Spiders are no fun, especially when they can bite you! And even more so when their bites have the potential to be venomous and cause serious health problems. The more you know about brown recluse spiders, the more equipped you’ll be to take care of a problem with them if you come across it.

Facts about Brown Recluse Spiders

A few interesting facts that will help you to identify brown recluse spiders and understand their habits:

Where They Got Their Name

The scientific name for the Brown Recluse Spider is Loxosceles, which literally means “slanted legs”. This name refers to the fact that these spiders sit at rest with their legs held in a position that is slanted. The English name of this spider has to do with its habit of hiding itself away. The violin-shaped marking on the back has led to the common name “fiddle-back” spider.

Dangerous Bites

Typically only biting when they are disturbed, both female and male brown recluse spiders have a venomous bite that can be very dangerous. The difficulty is that it is easy to provoke one of these spiders without really being aware that you are doing it. This can be particularly true if one gets caught in clothing or bedding and is stumbled upon. Bites can even go without being noticed until the negative impact of the venom begins to take effect.

Identifying Characteristics

With a bulbous abdomen with a violin-shaped marking toward the head, this spider is covered in fine hairs giving it an appearance of velvet. Its long, thin legs which are also covered with fine hair. As the name implies, this spider is typically brown or yellowish brown in color and typically ranges between ¼” and ½” in length.


Typically found in Central and Southern United States including Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas and Alabama.

Read More: Spiders Near Houston to Be Aware of

Getting Around

The most usual form of transportation for these types of spiders is hitching a ride on boxes, furniture, and other items that are in transit. Because these spiders can go for many months without eating, they are fine to live in dry, hot conditions where


Female brown recluse spiders only need to mate one time in order to produce eggs throughout her lifetime. Plus, with the ability to produce more than 150 baby spiders within the span of a year, these spiders are able to establish an infestation with just a single female spider.

Read More: Tips for Spider Proofing Your Home

Hidden and Unnoticed

Nocturnal, with a tendency to be reclusive (thus, the name) these spiders are not easily observed. Whether outdoors or indoors, they are adept at hiding. Even a large infestation of brown recluse spiders in a house or shed can go unnoticed for some time because of their habits of hiding out in dark, sheltered places. Storage areas with boxes that are left alone for long periods of time are particularly attractive to these pests. 

Handling Brown Recluse Spider Bites

If you suspect or know that you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider, it is important to contact a medical professional immediately. If possible, take the spider with you in a jar to the hospital. Washing the wound, applying ice (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off), and keeping the wound elevated should help to keep the area controlled until you get to a place where a doctor can examine you. The likelihood is that you will recover with just rest and a bit of care. But it is important to put yourself under the care of a doctor in case you experience complications.

Controlling Brown Recluse Spiders

Because they are so good at keeping evidence of their whereabouts tucked away, often the first sign of a brown recluse spider is the sighting of one. And often by the time this happens, there’s a full-on infestation. Your best option when this happens is to contact a spider control professional to perform an inspection as well as spider extermination if needed. Cypress Creek Pest Control in Houston is available for residential or commercial spider control needs.

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