Brown recluse spiders, also known as fiddleback or violin spiders, are coined their common name from their color and their habit of acting reclusive. The violin spider common name comes from the distinguished violin shaped marking that is located on the top of the cephalothorax, which is the area where the head and the thorax are fused together. Brown recluse spiders can be commonly found in southern Europe, some temperate regions of Africa, and have made their way to South, Central and North America. The brown recluse spider is one of the most venomous spiders that are located throughout the United States. Although there are about 11 species of brown recluse spiders that are found in the United States, 7 of them are considered a threat to people.
Brown recluse spiders are about ¼ of an inch to ½ and inch long in body length. Males are a little bit smaller than the female brown recluse spiders. Their abdomen is uniformly colored in a tan to a dark brown color. They also have a darker violin shaped marking on the top of the cephalothorax. They are entirely covered in fine hairs which gives them a velvety appearance. Uniquely, their legs are covered in hairs as well and not spines. Moreover, a unique physical characteristic is that they have 6 eyes instead of 8. Their eyes are arranged in 3 groups of 2 that are in a semi-circle shape. Young brown recluse spiders are very similar in shape and size except that they are smaller in size and are slightly paler in color.
There are several representing species that can be separated by experts, mostly by looking at the male genitalia. There are minute physical characteristics that differentiate each species but they will all generally appear the same. Location is the primary way to differentiate the species of brown recluse spider. Of the 11 species of brown recluse spiders that are located in the United States, 7 of them are threats to public health and in severe cases can possibly endanger the life of people and animals.
Brown recluse spiders can be found in both indoor and outdoor areas. They can also be found in both residential areas as well as commercial buildings. Brown recluse spiders in the house can be found in almost any area that is accessible and undisturbed. Although brown recluse spiders can be found virtually anywhere including corners of rooms, underneath the tables, chairs, and other furniture, in cracks and crevices along the baseboard area, doors and window molding, they are most commonly found in areas of clutter than are seldom disturbed. These key areas are places like inside filled boxes, among files of paper, seldom worn clothing and shoes, and etc. This is the reason why brown recluse spiders will most often be found in places like storage closets, attics, basements, and in bedrooms.
Outside, brown recluse spiders are found under rocks, inside utility boxes, under tree bark, in wood piles like firewood stacks, and etc. Brown recluse spiders have also been found outside in explicit areas like rodent bait stations and underneath the tiles in the cedar shake roofs. In commercial areas, brown recluse spiders can be found in places like the storage closet, boiler rooms, garages, and etc.
Brown recluse spiders do not intentionally attack people and will even run away when they are disturbed. However, their bites may be one of the most venomous in the United States. Typically, people will receive bites from brown recluse spiders when they are putting on clothes that are seldom worn or used, when they are cleaning out storage areas like attics, basements, and closets, and also even when they are rolling around in bed.
Both female brown recluses and male brown recluses are capable of injecting venom into their targets. Therefore, both sexes must be considered a threat and there is a generalization that they can both harm people and animals. The initial bite of a brown recluse spider is usually not felt. However, there is an intense stinging sensation or pain that follows the bite. Sometimes, this pain will not occur until 6 to 8 hours after the initial bite. The venom of brown recluse spiders produces dead tissue that ultimately lead to sores on the skin that are more like outer ulcers. Usually, a small blister will appear and the area that surrounds the bite is swollen and looks like a large mosquito bite. Gradually, however, the dead tissue begins to drop off and this will occur for the following 14 days. Basically, the sore will begin to open and expose the muscles and even the bone that is underneath the flesh.
There are several symptoms of brown recluse spider bites that include fever, insomnia, and restlessness. The healing process following treatment for the brown recluse spider bite is very slow and as a result, there are dense scar tissues that form. Some severe cases of brown recluse spider bites result in cosmetic surgery to the skin.
Keep in mind, however, that not all bites show these kinds of results. Although, generally, this is what happens when a brown recluse spider bites people, the outcome of the bite depends on the amount of venom that is injected. Also, some people may react differently to bites and show no sign of dead tissue and scarring. Also, bites that are made by other insects or arthropods may result in similar reactions and it is best to identify the spider before assuming it was a brown recluse spider.
Standard procedures for spider control are necessary for brown recluse spiders. This includes inspection, mechanical control, and also chemical control. Keep in mind that brown recluse spiders do bite when they feel threatened or when they are disturbed. When inspecting or making structural changes for mechanical control, you should wear safety materials like gloves.
Some means of mechanical control is to get rid of harborage sites like their webs. For brown recluse spiders, it may be harder in doing so because they can infest almost any area that is undisturbed. Also, check cedar shake shingles to see if they are present in those areas. Mechanical control also means that seldom used areas should be checked on a regular basis or regularly cleaned and inspected. Also, the use of insect glue boards in areas where you have previously seen a brown recluse spider or on areas along the walls will prove to be an effective method of killing brown recluse spiders.
Chemical control makes use of contact kill aerosol sprays to instantly knock down any sighted brown recluse spiders in the house. Also, pesticides with a long residual can be used to create barriers around the structure of the home of commercial building. Many of the products that come in wet-able powder formulations or a microencapsulated formulation can be sprayed on surfaces both inside and outside as long as the treated area is left alone to dry before coming in contact with. Therefore, when creating a barrier around the structure, also focus on spraying key areas indoors like inside the basement, attic, and also the base board area of the rooms and closets.
All product labels must thoroughly be reviewed before any pesticide is applied. Please refer to the product page and find product label sources or contact a representative at Pest Mall via e-mail or telephone.
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