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When it comes to dangerous spiders, there are usually two that come to mind first: the black widow and the brown recluse. Many people believe that the black widow is the most dangerous spider in the United States. However, it is quickly becoming evident that the brown recluse is the one that we should worry about more. A recent news story about a woman bitten by a brown recluse has thrown the spider into the national spotlight. The woman was bitten on the back of her neck and as the spider venom spread, she nearly lost an ear and her eyesight. Unfortunately the brown recluse is very common in St. Louis and throughout Missouri and with that in mind, we’ve put together some helpful tips on how to identify brown recluse spiders as well as what you should know in order to prevent a brown recluse bite.

The brown recluse is not a huge spider, but it is big enough to startle most people. Their body is only 3/8 of an inch long, but when you include their legs in their measurements, they can span up to 1 ½ inches. As their name implies, they are brown in color and are characterized by a violin shaped marking on their back.

Although the brown recluse is dangerous, it is not an overly aggressive spider and will not hunt humans. Most bites occur when the spider is disturbed and bites in self-defense. Brown recluse bites are seldom fatal, but are still a very serious matter. They are extremely painful and cause necrosis, or rotting of the skin, in the area of the bite. If you believe you have been bitten by a brown recluse, seek medical attention immediately.

There are several things that you can do to avoid brown recluse bites. First, carefully check the outside of your home for possible entry points. Pests like spiders commonly enter through rips in screens or openings around pipes or vents. Repairing or blocking these openings can greatly reduce the risk of pests entering your home. Second, when retrieving your spring clothes out of storage or from the back of your closet, carefully shake them out to dislodge any hidden pests. Spiders like dark places that are not often disturbed, so attics and storage areas are common spider homes. Third, organize your storage areas. Clutter in the basement, attic, or closet creates many more hiding places for spiders than there would be otherwise. Organizing these areas will greatly reduce the possible pest harborages in your home. Lastly, spiders are often brought into our homes when we carry in firewood. Stacks and piles of wood provide perfect homes for brown recluses; carefully inspect and shake off your wood before you bring it in the house.

If you believe you have a problem with brown recluse spiders in your St. Louis home, don’t wait until a trip to the hospital before you take action. Call Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions today! Rottler has been providing effective pest control and lawn care services to homes and businesses in St. Louis since 1956. Trust your local St. Louis exterminator for all of your pest control needs.


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