Brown recluse spiders range in color from tan to gray with slender, tapering legs. Two characteristics that help distinguish this spider from similar species include the dark violin-shaped marking on the back of the front portion of the body, and the semicircular, paired arrangement of six eyes. Although brown recluse spiders frequently coexist with humans in homes without incident, when bites do occur they can be serious.
Where and when can you find Brown Recluse spiders?
As its name implies, the brown recluse is shy and not naturally aggressive. It is most often found in sites that are rarely disturbed, such as under old boards, in piles of discarded junk, and in seldom-disturbed storage spaces in houses and outbuildings. Indoors, they are most common in cluttered closets, garages, crawl-spaces, and attics. Adult brown recluse spiders are most frequently seen during the spring months. Mating season in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas, lasts from April to early July.
What attracts Brown Recluse spiders?
Brown recluse spiders are insect predators. When large numbers of spiders are present in a building it usually means that insect prey are also abundant. Common prey for spiders may include crickets, silverfish, cockroaches, etc. Making sure doors are well sealed and outdoor lighting is shielded to avoid attracting outdoor insects like crickets. Good sanitation, regular pest control, and vacuuming dead insects will also help reduce insect food for spiders.
Control and extermination of Brown Recluse spiders
Because of the seriousness of a brown recluse bite, the best solution to a household infestation of these spiders is to hire a professional pest control company. A combination of insecticide and sanitation measures are usually required to reduce or eliminate a well-entrenched brown recluse infestation. Brown recluse spiders can be controlled using a four step, integrated approach:
- Sanitation & Trapping
- Residual Sprays
- Residual Dusts
- ULV or Aerosol sprays
Research conducted at Oklahoma State and Texas A&M Universities has confirmed that brown recluse spiders are difficult to kill with most insecticides.
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