The Brown Recluse: Prevention and Extermination

All along the southern regions of the U.S. lurks one of the few spiders that has a venomous bite. We’re talking about the creepy crawly brown recluse. As the name suggests, they don’t like hanging out with humans all that much. It’s almost always accidental contact that leads to a person being bitten by a brown recluse.


It really is a shame that they pose a threat to humans, because otherwise the brown recluse is pretty helpful. They keep to themselves, they hunt down other insects and their webs are built in out of sight spots. But their potential for causing painful bites makes them a serious pest. If you’d like to learn how to identify a brown recluse, we’ve provided that information in our Pest Library. For tips on how to prevent and exterminate these socially awkward spiders, keep reading.

What Attracts Brown Recluses

If you live in Alabama your location is working against you. The Southeast is where brown recluse spiders are most commonly found. And while they do live in structures and shelters rather than the outdoors, the good news is this spider doesn’t prefer to reside near to humans.

However, their habits do put them in close proximity every now and then. The brown recluse builds webs to nest in rather than as a primary source of catching prey. Instead of waiting for food to come to them this spider will venture out and hunt down its meals, mostly at night. The male brown recluse hunts more than the female, but they will both travel around a home in search of food. If other bugs are around for the spiders to snack on this will be a big attraction.

Brown recluse spiders prefer to nest in wood surfaces that are tucked away from other living things. Basements, attics, wall voids and crawlspaces are prime brown recluse real estate. However, furniture and cardboard boxes are also attractive nesting spots.

Preventing Brown Recluse Infestations

Brown recluse spiders are hitchhikers. An infestation usually occurs after a spider or two hitches a ride inside the house in boxes or on furniture. You first line of prevention is to always thoroughly check items that are being brought into your house.

Don’t be fooled into thinking if just one spider catches a ride into your home that you won’t have a problem. An interesting fact about brown recluses is that the female only has to mate once to keeping producing eggs her entire life. With the ability to produce up to 150 eggs in one year, a single female can create an infestation. The second you see a brown recluse you need to get rid of it or risk a multiplication that can quickly get out of control.

These sneaky spiders stay out of sight and aren’t active until you’re asleep. Regular pest control treatments are one of the most effective ways of preventing an infestation, because you may not even realize it if you have hundreds of brown recluses in your home.

Properly storing unused items is another way to prevent brown recluses from seeking shelter in your home. Instead of using cardboard boxes invest in plastic containers that you can seal up tightly. In general, the less you store and have cluttering up your spaces the fewer places these spiders will have to hide.

Sealing up entry points is another effective way of keeping spiders out of your home and limiting where they can hide. Focus on putting sealer or weather stripping around exterior doors, attic doors, windows, fireplaces, crawlspaces, vents and baseboards.

Exterminating Brown Recluses

Brown recluses aren’t easy to control. They are great at hiding and they are super fast, which enables them to evade swatters and vacuum cleaners. It can take months to clear out an infestation, and you’ll need to use all methods available to you.

Again, a pest control treatment will be needed to suppress the number of spiders in the home and drive the spiders out. Pesticide should be applied anywhere brown recluses are thought to be hiding. Common spots to treat include crevices, cracks, around the foundation, crawlspaces and the attic. A dusting pesticide may need to be applied within wall voids. This is a specialized treatment that is best left to professionals in order to get positive results.

Homeowners can also use sticky traps to eradicate the spiders when they are roaming at night looking for food. Put the adhesive cardboard pieces in areas where brown recluses are likely to crawl,like behind furniture and against walls.

If you live in Alabama and have noticed a few brown recluse spiders in your home, give Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, Inc. a call. Though the likelihood of getting bitten is low, there’s a good chance that many more spiders are hidden away where you won’t be able to see them.


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