Brown Recluse Spider Control With a Sticky Trap

Updated on March 15, 2019
fcmosher profile image

I'm a life-long naturalist and citizen scientist with a deep and abiding curiosity about the natural world.

Are There Brown Recluse Spiders in Your House?

Brown recluse spiders (genus Loxoscleles) are fairly large, dark-colored spiders that live in corners and neglected spaces inside your home or garage. They come out at night to hunt for small insects and other spiders, and for this reason spiders in this group are sometimes called "wandering spiders." Some spiders in this group are among the most venomous arachnids in the world. The brown recluse bite causes little pain at first, but over time can cause a growing would as the toxin kills flesh. Brown recluse bite symptoms can be quite ghastly, with an ever-widening lesion that can develop over weeks and require surgery to repair.

Brown Recluse Spiders Can Deliver a Dangerous Bite

How to Kill Brown Recluse Spiders in Your House

Sticky traps are a very simple method of pest control. They're nothing more than a sticky surface that immobilizes and kills wandering spiders. These are "passive" traps that you don't need to set or attend to -- just check them once in a while, and when they're full of insects, simply throw them away.

The main drawback is that these traps will catch and kill beneficial insects as well as harmful ones. Centipedes and other basement arthropods are sure to wander into the trap, so it isn't wise to just put them out if you don't know you have a brown recluse problem.

Brown Recluse Spider Sticky Traps

Catchmaster 75M Bulk Mouse and Insect Glue Boards, 75-Pack
Catchmaster 75M Bulk Mouse and Insect Glue Boards, 75-Pack

In my experience, sticky traps are the best way to catch crawling insects and even mice. They don't use any poisons that might spread through your house or threaten your pets, and they don't need any upkeep. They have no moving parts and are very affordable. Basically, these are the best way to catch brown recluse spiders.

 

Spiders in a Sticky Trap

How to Identify Brown Recluse Spiders

You can identify brown recluse spiders by the violin shape on their back -- it's a reliable marking that even non-specialists can see. This marking may be faint or different in very young or immature brown recluse spiders. In adults, the combination of long thin legs, a pale brown body, and a darker violin mark on the back will serve to identify a brown recluse.

If you have a spider you do think is a brown recluse, carefully coax it into a jar or bottle and bring it to the nearest doctor's office. They will be able to tell you if it is indeed a brown recluse. If it is, you need to work to get rid of brown recluse spiders in your basement, house, or garage.

Weird Facts About Spider Webs

Most spiders spin a web with which they snare their prey. The "silk" that they use is actually a liquid that hardens when it comes into contact with the air. The spiders store this "web liquid" in their body until they need it to spin a web.

Since it takes a lot of energy and a lot of raw material to produce this substance, spiders regularly recycle it. This means that after they have had a web out for awhile, and it has become tattered or isn't producing enough prey, they literally eat the entire web and convert it back into web liquid. Then they move to a better spot and use the same material to spin a new web. If you are a student of spiders, or just like satching them do their thing, you will eventually witness a spider eating its own web.

Spiders typically produce different kinds of webbing for different jobs. For example, they use smooth, non-sticky webbing for places where they need to maneuver, and sticky areas for the parts that need to catch and hold the insects that are unfortunate enough to fall into the web.

Garden spiders are known to include a "warning stripe" in their webs to keep birds from flying through it and destroying it.

Brown Recluse Distribution in the U.S.

Source

Brown Recluse Hunting Habits

Brown recluse spiders do spin webs, but they are typically disorganized and not intended to snare prey. Instead, these and other "wandering spiders" catch prey by roaming around and looking for it. When they find a suitable target, they quickly catch, bite, and subdue the unfortunate insect.

Brown recluse spiders eat centipedes, cockroaches, silverfish, and other spiders, among other things. Overall, they are beneficial to the homeowner, since they help control some pretty nasty bugs. Unfortunately, their bite makes them a little too risky to have around, especially if there are a lot of them, or you have small children playing in the same area where the brown recluse spiders are living.

Brown Recluse Fangs

All spiders, including the brown recluse, are predators. They use sticky webs to snare prey, mostly insects, and they all have fangs. The fangs of the brown recluse, like other spiders, are sharp, hollow tubes that inject toxins into the prey to dissolve tissue and internal structures into a kind of soup. Once the prey has been liquified, the spider uses its fangs as straws to suck up the broth.

The huge fangs of the funnel-web spider.
The huge fangs of the funnel-web spider.

The Bite of the Brown Recluse

When a brown recluse bites, it releases a toxin that liquifies the cells of the prey. They then "drink" the liquified insides through their hollow fangs. This same toxin also destroys the tissue of humans, and some brown recluse bites can turn into slowly growing lesions that may ultimately be several inches across and consume both skin and muscle. Bites like these are seldom life-threatening, but the damage they cause can be very painful and disturbing, and can ultimately require reconstructive surgery.

Not all brown recluse bites turn into such a gruesome wound. As a matter of fact, some believe that the toxin itself is not what causes the worst damage -- instead, they suggest, it's the result of secondary infections that follow the original bite lesion.

A very severe brown recluse bite.
A very severe brown recluse bite.

Is It a Brown Recluse?

Have a look at THIS GUIDE for a detailed look at the brown recluse spider.

Before You Set Out Traps, Make Sure You Actually Have a Brown Recluse Infestation!

Your basement is host to a number of harmless and helpful insects, spiders, and other arthropods. Centipedes, especially, are your friend, because not only do they eat dead debris and other gunk, they also consume cockroach eggs. Pretty gross, but also pretty helpful.

Resources

The following sources were used for this article:

https://earthsky.org/10-things-to-know-about-brown-recluse-spiders

https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field/guide/brown-recluse-violin-spider

https://www.nature.com/articles/426030

https://owlcation.com/stem/brown-recluse-identification

https://www.livescience.com/brown-recluse-spiders.html

(all images public domain)

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)