The brown recluse spider is known as one of the most dangerous specimens living on the territory of the United States – mostly throughout the central south and midwestern states.

And not in vain has it got its name, as it is both brown and reclusive. Being not at all aggressive it resides in rarely disturbed places like storage rooms, attics, under old boards or piles of junk.

The brown recluse spider is known as one of the most dangerous specimens living on the territory of the United StatesYou can look for these species outside in such places as sheds or barns, in woodpiles and other debris. Among various entry points, we can mention vents, gaps in and under doors, and cracks in the siding.

This type of spider has got quite a bad reputation across the US because its bites are painful and may lead to severe pain, skin ulcers or even life-threatening conditions. The brown recluse spider is a hunting nocturnal specimen and builds its webs in dark corners both for retreat and laying eggs.

Identifying the Brown Recluse Spider


If you still haven’t encountered it and are wondering what it looks like, memorize its color – light brown with a dark violin-shaped marking on its back. It helps to identify the adult spider, however, is not common for young ones.

Remember one main feature of brown recluse spiders – the eye pattern.

Remember one main feature of brown recluse spiders – the eye pattern. Their 6 or sometimes 8 eyes are arranged in a semi-circle. Though many other harmless spiders are often mistaken for brown recluses, sometimes one needs either a quality lens or being a professional to distinguish this feature.

What Do They Eat?

What Do Brown Recluse Spiders Eat?Brown recluse spiders usually feed on other insects (e.g. cockroaches or even caterpillars) both dead and alive and even other spiders. They prefer hiding during the day and hunting for prey at night.

Interestingly, they don’t build a web to catch their food. When they are hungry and cannot find anything to feed on they start wandering around during the day, crawling on walls and other surfaces.

Sometimes brown recluse spiders can even feed on other brown recluses, however, it may be considered something off the scale.

How to Kill Brown Recluse Spiders

Getting rid of brown recluse spiders is rather difficult but not at all impossible. You can make use of two types of brown recluse spider extermination.

Chemical Methods

  • Sprays – an aerosol insecticide can be sprayed on brown recluses directly. Such way of treatment is much easier than vacuuming.
  • Dust application – this can be regarded as one of the best ways of brown recluse spider infestation treatment. As we already know, these spiders prefer secret nooks and corners, hiding in unseen cracks and undisturbed places, that is why dust puffed into all those secret places is what kills brown recluse spiders.
  • Exterior treatment – do not hurry to seal all the openings in the outside walls. First, treat them with residual dust agents to avoid future spider entering.
  • Spot treatment – the least successful procedure if done alone. It doesn’t guarantee a good result and must be combined with other types of brown recluse spider control.

Non-Chemical Methods

  • Inspecting all stored things. When a spider is found in one stored item, e.g. an old box with rarely used things, other items should be inspected as well. If you ignore this advice, you will let the present infestation become even worse

    Warning! When inspecting your premises remember to wear long sleeved clothes and gloves. This will help you to avoid bites.


  • Vacuum removal. Spiders, their webs and eggs can be easily removed with a vacuum cleaner, however, after the cleaning the vacuum bag should be sealed in plastic and then (if possible) discarded miles away from your place.
  • Exclusion. All the gaps and crack of outside walls, pipes, vents, wires, cables and other items of exterior must be first treated with dust agents and then sealed with caulk. Do your best to isolate your house and avoid the infestation.
  • Sanitation. To get rid of brown recluse spiders and avoid their attraction to your home you should stick to the simplest sanitation practices, such as cutting tall grass and ivy, moving all debris away from home, improving storages, reducing clutter, etc. Keep to all the sanitation rules, and your house will be safe and sound.

Non-chemical Methods of Killing Brown Recluse SpidersIf brown recluse spiders infestation is rather severe, and to cope with it is much more difficult than you have thought, try to follow these simple steps, but do it thoroughly:

  • Inspect bedding before going to bed.
  • Make sure to seal all the shoes and clothing into plastic bags.
  • If you store your clothing and shoes in wardrobes or closets, shake them well before use.
  • Move your bed, couch or settee away from walls to avoid spiders climbing on them and hiding under the mattress or among cushions.

Glue Board Trap

Brown Recluse ExterminationAnother way to get rid of spiders is using glue boards. It is a rather popular method of capturing not only brown recluse spiders, but also other pests like cockroaches.

These boards are sold at hardware and some grocery stores and look like thin sticky cardboards. The more glue boards you use, the faster you will get rid of all the spiders.

Treatment by glue boards should be carried out before applying insecticide agents.

Anyway, there are lots of places where you can place them, and besides being very useful in detection they can also kill many spiders that may wander around your premises. Treatment by glue boards should be carried out before applying insecticide agents.


Unfortunately, not all the spiders in your home can be trapped by glue boards, especially adult females. Therefore, there is a good solution to apply certain insecticides to corners, cracks and other places where brown recluses may hide.

These are rather effective and include:

  • Delta Dust (deltamethrin) – colorless and odorless mixture that causes nerve damage in pests.

    Careful! Avoid contact with eyes, skin, and clothing. It’s harmful to pets and might provoke eye and skin irritations.
  • Tri-Die Silica Gel – professional pesticide. It is applied under or behind insulation in basements and/or attics, behind electrical outlet plates, cracks, etc. Penetrates deep into the surfaces and has a residual effect.


Among various sprays these three are the most often used:

  • 565 PLUS XLO – has a slight odor, ideal for space treatment and direct contact, should be of room temperature when used.
  • CB-80 Extra – has a wide range of effects, sprayed in cracks and hidden surfaces using a special nozzle.
  • Ortho® Elementals® Home Insect Killer – is a completely safe and effective remedy, contains 100% natural and active soybean oil, easy to clean if spilt.

How to Get Rid of House Spiders

If your home is invaded by other types of spiders, e.g. brown recruit spider or brown lacrosse spiders, getting rid of house spiders is conducted in the following way:

  • Seal up your apartment
  • Keep outdoor flashlight off
  • Remove all debris
  • Keep the house clean and tidy: vacuum the webs, put glue traps, apply insecticides or call a professional exterminator if something goes wrong.

Spider Identification Chart

Now that you know everything about how to get rid of brown recluse spiders, it won’t be difficult for you to identify them among other species, avoid infestation and be ready to deal with them if necessary.

Take your time to inspect your home with a flashlight, clean crevices, and corners, behind furniture and clutters, above ceilings and behind baseboards thoroughly and make your place discomfort for pests. Better safe than sorry.

You can find further details of Spiders Control here.