’s a good way to get into an accident.
The safest way of dealing with Brown Recluse spiders in your garage is calling a professional pest control service in conjunction with eliminating clutter, patching up any holes or gaps in your garage’s wall or doors, vacuuming regularly, sealing your garbage carefully and so forth.
The Brown Recluse is drawn to garages due to the protection, safety, and shelter they provide. Most garages are full of storage containers and boxes, which provide ideal living conditions for the Brown Recluse.
Be careful when removing any storage bins or boxes; you may inadvertently disturb a Brown Recluse, causing it to behave aggressively. As mentioned before, be sure to wear gloves, long sleeves, and protective gear when removing any clutter, rearranging or reorganizing and so forth.
Make sure to get rid of any obvious areas that the Brown Recluse may be drawn to. This includes open cardboard boxes, log piles, piles of stones, or any other stacks.
Calling the Professionals
Arguably, the best way to get rid of Brown Recluse Spiders is to call a professional pest control service. This is largely due to the danger created by a Brown Recluse infestation.
The most effective approach to mitigating an infestation is having a professional exterminator evaluate the infestation and make recommendations that you can immediately follow. This may require you, your family and your pets to vacate the premises for a given amount of time while your exterminator applies whatever chemicals, foggers, dusters, sprays, and traps that he or she deems necessary.
Your exterminator will help guide you with future next steps to ensure that there are no future infestations. This will most likely involve the measures outlined above, including the removal of any excess clutter, performing regular dusting and vacuuming, patching any holes or gaps in the walls or doors, sealing your garbage securely, and so forth.
A Brown Recluse spider infestation is a difficult, but not impossible situation. As the Brown Recluse is poisonous, an infestation is hazardous and must be dealt with right away. There are several approaches you can take to get rid of an infestation, but calling in a professional pest control service is undeniably the safest and most effective method of eliminating an infestation.
Otherwise, you run the risk of suffering a life-threatening spider bite by accidentally provoking the Brown Recluse. Following professional extermination, you can reduce the risk of having any future infestations by keeping your home clean and free of any excess clutter or hiding places where the Brown Recluse might otherwise find shelter. These are practices that involve some extra work on your part but are generally easy to follow once you incorporate them into your regular housework routine.
Remembering not to leave any food out in the open, for example, is a good way to eliminate a spider’s food source and is a smart practice to follow in general. With a little effort, you can keep your home safe, clean, and spider-free.