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The Brown Recluse Spider: A Winter Worry

posted this on Oct 31, 2016

brown recluse spider winter

The cooler weather of fall is giving us a preview of even colder conditions of winter. However, while we are all prepping for the lower temperatures with winter wear and making sure our heaters and furnaces are in good condition, some very irritating pests are also looking for options to stay warm during the season. Some of the more notable common winter pests homeowners deal with include the common german cockroach, rodents like rats and mice and even wild animals like the raccoons and opossums. But among all those is one that certainly shouldn’t be overlooked this winter as it is quite possibly the most deadly of them all: The Brown Recluse spider.


As their name clearly suggests, the brown recluse is a shy, reclusive spider and during the winter season, the recluse is looking for a warm home. The spider likes areas where there is lots of clutter to nuzzle into as well as closets and storage environments. The brown recluse actually want to stay away from humans and be left alone. But if the proper precautionary measures aren’t taken, a homeowner and their family may find themselves encountering the spider considered by entymologists as one of “The Big Three” spiders that are considered to be venomous. The brown recluse is one of three spiders in the United States with a severely poisonous bite- the other two being the black widow and the hobo spider.


While they do pack a mean venomous bite, they don’t go seeking victims nor are they aggressors. Most Brown recluse spiders bites happen by accident when the spider is disturbed in a secluded area where they are hiding. It is recommended that if you are aware of a brown recluse spider inside your home, check your clothing and belongs and be careful not to put clothes on quickly without checking the sleeves as bites to humans often occur when brown recluse spiders are hiding in clothing and bite out of self defense when trapped between the clothing and human skin.


The severity of a brown recluse bite depends on a person’s history with allergies etc. Brown recluse spiders inject a substance called hemotoxin when they bite. This hemotoxin will result in a the victim getting a blister that turns black and falls off leaving an ulcerous open would that can take six to eight weeks to heal. Go ahead and Google “Brown recluse bite” if you wish, but just to warn you it’s not a pretty sight. In very rare cases, the hemotoxin from a brown recluse bite can lead to fever, rash, vomiting, coma, and death within two or three days, so acting fast after a bite is a must.


If in a rare case you or someone you know is bitten, there are some important actions to take immediately:

  • Wash the site of the spider bite.

  • Apply a cold washcloth or compress to the area.

  • Apply a general antibiotic to the bite area to lessen the risk of infection.

  • Visit a doctor as soon as possible and try to capture and take the spider with you so the bite can be confirmed as a brown recluse bite.


As for catching a brown recluse spider or eliminating the pest from your home the best measures to take are a combination of insecticide sprays and dusts as well as glue traps (like the Trapper LTD Mouse/Insect Glue Boards).


Using a residual insecticide like Cy-Kick Aerosol Residual spray is great for spraying into cracks and crevices where brown recluse spiders would like to hide and if you find a spider it can kill them on contact. D-Fense Dust is also another good options to apply to hiding spots like  wall voids, light switch plates, behind baseboards. D-Fense dust can stay in place and last from 6 months to a year, allowing ample time for a spider to come into contact with the dust and succumb to its effects. Combining these items with sticky glue traps make for a great brown recluse treatment kit and can significantly reduce the spider population in your home. All of these products are very easy to use and apply to make the brown recluse spider a winter worry no more.

Categories: Spiders
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