Dull yellow to dark brown (younger spiders are lighter in color)
Body features a dark, violin-shaped marking on its back with the neck of the “violin” pointing towards the abdomen. Legs and abdomen are a solid color.
A female brown recluse spider produces from 1-5 egg sacs at a time, containing upwards of 300 eggs per sac. The young hatch within 2-3 months; however, it takes almost a year for them to reach maturity. The average lifespan of a brown recluse spider is a little under 2 years.
Apart from their characteristic markings, brown recluse spiders can be recognized by their compact, somewhat haphazard-looking webs. Brown recluse spiders also tend to build webs and nests in dark, secluded places and are nocturnal hunters, searching for food at night. Unlike most spiders, the brown recluse does not use its web to trap food. It will not bite unless its web or nest are disturbed. A brown recluse bite is characterized by an inflamed white blister, which turns purple or black over time. Depending upon an individual’s tolerance to the brown recluse’s venom, the reaction may be mild to severe.
The best way to prevent the brown recluse from nesting around your home is to eliminate clutter, such as piles of wood, bricks, debris, or garbage where the spider can hide. Also, sealing cracks around door and window frames as well as around the foundation of your home will also prevent spiders from entering your house. If you are handling debris or working around your home where the brown recluse may lurk, wear work gloves to prevent the possibility of getting bitten. If considering commercial foggers or treatments to control spiders, know that they are often are ineffective. Likewise, administering such toxic chemical treatments incorrectly may put the health of your family and pets in jeopardy. If you believe you have spotted a brown recluse, contact a pest control professional first. Click here to find out more about spider control options.