A Handy Guide To Brown Recluse Spiders For Phoenix Property Owners

a brown recluse spider hanging in a web

In North America, we don’t have many poisonous creatures to worry about. The ones we do have can be incredibly common, however, which makes knowing how to spot them very important. While most invasive spiders are harmless, brown recluse spiders are one of the two most venomous in our corner of the globe. Learning how to prevent all kinds of pest problems in Phoenix will help keep you safe from these stealthy arachnids.

Can You Spot A Brown Recluse?

Unfortunately, in addition to being poisonous, brown recluses are one of the most misidentified spiders. Most animals that are venomous have bright spots or defining marks that make them easy to tell apart from other species, but brown recluses look an awful lot like other common spiders. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Color: While they’re called brown recluses, their coloration can actually vary from tan to gray or even be yellowish in color. Their legs are typically uniformly brown. 
  • Size: Unfortunately, brown recluses can vary in shape and size depending on sex, age, and other factors. They are often about the same size as other invasive spiders, making size an unreliable trait to tell brown recluses from other varieties.
  • Markings: The most distinctive feature to determine if a spider is a brown recluse is the violin-shaped marking on the tops of their heads.

Brown Recluses: Dangerous Spiders

Most spiders aren’t interested in biting people or large animals, including brown recluses. In fact, they get their name from the fact that they keep to themselves, hidden out of sight, and only emerging to hunt for insect prey. While rare, brown recluse bites do occur and they have far more serious side effects than your typical spider bite. Here are some of the serious symptoms, which you should seek medical attention for immediately:

  • Nausea: The toxic nature of venomous spider bites usually leads to nausea and light-headedness. Vomiting can result.
  • Breathing: In addition to dizziness, people often experience shortness of breath or tightness in the chest. 
  • Necrosis: In serious cases, and especially if left untreated, brown recluse bites can eat away at skin cells directly. This process, called necrosis, is often accompanied by blackened skin.

Spider Prevention Tips You Need To Know

Brown recluses, like other spiders, don’t forage for food or require shelter from the cold. Instead, they are attracted to properties because other pests, the ones they eat, are already there. It’s for this reason spiders are a sign of a larger pest problem. As such, preventing spiders is really about preventing infestations of all kinds. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Food storage: Spiders don’t raid your home for food or crumbs, but the ants and other insects that they eat do. Deep clean regularly and keep food and trash stored in secure areas.
  • Crack sealing: Frequently inspecting your outside walls for cracks or holes -- no matter how tiny -- and making quick fixes will help reduce areas where pests can gain access. 
  • Wood storage: For one that pertains more directly to spiders, especially recluses that prefer woody areas, another crucial prevention step is making sure you keep stored wood and yard debris well away from your exterior.

Don’t Go It Alone

Even if you aren’t sure that a spider is a brown recluse, any spider is a sign that you should act fast. To truly address the wide scope of factors that attract pests to your property, turn to pest experts. At White Knight Pest Control, we can get started immediately on an inspection of your property. We’ll not only look for signs of spiders, we’ll help you identify other pest populations so you can know exactly what’s there. From there, we work with you on implementing proven removal and control measures. Whether you need a one-time treatment or frequent services that make sure pests aren’t a problem in the future, White Knight Pest Control has you covered. 
Don’t risk exposure to dangerous brown recluse bites, get started on proven pest control today.