5 Quick Ways to Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders in the House

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders are typically found in the southern regions of the United States including Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. Here are the best ways to deal with a brown recluse spider invasion in your house or apartment.

How to Kill Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown Recluse Spider Control
Brown recluse spiders should be dealt with as quickly as possible. In most cases, brown recluse spider bites will require immediate medical attention. They don’t tend to exhibit aggressive behaviors. They will only bite if they feel threatened or disturbed.

1. Set up Multiple Sticky Traps

The easiest way to capture brown recluse spiders from a safe distance is to set up multiple traps inside your house or apartment. We suggest spider traps such as the Catchmaster trap. This specific trap comes in a large pack and is recommended by researchers at Kansas University.

You may need to experiment with placing the spider traps in different locations before you successfully capture the brown recluse spiders in the house. We suggest placing the traps in locations such as the water heater room, the area behind the toilet or bathroom sink, and the spaces underneath the bed.

Spider glue traps are also useful in the sense that they help you identify the pests in the house. Brown recluse spiders can be often mistaken for other similar spiders. You can easily observe a spider that gets trapped in the glue and verify whether it displays the characteristics of a brown recluse spider.

2. Apply Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a much safer spider control alternative to traditional pesticide sprays. Any brown recluse spiders that accidentally walk into a pile of diatomaceous earth powder will eventually die due to the abrasive effect the powder has on the spider’s exoskeleton.

For this method, we suggest sprinkling a light layer of food-grade diatomaceous earth powder where the brown recluse spiders are likely to hide such as the gaps along the wall, the spaces underneath the kitchen cabinets, and the inner spaces of the bedroom closets. Make sure you replace the powder every few days as it will become ineffective in damp conditions.

3. Remove the Spider’s Food Source

You can win the bulk of the household pest battle by eliminating the things that are attracting the brown recluse spiders in the first place.

Typically, household pests look for three things: shelter, food, and water. Brown recluse spiders are predators that enjoy feasting on soft-bodied insects like roaches, flies, ants, and moths.

The brown recluse spiders will eventually disappear and set up shop elsewhere if there is no longer a regular supply of food in your house.

4. Reduce Indoor Humidity Levels

Brown recluse spiders prefer to nest or build webs in cooler, more humid spaces. Live in a fairly humid area? You can make your house a less attractive space for the spiders by reducing the indoor humidity level with a dehumidifier.

Make sure you run the dehumidifier next to spaces where the brown recluse spiders are likely to hide, such as the bedroom closets and bathroom storage spaces.

5. Eliminate the External Gaps and Openings

Make it as difficult as possible for the brown recluse spiders to enter your house by blocking all gaps and openings along the wall and exteriors. Brown recluse spiders are small enough to fit through tiny gaps along the wall.

You should block these gaps with the appropriate material (such as caulk). The gaps around the windows and doors can be covered with weather-stripping seal.

What Does a Brown Recluse Spider Look Like?

Brown recluse spiders can be easily mistaken for other species of brown spiders. For example, many homeowners in California think they have brown recluse spiders in their homes, when in reality, there are no populations of brown recluse spiders living in the state.

There are certain visual cues you should check to identify a brown recluse spider. First, the most obvious sign is the dark-brown violin shape on their body. The violin shape will point towards the brown recluse spider’s abdomen.

Another visual characteristic to look out for is their legs. Instead of spines, you should see fine hair on a brown recluse spider’s leg. Their legs should also be uniformly light in color with no visible stripes or band patterns.

How Big are Brown Recluse Spiders?

An adult brown recluse spider with their legs extended will grow to a size of a U.S. quarter. If the spider in your house has a body length (excluding the legs) greater than half an inch then there is a possibility that you aren’t dealing with a brown recluse spider.

What does a Brown Recluse Web Look Like?

Brown recluse spiders exhibit unique behaviors when they build their webs. First, these spiders don’t like to build their webs in the open. There is no need to as the primary purpose of a brown recluse spider’s web isn’t for capturing prey. Instead, a brown recluse spider’s web serves as more of a retreat spot and a space for nesting.

Where do Brown Recluse Spiders Live?

According to the Department of Entomology at Penn State, brown recluse spiders are established in fifteen states across the US. These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Outside of houses, brown recluse spiders are typically found in areas where they can easily hide such as the space beneath large rocks and dead logs. You are more likely to encounter a brown recluse spider in the house if you live close to a wooded area.

Are Brown Recluse Spiders Poisonous?

Yes, brown recluse spiders capture their prey by injecting necrotic venom into their prey’s body. To humans, brown recluse spiders can cause serious wounds and infestations in the worst-case scenario. Brown recluse spider bites should be treated immediately.

As we mentioned earlier, brown recluse spiders aren’t aggressive creatures. The chances of you getting bitten is low even if you live in a spider-infested house. They will only bite when they feel threatened (e.g. when they get trapped underneath your body).

Spiders that Look Similar to Brown Recluse Spiders

There are many species of spiders that look similar to the brown recluse spiders. Here is a list of spiders that have a similar appearance.

Southern House Spiders

These spiders are frequently spotted in the southeastern states, including Florida and Georgia. The male Southern house spiders have a similar color and body shape to the brown recluse spiders. They are not known to be dangerous.

Wolf Spiders

The most noticeable difference between a wolf spider and a brown recluse spider is their body size. Wolf spiders are almost twice as big (about 1.5 inches long) as the brown recluse spider. The wolf spider population is also much more widespread.

Black Widow Spiders

Black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders can be confused from afar. The most visible difference is the mark on their bodies. Most black widow species will have a red hourglass shape on their abdomen. Their bites are also a lot more dangerous than a brown recluse spider’s.

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Sam at Organic Lesson

is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.