Brown recluse spiders are something that you don’t want lurking around your home or garage. These spiders are just as their name implies, brown and reclusive. They can be rather large but are never more than the size of a half dollar including the legs.
The recluse has a violin shape on their thin bodies. They are a light to medium brown color, so they blend into a lot of surroundings. This makes them dangerous because you don’t see them at first glance.
Here are some ways to reduce and eliminate brown recluse spiders in and around your home. Remember always to wear thick gloves and clothing that cover your arms and legs if you are working in an area where you know or suspect there are brown recluse spiders.
Table of Contents
- Don’t Create Piles
- Reduce Overall Clutter
- Target Other Insects
- Seal Clothing in Plastic Bags or Totes
- Cut Back Vines and Plant Matter from Your Home’s Foundation
- Yard Lighting Inspection
- Thoroughly Inspect Your Home for Cracks and Gaps and Seal as Needed
- The Importance of Eliminating Brown Recluses
- Teach Others Spider Awareness
- Inspect Items That Enter Your Home
- Use Sprays Sparingly
- Brown Recluses Can Appear Anywhere
- Home Renovation Time = Spiders
- Brown Recluse Bite Prevention When Traveling
- A Word About Equipment, Spider Protective Gear, and Costs
Don’t Create Piles
A lot of us have a tendency to pile up things we are not using at the time. You may not realize that even a pile of clothing can be a tempting habitat for a brown recluse spider. If you have a pile of clothing or other items, the longer you leave it in the same location, the greater the chance that there is going to be a spider that wants to live in it.
It can be hard to get others in good habits with cleaning. Reminding the other members of your household to clean up after themselves is tiring. But is well worth it if it reduces the chances of a harmful spider bite.
Reduce Overall Clutter
The more congested an area is, the more likely it is that there are all types of spiders lurking about. If you have so much stuff in your home or garage that you are always battling spider webs, then this is a sign that you need to sort through things and get your home cleaned up.
While it can be hard to reduce the clutter, if you do it one room at a time or get the whole family involved, it will happen quicker than you might realize. All those old baby clothes and toys that no one is ever going to use anymore might help raise money for a charity such as Goodwill if donated.
Just be sure to throw out items that are worn or not usable. It just takes time away from charitable groups if you drop off items that are ragged and unsellable. Some organizations have instructed volunteers to not accept these types of donations if they are working the receivables section at the charity.
Target Other Insects
Spiders find places where they have the shelter and food that they need. If you have an insect population that is higher than normal, then you are creating a suitable environment for brown recluse spiders.
Keeping your house cleaner can help with the insect population issue. Make sure to wipe down countertops and keep food put away. Leaving out fruit can attract gnats and other things that spiders love to eat.
Seal Clothing in Plastic Bags or Totes
If you are having a problem with spiders, then you may want to launder all your clothing and seal it away in plastic bags or totes. Spiders have a hard time getting into these types of containers so you won’t have to worry about one lurking in your clothing while you are working on eliminating them. Of course, this also gives them less habitable space in your home as well.
Clothing hanging in closets that are not sealed in bags can be susceptible to spider habitation. Drawers that are higher off the ground are less likely to have spiders in them.
Cut Back Vines and Plant Matter from Your Home’s Foundation
Having very heavy vegetation right next to your foundation can create a favorable spider habitat. Keeping this area clearer can help reduce spider populations and will likely improve the appearance of your home. This can also reduce other pesky insects and lizards that like to have a lot of cover to hide in.
This is a good time to get your home in good order. Piles of anything are perfect spider habitat. If you have a lot of statues or other ornamentation that covers and has a lot of surface area, then you may want to hose them down occasionally. You can use some specialized spray to makes sure spiders are totally eliminated, and any eggs are killed.
Yard Lighting Inspection
Lighting around your home can create a habitat for spiders and their egg sacks. While bright lights are not a spiders favorite spot, the housing for lighting and other areas can be. Things like this get a bit dirty anyway, so it is a good excuse to get things cleaned up.
Thoroughly Inspect Your Home for Cracks and Gaps and Seal as Needed
Gaps and cracks are notorious for letting in spiders and creating a great place for them to live and reproduce. Caulking and a caulk gun are inexpensive. You can paint over it if desired so it will match your existing paint color scheme.
Large gaps and cracks can be sealed using cans of spray foam insulation that can be found at any hardware or home improvement store. If you hire a professional to seal your home, they may just bring out a large canister.
Sealing your home will keep out a lot of pests besides spiders. You should also see at least some reduction in your heating and cooling costs. As you can see, sealing your home better is a win-win for everyone except the insects and vermin that are trying to get into your home and make it their own.
The Importance of Eliminating Brown Recluses
A brown recluse bite can be very serious. These bites often fester, swell, and are very prone to infection and necropsy of skin tissue surrounding the bite. If you suspect a venomous spider bite, then you should go to a doctor immediately. If symptoms are very serious, do not hesitate to go to the emergency room at your local hospital. The sooner you get treatment, the better with any spider bite.
Since bites are so serious, it is important to realize that prevention is far better than risking the suffering and physical consequences that can go along with a single bite from a single spider. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, rashes, fever, and joint and muscle pain and tremors. These are symptoms that can be caused by a lot of other things. This is why people sometimes have spider bites and do not suspect that a spider is a culprit until much later.
Spider bites are treated using topical methods as well as medications to eliminate infection and help the victim deal with the pain that can come from a bite.
Teach Others Spider Awareness
It is easy to take it for granted that your home is clean and tidy. At the same time, we all experience some level of insect issues over the years. Teaching members of your household to be aware of spiders can go a long way towards preventing bites, and you will be more aware of the problem if others point it out. The sooner the problem is recognized, the easier it will be to eliminate the spiders entirely.
Inspect Items That Enter Your Home
While we all love a bargain, you don’t know what type of conditions or where used items came from. Even new items should be inspected for spiders and other insects before you use them in your home. Using a disinfectant spray or similar can kill spiders if you clean items well. Be sure to use gloves when inspecting and cleaning to protect yourself just in case. Make sure to look with a flashlight into the nooks and crannies of furniture that you have purchased. Brown recluses can blend in rather well in many colors of furniture.
Use Sprays Sparingly
If you fog or spray your home and still seem to be struggling with spiders, then you need to make sure you are taking other measures. Sprays are useful, but they are not always practical long-term solutions, particularly with spiders that hide well and may be able to avoid some of the more basic sprays you can get. There is always professional extermination services when all else fails. But they are also going to suggest you make some changes in your home if it is set up so that spiders are very attracted to it.
Brown Recluses Can Appear Anywhere
Just because you live in an area or climatic zone that is not known for spiders doesn’t mean you are safe from them. Part of being in the worldwide economy means that the goods and consumables you use every day are coming from all over the world in a lot of cases. Although a lot of care is taken to make sure that there are no hitchhikers, sometimes spiders can survive journeys and appear seemingly out of nowhere. If you think you see a poisonous spider don’t doubt yourself. It is better to be safe than sorry about such matters.
Home Renovation Time = Spiders
Brown recluse spiders live behind walls in a lot of cases. If you have an older home that is in need of renovations, then there is a good chance some spiders are lurking back there particularly if your home has air spaces rather than a lot of insulation or if it has not been well sealed in the past.
If you are doing the renovations yourself make sure to protect skin well. Don’t stick your head in spaces without protecting it very well. Some may even spray behind the walls or in basements before doing any work to reduce or eliminate spiders from the equation. Make sure to allow sufficient time for airing out a space that has been sprayed, so you don’t have any symptoms from overwhelming fumes or chemical residues.
Brown Recluse Bite Prevention When Traveling
If you like to travel or even if you just get away to a lake cabin once or twice a year, then you need to watch out for spiders. Even the most immaculate space can have a spider or two about. Shake out items that have been in storage well before using. If you have a vacation home that doesn’t get a lot of use, then the risk of spiders is greater.
Check Bedding, Linens, and Towels
Always inspect bedding, especially extra bedding stored in closets, for spiders. A lot of vacation homes have extras of everything for guests. And many do a good job of storing it well. However, some things don’t get used for a long time. It doesn’t take much of a gap in a zipper or similar for spiders to find their way into extra pillows, blankets, towels, etc.
Look at Drawers
If you are staying somewhere for long enough to unpack items into a dresser, then make sure to take a quick look before putting clothing in there or sticking your hands in deep drawers. A lot of rented spaces have places for guests to store items that don’t get used at least half the time.
A Word About Equipment, Spider Protective Gear, and Costs
Spiders are no joke. It is important always to be aware of them and has the right types of protective clothing to take care of the problem and not be harmed. If you are not interested in dealing with a big spider problem yourself then just go ahead and hire a professional before your problem gets any worse.
A professional exterminator may decide that you need some major changes around your home. So you should plan for some added expenses to help prevent your spider problem from returning. Sealing up your home or other renovations such as spray foam insulation may be in order.