A brown recluse spider bite is a serious matter. While you often won’t feel the initial bite, within two to eight hours, you’ll start experiencing symptoms like severe pain and itching, nausea, vomiting, fever, and muscle pain.
Eventually, these bites may cause blistering and necrosis (tissue death). In some severe cases, recluse spider bites can cause blood clots, kidney damage, and even coma or death.
If you live in an area where these spiders are present, you’ll definitely want to know what to do if you find a brown recluse in your home. Don’t panic! Here’s everything you need to know.
Identifying the Brown Recluse Spider
While you might think it’s easy to tell if you’re dealing with a brown recluse spider, this isn’t true. In fact, you would need both a strong microscope and a spider expert to positively identify one.
However, it’s pretty easy to figure out when a spider is not a brown recluse. Use observations like where you’re located and the shape of the body, eyes, legs to eliminate possible suspects. If you’re still concerned that you’re dealing with a brown recluse in your house, then you’ll want to proceed with caution.
What to Do if You Find a Brown Recluse in Your Home
While many spiders are harmless and even beneficial, a brown recluse isn’t one that you’ll want to give free rein of your home. While they’re generally not aggressive, they have been known to bite if they’re cornered or feel threatened.
Even worse, they tend to hide in dark, quiet areas like the back of your closet or inside your shoes. This makes it more likely that you’ll be bitten by accidentally threatening them. If you find a recluse in your home, follow these tips.
- Don’t Get Too Close
First and foremost, stay calm. When you’re freaking out, you’re likely to make bad decisions. One of these bad decisions is trying to physically hit or squish a brown recluse.
Doing so puts you in close proximity to the spider and makes it feel threatened. This is a combination that significantly increases your chances of getting bit.
- Put Out Sticky Traps
One of the best ways to kill a brown recluse spider from a safe distance is to put out sticky glue traps. Obviously, you’ll want to put some in the area where you first saw the spider. Also put some others in areas like behind the toilet, near your hot water heater, and under your bed.
Putting out multiple traps improves the chances of catching the spider quickly.
Note that it’s also possible to get a brown recluse infestation. This often happens when a box containing a couple of these spiders is inadvertently left in a dark, moist place, creating the perfect breeding ground. Putting out multiple sticky traps can also help you figure out just how bad your problem actually is.
Since this method will require some trial and error before you effectively catch all the spiders in your home, you’ll need to take some precautions in the meantime. Shake out your clothes and shoes before you put them on and be careful when reaching into any dark places.
- Use Food-Quality Diatomaceous Earth
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is effective at killing spiders because it has an abrasive effect on their exoskeleton. Double-down your efforts by sprinkling a thin layer of this powder in areas where they’re likely to hide. This includes the inner corners of your closets, the spaces under the kitchen cabinets, and any gaps along your home’s walls.
You’ll want to replace the powder every few days as it loses its effectiveness after it gets damp.
- Remove the Spider’s Food Source
To live comfortably, a brown recluse spider (and almost every other type of pest) needs food, water, and shelter. You can make your home inhospitable by removing its food source.
These arachnids feast on soft-bodied insects like moths, flies, ants, and roaches. If you’ve noticed any of these pests around your home, you’ll want to call an exterminator right away.
- Lower Your Home’s Humidity
Another thing brown recluse spiders love is humidity. You can make your home less attractive to them by using a dehumidifier in areas where they like to hide.
Tips for Keeping Recluse Spiders Out
The best way to deal with brown recluse spiders is to keep them out of your home in the first place. Here are some tips for making sure your home stays spider-free:
- Use caulk to seal up gaps and openings along the home’s walls and exterior
- Seal up the spaces around doors and windows with weather stripping
- Keep tall grass, shrubs, and weeds away from the foundation of your home
- Keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and five inches off the ground
- Inspect wood carefully before bringing it inside the home
- Store clothes inside plastic containers
- Don’t store boxes or other items under your bed
- Frequently vacuum under furniture, inside closets, around baseboards, and under your heater
- Carefully remove any spider webs and egg sacs that you find
Note that, unfortunately, pesticides are only effective against brown recluse spiders with direct contact. You may want to keep some handy in case you come face-to-face with one. Otherwise, spraying baseboards or other parts of your home is just a waste of time and money.
Let Us Help with Your Pest Control Problems
Now you know what to do if you find a brown recluse in your home. From spiders and centipedes to bedbugs and ants, we can take care of all your pest control needs. Don’t suffer with creepy-crawlies any longer!
Contact us today and we’ll make sure you can sleep soundly in a pest-free home.