Brown recluse spiders are one of the insects that you certainly do not want to spot in your home due to their danger, so learn what to do if you do find one.
Biology of Brown Recluse Spiders
Brown recluse spiders are a brown reminiscent of chocolate. The body of this spider is usually around 9 millimeters long but supplemented by long legs. This spider has three sets of eyes in a triad. The cephalothorax features violin-shaped markings, with the body of this violin by the eyes and the neck extending backward but ending before it reaches the abdomen. The brown recluse spiders will mate during June or July. After this, the females deposit between 20 and 50 eggs within a spherical case. Within a female spider’s lifetime, she may produce between two and five batches of eggs. Young brown recluse spiders need approximately a year to reach maturity. During the first three or four instars, they will remain with their mothers, feeding on prey that their mother provides. After the young brown recluse spiders disperse, they might choose their own home territory. Overall, the spiders will pass through eight instars.
Normally, brown recluses prefer to live under boards or rocks or in the bark of logs and dead trees. It will also live in structures within the cracks of boards and walls or behind or under stored items. The general rule is that brown recluse spiders prefer warm, dry nesting sites. To understand the habits of the brown recluse spider, it is important to realize that these spiders do not rely on their webs to catch prey. Instead, this type of spider will actively hunt for its prey, typically at night. This means that if you spot a web in an open area, it does not likely belong to a brown recluse spider. Their webs tend to be in hidden spots.
Why Brown Recluse Spiders Are Considered Pests
The main reason that brown recluse spiders are considered pests and people want to keep them away from their home is their bites. In most cases, a bite will not be painful right away, instead feeling like a stinging sensation. Despite this, the venom of the brown recluse is very dangerous. The venom is neurotoxic, but the real concern is the cytotoxic or necrotic properties, meaning the venom will destroy tissue by the site of injection. Around seven hours following the bite, a sore that is small and blister-like will appear and will grow in size. Depending on the person bitten, the body reaction may be systemic or generalized. Some potential symptoms include fever, chills, fatigue, joint paint, rash, nausea, jaundice, and bloody urine. Although rare, convulsions and death are also possible. The extent of the damage to the bite victim depends largely on the quantity of venom that was injected. Damaged areas can be as small as a dime or they can be 20 centimeters across. The tissue affected by the brown recluse spider bite will become gangrenous before turning black. It eventually sloughs off and leaves behind a depression within the skin. The healing process takes between six and eight weeks on average but can require a full year in the case of larger wounds. Scar tissue is also likely.
Methods for Controlling Brown Recluse Spiders
Because brown recluse spiders are reclusive and like to hide, they tend to be somewhat challenging to get rid of. They also require additional care due to their venomous bites. You will need to start the process of controlling brown recluse spiders by inspecting your home for these insects. Ideally, you should kill the spiders as you come across them. Because of the danger, including that of accidentally leaving brown recluses alive which could cause future bites, professional assistance is a must. Professionals will frequently use insecticide dusts or sprays to kill brown recluse spiders. Certain insecticides will kill the insects on contact and then remain active for a reasonable amount of time, continuing to kill brown recluses that come across. Most pest control companies will opt for a residual insecticide, like a perimeter spray. These will not only directly kill brown recluse spiders, but also kill the insects that these spiders feed on. As such, the spiders will be less attracted to the property.
Any effective treatment method for brown recluse spiders will always involve the use of residual insecticide dust in small hiding spots. These include light switch plates, wall voids, and behind baseboards. The right dust should be able to last as long as six months without an issue. You will also need to engage in some sort of outdoor treatment. This includes spraying the perimeter of the building with an insecticide and applying dust to openings, cracks, crevices, and other voids in the building’s exterior. Before you seal openings, which should be done, dust the cracks. It is important to note that you cannot rely solely on insecticides to control brown recluse spiders, even if they are residuals. Instead, you will need to complement those chemical methods with home remedies like cleaning.
DIY Tips for How to Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders
To keep brown recluse spiders from getting inside, take the time to thoroughly inspect your home, preferably with the help of a professional. You want to look for any cracks or gaps, both inside and out, that could be hiding spots or entry points for these venomous spiders. Place insecticide dust in the cracks you find and then seal them up securely. Anytime you plan on dealing with brown recluse spiders, do what you can to minimize your risk of a bite. This includes wearing long pants, long sleeves, and gloves while inspecting your home. Your inspection should include any dark hiding spots, such as storage areas, under furniture, and behind baseboards. You can look for the spiders themselves or their webs, the latter of which will typically be in hidden areas. To further control brown recluse spiders, take the time to eliminate some of their hiding spots. Inside, this means removing clutter and keeping hidden areas clean. Outside, that means clearing debris, rock piles, and leaves.
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