What to Do if You Find a Brown Recluse in Your Home?

Loxosceles reclusa, or the “brown recluse spider,” is known for its nasty, venomous bite, and the last thing you want in your home is a brown recluse infestation. 

We’ll discuss how to get rid of brown recluse spiders, how to treat their bites, and common hiding places for brown recluse spiders to hide, such as around utility pipes and door sweeps. We will also cover more natural methods for pest control, including treatment with diatomaceous earth and strong scents such as essential oils. 

If I see one brown recluse spider – Do I have a brown recluse infestation?

You never know if there are more brown recluse spiders around your home, so you will want to (safely) check bed skirts, small openings in the exterior walls, storage areas, crawl spaces, and wall voids for signs of a spider population. 

Most spiders can be found in these conditions, and like other spiders, the brown recluse can, too, hiding in undisturbed areas. 

If you’ve found more than one brown recluse in your home, that warrants a call to your local pest control professionals for a thorough evaluation by experienced people that have dealt with brown recluse infestations. 

What to do if you find a brown recluse in your house?

The brown recluse spider is venomous, and although its bite is rarely fatal, the last thing you want to have is one in your home. 

You can start by setting up sticky traps in hopes of catching them yourself, but with this pest, it’s best to call the professionals. Brown recluse spiders can give a nasty bite, so it’s best to leave them to be dealt with people who know how to arm themselves and protect against a potential brown recluse spider bite

You can search areas at a safe distance if you want to check around for yourself if multiple brown recluse spiders are lurking about, but wear long sleeves to avoid brown recluse spider bites. 

Brown Recluse Spider in your room


Adult brown recluse spiders have long legs, fine hairs, a dark brown fiddle pattern, or violin-shaped marking on their back. They are known to spin webs, so carrying a hand-held vacuum might be wise on your spider hunt; it’s a safe way to get rid of brown recluse spiders. 

How to get rid of a brown recluse spider infestation 

The best way to kill brown recluse spiders is to call a professional pest control company to deal with these venomous spiders.

In the meantime, there are several things you can do independently, including natural remedies, that will help repel brown recluse spiders: 

  • Diatomaceous earth is known to prevent lots of different spiders and other insects, so you can sprinkle some in areas where you have seen any home pests or egg sacs. 
  • Like most spiders and other insects, they don’t like strong scents, so have fun with the peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils to repel spiders and other household pests. 
  • Apple cider vinegar is another natural remedy for general pest control and avoiding a brown recluse bite. Just add a dash of dish soap, and you’ve got a natural sticky spider trap. These spiders will also avoid the strong scent of the apple cider vinegar, so while it will attract and drown flies, it will deter or inadvertently trap spiders. 
  • Brown recluse spider insecticides are only effective when used directly on a brown recluse spider or if the spider walks over a damped surface of the insecticide. It’s not the best of spider traps and kills to get rid of brown recluse spiders, but you can spray barriers around your home to prevent brown recluse spiders from entering in the first place. 

How to prevent brown recluse spiders?

Be sure to seal cracks you may find in your foundation or around your window sills, set sticky traps, and glue traps to address the spider problem head-on. 

You can use an insecticide spray on an egg sac pile or directly on the brown recluse spider, but this is only effective if there is just one brown recluse and her egg sac. 

You need to check through hiding places of spiders and other nuisance insects before feeling comfortable again in your home. 

What to do if a brown recluse has bitten you 

First of all, always seek medical attention. You never know how you will react to the brown recluse venom, and it’s wise to have a health professional look at your bite. Brown recluse bites will cause dead tissue to form if left untreated, and you can have an allergic reaction to the brown recluse venom, so it’s important to act quickly. 

Brown recluse spider bite


An itchy, red bump will likely form over the coming days, eventually forming a small blister. The best you can do is keep the area clean and avoid inflammatory foods and drinks; they will slow down the healing process. 

Male vs female brown recluse spiders 

Generally, the female has a larger abdomen than the male, but it can be hard to tell the gender of a brown recluse without a side-to-side comparison. 

The “pedipalps,” or thick, fuzzy appendages in front of its mouth, serve as the male sex organ in this strange affair between spiders. If you aren’t familiar with brown recluse spiders, it’s best not to get close enough to decipher the gender… 

Where do brown recluses live?

They will seek a quiet, undisturbed location such as:

  • a shoebox,
  • storage bin,
  • under furniture,
  • and in seldom-used shoe

Take a flashlight in addition to the hand vacuum. 

Where do brown recluses liveOutdoors they will seek shelter in holes of trees, under large debris, or deep within the brush, so it’s best to hike cautiously if you live around a non-coastal, mid to southeastern region and some non-coastal Northeastern areas. 

Don’t ever go hiking or walking through the woods in sandals! Not only is that extremely uncomfortable, but you’re leaving your skin open to a variety of sticks and weeds to poke at you, let alone running across a brown recluse spider that might feel threatened by your shadow. 

What attracts brown recluse spiders?

Cardboard is a particularly well-liked spider location; it’s dark, sometimes a little damp, and a cardboard box forgotten about is a quiet, safe location for brown recluses to call home. 

Frequently asked questions

Can I touch a brown recluse spider? 

That would be a foolish thing to do; these spiders are venomous, and they have one nasty, painful bite that will give ongoing symptoms for at least multiple days. There is no reason to touch a brown recluse spider unless you want to get bitten! Stay far away from these guys, especially if you don’t know if you are allergic to their venom; that could lead to a deadly situation. 

What do brown recluse spiders eat? 

Like other spiders, they eat various insects, including other brown recluse spiders! They eat flies, moths, cockroaches, crickets; you name it. They are essentially opportunistic hunters and will eat anything they think they can kill, which is a very wide window from their tiny perspective. 

How do brown recluses eat?

They don’t sit back and patiently wait for their food to become snared in a trap. Instead, brown recluses can run relatively quickly, and they will chase down their prey before injecting poison into the victim. They are known to eat their prey while it is still alive… They do not wrap up prey in a web to save for later as you see in the movies. 

Are brown recluses and wolf spiders the same thing? 

Wolf spiderNo, the wolf spider is a totally different species. They are much hairier and larger than brown recluse spiders, so it’s actually not that difficult to tell the difference between them. Additionally, the wolf spider has eight eyes, while the brown recluse only has six, and wolf spiders feed on brown recluses. 

Do brown recluse spiders bite multiple times?

Brown recluses do not need to bite multiple times since their venom is intended to stun and kill prey. Instead, they usually leave one large bite, where a red bump forms. It will be itchy for a few days to come, but the best you can do is treat the symptoms with anti-itch creams and antihistamines to lower the inflammation to speed up the healing process. 

Final thoughts

These dark brown monstrosities can cause serious damage, injecting their poison into unsuspecting victims. The venom seeps into the prey, subduing and killing it as the spider devours its meal.

They can survive for months without food or water, so opening an attic after six months doesn’t mean that you are spider-free. You have to be cautious because you never know if a brown recluse is hiding in that old shoe or dusty storage bin.

If you are ever in doubt about a possible spider infestation, you should always call a professional in the pest control business to handle these venomous beasts.

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