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How Well Do You Know That Brown Recluse Spider?


There are varying opinions about how dangerous brown recluse spiders actually are. You can speak to one person and they'll tell you that those spiders have no interest in biting you or that only a few recluse bites become necrotic, and advise you to just leave them be. Others will tell you that brown recluse bites lead to flu-like symptoms, shock, tissue damage, and possible kidney failure and that you should leave your home immediately. Well, the truth is actually somewhere in between. Here's the full truth about brown recluse spiders.

It's true that brown recluse spiders don't have any interest in biting you. If you approach a recluse, it is likely to run. But bites from these spiders happen all the time. So why is this? The problem is that these spiders like to hide in places that can bring them into unintentional, and often unavoidable, contact with us. When they climb into a shoe or boot because they think it is a burrow in the ground, they have no idea that we put our feet into those places. When they slide under the covers of a bed, they think they're going into a nice furry cave. They don't know that a large creature is about to slide in there with them. When they creep into a towel on the floor, they have no understanding that we pick towels up and throw them in the hamper. Any dark recess we create in our home with clothing or clutter, brown recluse spiders may hide in. This can create the conditions for bites to occur.

It's true that all brown recluse bites do not turn necrotic. In fact, when you go to have a brown recluse bite examined by a doctor, your doctor may tell you that no treatment is necessary, and advise you to watch for signs of necrosis. But, there is a potential for the destruction of tissue. Meghan Linsey, a finalist on "The Voice" season 8, found out the hard way. If you're curious about what a brown recluse spider is capable of doing, learn more about her story. It is best to not have these spiders in your home.

Okay. Is it time to panic and run from the house? No. The chances of being bitten by a brown recluse spider can be significantly reduced by doing the following while you wait for a pest control company to arrest your infestation.

  • Avoid dark, secluded location in your home.

  • Be careful when opening boxes, and consider wearing gloves.

  • Always check your bed before climbing in for the night. Turn covers all the way down.

  • Tap footwear before putting them on.

  • Shake your clothes before putting them on.

  • Refrain from leaving towels or clothing on the floor.

  • If you see webbing in low areas, steer clear of them or use a vacuum to suck up the webs and the spiders hiding in them. Use gloves when removing the back from the vacuum, and dispose of the bag outside.


Removing brown recluse spiders from a home is a process. It begins with an inspection and a plan of action. Brown recluse management will usually include targeted treatments and a monitoring of spider activity. You pest control technician will let you know what has been done and how many visits it will take to ensure the resolution of your infestation. Once this has been accomplished, your technician will guide you in ways you can prevent future brown recluse infestation from taking root.

The best way to prevent future infestation is with ongoing pest service. At Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions, we offer our Signature Protection program to eliminate spiders and other unwanted household pests. This program includes routine inspections by a trained professional, removal of spider webs and eggs, an application of perimeter barrier treatment, targeted treatments to vulnerable areas, and a continual monitoring of pest pressures.

If you live in Missouri, find out if you're in our service area and reach out to us to request a Free inspection of your property. We'll help you take care of those brown recluse spiders, and give you the protection you need from all of the other harmful pests that get into our Missouri homes.  

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