, the brown recluse spider is one of the rare species of spider in the United States that poses a serious threat to humans. While the symptoms of their bite can sometimes be mild, they can also be quite severe, leading to injury, tissue death, and sometimes permanent scarring. Let’s take a look at how to tell if the spider in is, in fact, a brown recluse, how to treat a bite, and what to do if you have an infestation.

How To Distinguish Brown Recluses From Other Spiders

The bad news is brown recluses look like a lot of . The good news is there are a few ways to distinguish them if you get a close enough look. It’s a lot easier to tell if a spider is not a brown recluse than to tell if it is one. First off, take a look at the eyes. Any spider with eight eyes is not a brown recluse (they have six).

Also, don’t be fooled by the fiddle-shaped marking on the cephalothorax. A lot of spiders have those. If the marking is faint, lightly colored, or multi-colored, the spider is not a brown recluse. The fiddle marking on a brown recluse will always be much darker than the rest of the cephalothorax and uniform or near-uniform in color (i.e. it won’t have a bunch of patterns in or around it).

Another good distinguishing feature of the brown recluse spider is its legs and abdomen. If your spider’s legs are much darker than its body, multi-colored, or covered in spines, your spider is not a recluse. Brown recluses’ legs are uniform in color, the same or a similar color to their bodies, and covered in fine hair only – no spines. Their abdomens are also uniform in color. If your spider’s abdomen has a bunch of patterns on it, it is not a recluse.

What To Do If Bitten

The brown recluse bite is hemotoxic, meaning its venom attacks your red blood cells, your blood’s clotting ability, and the tissues surrounding the bite. In the case of the brown recluse, their venom is capable of causing skin lesions and even tissue necrosis. Depending on the severity of the bite, you may experience anything from mild localized pain and swelling to skin ulcers and tissue loss.

If your bite symptoms remain mild (meaning you don’t experience severe pain, infection, or tissue death), . Clean it with soap and water and put an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment on it. Use ice to reduce swelling. Take pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen and watch for more severe symptoms. Seek medical attention right away if any of the following occur:

  • Extreme pain
  • Infection
  • Trouble breathing
  • Tissue death (ulcers with a dark blue/purple/brown/black center)
  • Seizures or loss of consciousness (these are extremely rare)

Brown Recluse Infestation

Fortunately, brown recluse bites – or even encounters with these spiders – are not all that common. True to their name, brown recluses are reclusive, preferring to hide far away from places they might be disturbed by humans or other animals. However, these spiders breed quickly, so if a few of them come into your home stalking another infestation (like roaches, silverfish, flies, etc.), they can easily become a problem. They’re so good at hiding you might not detect them until your house is already full of them. If that happens, you’re going to need professional assistance.

Here at Green Home Pest Control, we provide Phoenix, AZ area residents, and businesses with award-winning, at a great price. No matter what kind of spider is infesting your home, we expert so you don’t have to worry about identifying whether or not they’re brown recluses. So give us a call at 480-696-5007 or visit our Green Home Pest Control “get started page” to get your free quote today.

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