Avoid Getting Bit By A Brown Recluse Spider

It’s the time of year when people pull their cold-weather clothes, blankets, hunting gear, and holiday decorations out of storage. When you do this, be extremely watchful for brown recluse spiders. Their venomous bite can make a person quite sick and cause necrosis (skin cell death) at the bite location. A good indication you’re dealing with a brown recluse is the violin-shaped marking on its head.


Most bites occur when the brown recluse becomes pressed up against the skin, like rolling onto one in your bed or putting on a sweater, boots, or gloves that haven’t been worn in months. Pest control of brown recluse spiders is very important.



In an infested home, you can reduce the chance of being bitten by shaking out shoes and clothing before putting them on, keeping bed sheets from touching the floor, and hanging clothes in closets rather than leaving them on the floor. You might also wear protective gloves when cleaning cluttered areas to guard against being bitten.



Eliminating brown recluse spiders from your home may be difficult, but it is possible using an integrated approach that emphasizes eliminating the spider’s habitat. There are several protective actions you can take to control brown recluse spiders:


  • Begin by removing clutter, especially in low-traffic areas such as basements, attics, closets, and storage areas.
  • Frequent cleaning, using a vacuum wand to reach between boxes and other tight spaces, will help eliminate spiders, egg sacs, and potential food sources before spiders emerge and reproduce.
  • Store seasonal clothing and shoes in tightly sealed plastic storage containers and avoid placing them close together or against walls.
  • Knock down all the spider webs you encounter, focusing on the outside of your home.
  • Seal both interior and exterior cracks and crevices to prevent spiders and their insect prey from moving into your house.
  • Sticky traps or glue boards can be used to capture brown recluse spiders. Place traps around the house in areas where spiders are likely to travel: under furniture, along walls, in attics, basements, and closets.


We can help
No matter how intimidating or pervasive your pest problem, you can trust that Amco Ranger knows exactly how to handle it and make sure the pests don’t return. We are a local, family-owned business, and we’re ready to help you. Give us a call today if you need help getting rid of brown recluse spiders in your home or business in Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, O’Fallon, Cottleville, St. Peters, St. Charles, St. Louis, and surrounding communities.

Brown Recluse Spider Identification & Prevention

Few things cause as much fear and anxiety in people as the thought of poisonous spiders. Missouri is home to many species of spiders; however, only two are poisonous – the black widow and the brown recluse.



The brown recluse is a shy spider that does not attack people and usually only bites in response to being injured. This is quite the opposite of what most people think. Most reported bites occur when putting on clothing in which the spider is hiding or rolling on a spider in bed. Most people living in proximity to the spider will never see it, nor be bitten by it.

The brown recluse is a medium-sized spider. The legs span an area roughly the size of a quarter to a half-dollar. The color of the brown recluse ranges from a light yellowish brown to a dark reddish or chocolate brown, but most are light to medium brown. The second pair of legs is always longer than the remaining pair in both the male and female. The most distinguishing characteristic is the violin-shaped marking on the top of the body directly above the legs. The violin-shaped marking is usually much darker than the surrounding areas and may appear lined. Since some other species of spider have a violin-shaped marking, the best identification feature for the brown recluse is a semicircular arrangement of three pairs of eyes.



Brown recluse spiders prefer sheltered areas with low moisture levels and generally live in walls and attics. They do tend to enter living areas during periods of extreme temperatures – heat in August or cold in January – and may be seen in dark areas such as closets and cabinets.

Since most brown recluse spiders hibernate in the winter (except for those that live indoors), most bites occur between March and October when humans accidentally disturb their habitat.


Here are some useful tips for keeping spiders at bay:

  • Store clothing in sealed plastic bags or storage boxes.
  • Store shoes in plastic shoeboxes.
  • Shake clothing and shoes before wearing.
  • Move beds away from walls or curtains.
  • Remove bed skirts from box springs.
  • Do not use bedspreads that touch or come close to the floor.
  • Inspect bedding before climbing into bed.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices where spiders may enter the home.
  • Move firewood away from the home, elevate it off the ground and cover it with plastic.


We can help

No matter how intimidating or pervasive your pest infestation, you can trust that Amco Ranger knows exactly how to handle it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Give us a call today if you need helping getting rid of brown recluse spiders.

Learn facts and fiction about the brown recluse spider.

Brown Recluse Spider – Fact & Fiction

It’s hard to think of a critter that inspires as much hysteria as the brown recluse spider. If you believe the tales, these small arachnids are biting people all day, every day, producing huge craters around the bite that require months of intensive care.

Although there is some truth in the hype, it is greatly exaggerated. Brown recluses do not lay in wait to bite you. However, a spider that is potentially harmful, moves erratically, unpredictably, and sometimes quickly, is easy to fear. Especially when the misinformation, misdiagnosis, and gross internet photos of bite wounds feed the fear. So let’s sort out the fact from fiction.



The brown recluse only lives in a few states. Arkansas and Missouri have the highest populations, while Kansas, Oklahoma, the western portions of Tennessee and Kentucky, the southern parts of Indiana and Illinois, and the northeastern parts of Texas round out the recluse’s range.



Brown recluses are nocturnal and shy away from daylight. They mainly live in the walls and attics of homes, and are rarely seen by humans. They do tend to enter living areas during periods of extreme temperatures – heat in August or cold in January – and may be seen in dark areas such as closets and cabinets.



Most bites occur when people roll over on the spiders in the night, put on a jacket that has been in storage, or put their foot in a shoe with a spider in it. Biting is a response to being crushed, but they’d much rather run away. In fact, the spiders’ fangs are too short and small to bite through pajamas or socks, and really only sturdy enough to puncture thin skin.

Brown recluse bites can be bad. Some of the spider’s venomous bites lead to necrotic skin lesions(thedeath of skin cells or tissue in a localized area of the body), but only around 10 percent of bites are this serious. Most bites are not that bad. They look like little pimples or mosquito bites or something else that doesn’t merit a trip to the emergency room, and they heal by themselves.

There are some ways in which brown recluse bites are different from many other wounds. A raised, reddish, and wet wound is likely not a recluse bite. Recluse venom destroys small blood vessels and causes them to constrict, turning the area around the bite white, purple, or blue. Fluids can’t flow to the area, and it sinks a little, and dries out.



Unfortunately, the brown recluse bite diagnosis is a popular catch-all for situations where the cause of a skin lesion can’t be easily identified. There are about 40 conditions that are often misdiagnosed as brown recluse bites, including bacterial, viral, and fungal infections; poison oak and poison ivy; thermal and chemical burns; bad reactions to blood thinners, and herpes. Most physicians don’t have a lot of experience discriminating between a recluse bite and something like necrotizing Staphylococcus, and even if a patient brings in a spider for identification, it’s unlikely the ER doctor has been trained to identify a brown recluse.


Mistaken identity

Part of the problem is that the brown recluse is small and brown and about the size of a quarter; it looks like many other arachnids and insects. The best way to identify a brown recluse is to count its eyes. They have six eyes instead of eight, arranged in three pairs of two. However, most people are not going to get in a spider’s face with a magnifying glass and count its eyes.

Some people may try to find the marking most commonly described as identifying a brown recluse: a violin shape on the spider’s head, oriented with the violin’s neck pointing toward the spider’s butt. However, people are incredibly good at “seeing” violin markings on every portion of a spider’s body, which means this marking isn’t an especially helpful diagnostic.

If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a brown recluse spider, contact your primary care physician for treatment.


We can help

While brown recluse spiders aren’t as scary as people think, they are still an unwelcome houseguest. No matter how intimidating or pervasive your pest infestation, you can trust that Amco Ranger knows exactly how to handle it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Give us a call today if you need helping getting rid of brown recluse spiders.

Have a spider issue? Check out our pest control options for your home or our blog about brown recluse prevention.