The brown recluse spider is found only in certain areas of the country and rarely bites people. However, if you are in this region of the country, you will be interested to know what a brown recluse spider looks like, since its venom can cause serious injuries.
These spiders are on average a quarter in size, including their legs. They are tan to dark brown in color and have several distinctive features, including six eyes (most spiders have eight) and a fiddle or fiddle marking.
Unfortunately, these descriptions are not always up to date and you need an expert to identify the brown recluse spider. A careful examination of the spider is required to rule out any other species that look like a brown recluse but are not potentially dangerous.
If anything, identifying a brown recluse is more about excluding what he is not , rather than finding out what he is .
Why brown recluse spiders are dangerous
Although rare, brown recluse bites can be dangerous. These spiders are not aggressive, but they can bite, for example, if you accidentally roll over one of them on your bed or if one hides in clothing.
Also, the bite can be mistaken for something minor, such as a red bump or small wound. There is nothing that uniquely identifies a brown recluse bite, and there is no blood test or culture that shows the presence of brown recluse venom when a spider bite is suspected.
Brown recluse venom can cause mild or severe reactions. Serious reactions are more common in immunosuppressed people, the elderly, and children. If you suspect that you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider, apply ice, elevate the affected area, and seek immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite
A brown recluse bite is usually painless, and symptoms may not appear for several hours, after which the area may become red, swollen, and painful. Most bites remain localized and heal within a few weeks without major complications or treatment.
In more severe cases, a lesion may develop that looks like a sunken, dry bluish spot with uneven edges, a pale center, and redness on the outside. As the venom continues to erode the tissue, the bite wound can expand several inches over several days or weeks, eventually turning into a necrotic ulcer that can leave a deep scar.
In rare cases, bites cause a systemic reaction with fever, chills, dizziness, rash, or vomiting.
How to remove a brown recluse
If you've been bitten by a spider that you think might be a brown recluse, it's best to try to rule out the possibility by following these steps.
Determine if they live in your area.
Brown recluse spiders inhabit well-defined areas in the south-central United States. They are called 'hermits' because they are difficult to find even in the regions where they live.
The brown recluse's scientific name is Loxosceles reclusa, and they live in the red area of the map below. Other colored areas on the map are home to other species of Loxosceles (such as the Texas hermit, the desert hermit, and others). They are related to the brown recluse and all have the same venom . In fact, some of the other Loxesceles species have a more dangerous venom than the brown recluse.
If a spider has been found outside of the brown recluse's known habitat, it is almost certainly not this type of spider. If it is outside of other areas, it is not even associated with the brown recluse.
Brown recluse spiders love dark, dark places where they can hide under things. There may be serious infections in their habitat. Therefore, if there is a spider, there are most likely dozens or even hundreds of them. However, even in homes with extensive infestation, bites are rare.
If you have a brown recluse specimen (or if you think the experts are wrong about your particular spider, even if it is not in brown recluse territory), you can try to find out if it is a brown recluse based on its anatomy. …
Look at his feet
Loxosceles actually means bent legs. If you look at the brown recluse from the side, you will see how the torso sits low and the legs are raised at an angle. It was this angled, sloping leg shape that gave the brown recluse its scientific name.
Two more distinctive features of brown hermit legs:
- Spineless: Unlike many other species of spiders, Loxosceles do not have spines or spines on their legs. They are smooth.
- Solid Color – Some spiders have multi-colored legs, but the loxofemoral legs are firm, with no stripes or patterns.
If a spider doesn't have a leg like this, it is definitely not a brown recluse. If so, you'll want to take a look at some of the other features.
Look at three sets of two eyes
Suppose you live in the land of the brown recluse and you have a spider with a low body on angular, smooth, solid-colored legs, the next thing to do is look the spider in the eye.
Brown recluse spiders have six eyes. They are combined into so-called dyads (groups of two) and are located in front and to the sides of the spider's head. Other species of spiders may have eight eyes or six eyes arranged in two triads (groups of three). You can't be sure it's a brown recluse based solely on the eyes, but if the eyes don't match the correct pattern, then it's definitely not a brown recluse.
Examine your body
There are two more characteristics necessary for it to be a hip joint :
- The body (without legs) should not measure more than 3/8 of an inch. Feet included, the medium brown recluse is about a quarter in size.
- The belly (the large round part at the back) should be slightly fluffy, with very fine hairs and a solid color.
Find the violin markings
Descriptions of the brown recluse are usually marked with a violin-shaped mark on the back.
Not all brown recluses have a classical violin. Even if it is there, you will not be able to see it clearly. Also, there are spiders that have a violin mark on their back, and these are not brown recluses.
How to avoid infection
Brown recluse spiders are difficult to eliminate, mainly due to their ability to hide in dark places. Cracks, corners, and joints between walls and floors, especially behind clutter and storage areas, create ideal hiding places.
The best way to avoid brown recluse spiders is to close off areas of the house where they can enter. The strategies include:
- Using sealant around windows and window frames
- Fill cracks in floorboards with plastic putty or wood glue.
- Clutter removal
Frequently asked questions
How to get rid of brown hermit spiders?
Glue traps can catch spiders, but it's best to call in a professional pest control officer who can use appropriate pesticides that are most effective.
How is a brown recluse bite treated?
Antihistamines, colchicine, dapsone, and corticosteroids are medications used to relieve symptoms. Antivenom, which consists of antibodies that neutralize the venom, can prevent large ulcers from forming on the skin if given over several hours.
What if you find a brown recluse in your home?
Call a fighter. If you think you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider, apply ice, lift the affected area, and seek immediate medical attention. Try to catch a spider so that an expert can determine if it really is a brown recluse or another type of spider.