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Brown Recluse

Size: 1/4 to 3/4 inch long

Color: Light to yellowish brown

Where found: Storage areas, cabinets, basements, sheds

Potential treatment: Interior and exterior

The Brown Recluse is sometimes referred to as the fiddle-back spider because of the dark, violin-shaped mark on its back. While its body is a light brown, the violin mark is dark and distinctive.

Its actual name is descriptive, in that the Brown Recluse tends to hide in dark crevices and corners where it will not be disturbed. Common nesting areas are the voids beneath kitchen cabinets, behind boxes in basements and closets, and among stored items in garages and sheds. They tend to prefer outdoor areas, but sometimes are brought inside on stored items.

Brown Recluse spiders generally hide until night, when they will begin wandering in search of food. Their ground level webs are not intended for catching prey, but unsuspecting insects sometimes get caught, and are then paralyzed by the Brown Recluse sting. These spiders usually feed on soft-bodied insects, such as crickets, cockroaches and moths.

Keeping storage areas neat and clean is the best way to prevent attracting this pest. Once nesting, they can multiply quickly, laying up to five egg sacs, each with up to fifty eggs. Laying sticky traps in storage spaces can be helpful because of this spider?s habit of wandering in search of food.

The Brown Recluse generally does not bite, but will if threatened, usually if they are stepped on or disturbed in a cluttered area. A bite will usually result in a red spot that fades away, but the venom can cause lesions, or in rare cases nausea or fever.