Active Pests In Southern Wisconsin: Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders have a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back. These spiders often infest cedar shake roofs and spin irregular webs, which are used as a retreat.

Pest Stats

Color: Light to dark brown, with characteristic dark brown violin marking on back

Legs: 8

Shape: Round

Size: ¼ – ½ inch long

Antennae: No

Region
Found in the south central Midwest in Southern Wisconsin & Northern Illinois and from Ohio to Nebraska and south through Texas to Georgia

Habits
Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal and eat other small bugs like cockroaches and crickets. These spiders spin irregular webs, which are not used for catching prey but rather as a retreat.

Habitat
Brown recluse spiders often live outdoors where they are typically found around rocks, utility boxes and woodpiles. Indoors, brown recluses can be found in any undisturbed area, such as inside boxes, among papers, in seldom-used apparel and shoes, under furniture or in crevices of window moldings. Closets, attics, crawl spaces and basements are the most common brown recluse spider hiding spots.

Threats
Like the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider bites in defense and does not bite humans instinctively. However, both female and male brown recluse spiders can bite and inject venom. The brown recluse’s bite is usually not felt, but results in a stinging sensation followed by intense pain as long as six to eight hours later. A small blister usually develops at the bite location that can turn into an open ulcer. Restlessness, fever and difficulty sleeping are common symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite.

Brown Recluse Spider Prevention
To avoid brown recluse spiders, do not leaving clothing on the floor. Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers, and shake out all clothing that has been in a hamper before wearing or washing. To get rid of brown recluse spiders, contact a pest professional with brown recluse spider control experience.