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Black Widows and Brown Recluses: Everything You Need to Know

Sep 16, 2020 -- Posted by : Thomas Pest Control

Not all spiders are innocuous and a bite from one could mean a trip to the Emergency Room. So if you’ve always been squeamish, it's well justified. Also, not all spiders love inching leisurely up your water spout either. In fact, two of the world’s most venomous spiders, the Black Widow and Brown Recluse, are exceptionally stealthy, and could have several hiding spots in and around your home or business. Here’s what you need to know to help identify these species, and how you can prevent and treat infestations.

How to Identify a Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spider

According to National Geographic, you can identify a Black Widow or Latrodectus by its tell-tale black body and legs and reddish to yellowish hourglass marking on its abdomen. These spiders are roughly 0, 25 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches long.

Brown recluse spiders, also known as Loxosceles, are brownish with one-inch legs and a violin-shaped marking on its back. The base of this ‘violin’ is located near the spider’s head, with the ‘violin’ neck facing the spider's rear-end. Brown Recluses also have six eyes, instead of eight.

Primary Characteristics of a Black Widow and Brown Recluse

Black Widow spiders are found around the globe and in the South and West regions of the United States, where the climate is temperate. They are solitary and prefer to shelter in dim crevices and spaces, cupboards, and garages. They may even hide out in your plants, provided it is web adaptable.

Female Black Widows eat their mates post mating, hence its macabre name. The female may also bite defensibly when protecting eggs. The venom injected during a bite can cause breathing difficulties, muscular pain, and nausea. A bite from this spider is particularly lethal to children and older people.

Brown Recluse spiders are native to the United States. Don’t be surprised to find these critters hiding out in litter or wood piles in the outdoors. They also love hiding in cupboards and bedding, and have a knack for crawling in folded clothing. Yikes right?

Also, chances are that if you see one, there may be more lurking around. Brown Recluse females manufacture egg sacs from May to July, with each sac comprising approximately 50 eggs. These spiders can also go without food for months, so infestations can occur easily.

They also only bite when defensive, especially if you accidentally apply pressure to them when they hide in clothing. Brown Recluse spider venom is stronger than that of a rattlesnake, although less dangerous, as venom is released in much smaller dosages. Bites can also cause excruciating ulcers.

Prevention and Infestation Control

Prevent Black Widows from entering your home by removing all clutter from your storage spaces. Trim weeds around your home’s foundation and eradicate all debris that could serve as hiding spots. Seal all crevices and vacuum any spider webs which could contain egg sacs. Avoid walking barefoot, and never tend to your garden sans gloves.

Keep Brown Recluse spiders at bay by placing your clothing in containers. Always keep clothes off the floor, and inspect clothing before wearing. Also keep trash and wood piles to a minimum.

Schedule an appointment with us for an effective evaluation and infestation prevention strategy, and say goodbye to ominous spider threats today!


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