Some spiders are more than just a nuisance

The common house spider is the spider most often encountered indoors. It is a nuisance pest, probably more because of its webs than the spider itself.

However, other spiders found in this area can be a bigger problem.

Brown recluse spiders are easily recognizable by the violin or fiddle looking mark on the back of the spider.

Brown recluse spider These spiders are reclusive by nature, so they will not be in open areas. Instead, these spiders can be found in closets, crawl spaces, and in little-traveled areas of the home.

The brown recluse is difficult to identify quickly. As its name indicates, it is dark brown to brown or tan. The spider is usually about 3/8 of an inch long and 3/16 of an inch wide, and is about the size of a quarter including its legs.

The most striking marking of a mature brown recluse is a dark violin shape behind its head with the neck of the violin pointing toward the abdomen. However, other spiders have similar markings.

The abdomen is uniformly colored, and is covered with numerous fine hairs that provide a velvety appearance. The long, thin, brown legs also are covered with fine hairs. Males are slightly smaller in body length but with longer legs. Both sexes are venomous.

One of the best ways to identify the brown recluse is its eyes — most spiders have eight, but the brown recluse has only six arranged in pairs in a semicircle on the forepart of the head, or cephalothorax.

Brown recluse spiders can be found both indoors and outdoors. They can thrive in man-made areas, which makes them more of a threat to your family. They may also live in areas outdoors, such as wood piles, storage sheds, large stones used for landscaping and garages.

Getting rid of spiders

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Some simple things can be done to slow the infestation in your home:

  • When storing clothes, place them in a plastic container that seals tightly.
  • When putting on shoes, or clothing that has not been handled in a while, shake before putting on.
  • When making your bed, make sure that none of the sheets or blankets are hanging to the ground. This give spiders easy access to the bed.
  • In areas of low traffic, vacuum all spider webs and dispose of immediately.
  • Wear protective gloves when handling cardboard boxes or other storage items.