Brown recluse spiders are infamous for their venomous bites. These are commonly found in the Midwest. If you found a brown spider in your Arizona home, there’s a higher chance that it’s either a desert recluse or Arizona recluse. However, it’s still possible that you’re dealing with the true brown recluse.
In general, recluses have three pairs of eyes and their size ranges from 7 to 12 mm. Also called fiddleback spiders, they’re known for the violin-like marking on their backs.
Such marking is more pronounced in the brown recluses. As for the desert recluses and Arizona recluses, that sign tends to be less noticeable as it blends with the rest of their body color. The three of them have long thin legs.
However, many spiders tend to have similar markings. The brown color and small size of the recluses further makes it hard to identify them.
If you’re scared about the brown spiders in your home, it’s better to contact a pest control company. You can send a photo or hire an inspector to visit your home. He can identify whether those are recluses or harmless and helpful spiders.
Behavior and Habitat
As their names suggest, recluses prefer being alone. They love living in the dark, too.
Arizona recluses and desert recluses are less likely to live near humans. The minority that do only stick to dry, dark areas such as the space between wood piles. The brown recluses also like going solo, but they tend to dwell on or near man-made structures.
Recluses prey on smaller bugs. They eat both alive and recently killed insects. They also make webs. Yet, they prefer chasing instead of devouring the bugs that got caught in their webs.
Brown recluses may depend on humans for their habitat, but not for food. Along with Arizona recluses and desert recluses, they don’t attack humans. They only do so when they feel threatened.
The problem is that you can harm them unintentionally. Think of how your foot can crush a brown recluse hiding in your shoe. Clearing its nearby webs can also turn it aggressive towards you. If a recluse dwells on your wood piles, adding, getting and arranging woods could also serve as triggers.
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of recluse bites aren’t deadly. In most cases, the bites will heal on their own. The process may even take less than a minute.
Some self-healing bites can feel itchy and look reddish though. They may turn into mild lesions as well. If such happens, you can apply topical ointments. You can also leave the lesion as it is especially if it’s not that itchy.
The venomous bites that brown recluse spiders are known for can cause necrotic skin lesions. Such lesions are a manifestation of loxoscelism, a condition aptly named after the spiders’ genus, Loxosceles.
The brown recluse’s venom destroys skin tissue to the point that it will leave an open sore with a dark skin patch in the middle. It’s the only known form of necrotic lesion from an arachnid. Yet, there’s still no treatment for the lesion.
The lesion can also heal without medication but it can take at least a month. The healing period extends in many cases because the affected ones scratch the lesions. After all, the wound is itchy on its own. The sweat and the covers used further irritate it.
A lesion as bad as loxoscelism is bound to leave a lasting scar. You can use scar-removing creams to help minimize the blemish.
If not properly attended, the scope of dead tissues could expand. The sizable lesion may require tissue removal and skin grafting. In severe cases, amputation may be needed. But take note that these cases are too few.
The rarest and most severe case, though, is the so-called viscerocutaneous loxoscelism. The venom on this one enters the system and wreaks havoc within. It can trigger anemia, kidney failure and serious bleeding. The complications could lead to coma or even death.
Keep in mind that those severe cases are mostly due to brown recluses’ bites. Arizona recluses and desert recluses won’t cause them.
Before you panic, find out if there’s indeed an infestation in your home. You should first rule out that the bug sighting isn’t from your clothes or a thing you brought inside.
For personal inspection, consider donning long sleeves and pants. Bring a flashlight as well. You can start your search in the attic or basement. Try to spot webs on the walls, ceiling, and nooks.
They might be under furniture and appliances as well.
Take note of the places where you’ve seen spiders and/or recently made webs. Next, prepare your pest control tools. Contact aerosol insecticides and adhesive traps will do.
Recluses dislike being disturbed. As such, make sure you stick the adhesive traps as quietly as possible around the area where you saw the spiders. Afterwards, look for the pests and spray them directly. Collect the dead bugs and dispose them away from your home.
1. Get rid of their dietary sources
Firebrats, crickets, ants, and cockroaches are among the preys of brown recluses. Instead of just killing the spiders, you should also eliminate the other useless and even harmful insects.
2. Make sure all the rooms in your home are well-lit
These include the basement, attic, and even the closet. Recluse spiders thrive in said areas because of low traffic and lack of lighting.
3. Seal cracks and crevices
You can use caulk for this step. Caulking is easy. You don’t even need a tool for this as their tubes are designed for direct application.
4. Spray residual insecticide
Before you do, clean the area thoroughly. Make sure there’s no dust behind. Afterwards, start spraying inside and under furniture sets. Proceed to nooks and crevices.
5. Keep sticking adhesive traps
A box isn’t that costly. The traps last well, too.
Brown recluse spiders in Arizona are not that common. In the rare chance that there’s one in your home, remember the three S: Suit up, stick your traps, and spray that insecticide.
Fromms Pest Control can help you keep your home free of all types of unwanted insects. Be sure to check out our pest control services.