Brown Recluse Spiders

The dreaded brown recluse.Perhaps no other spider has more bad press and instant culpability for bite wounds across America. Some 2000 bites per year are reported to poison control as brown recluse. Up to 80 % may be false. If you google brown recluse you get 1,030,000 results. People search the words brown recluse over 4000 times per day, probably much the same way you found this site. Fear and false information have made this spider into a national everyday problem but the truth may be far from that.

First bookmark this site so you can come right back. Great, now go to google and type in ‘False’ brown recluse bites. Alright I’ll save you some clicks. You would’ve seen that there are over 62,000 articles or sites reported. Far fewer in number as you can see then the original search.There is a lot of mis-information out there leading people to believe they’ve been bitten by this critter and these sites and reports can help you see why. Here’s a few of the points that can be misconstrued as brown recluse.

The brown recluse is also known as ‘Fiddle Back’ spider because it is the only one with a ‘fiddle’ or ‘violin’ shaped marking on its back. So that mark means it’s definitely a recluse.

Many spiders have similar markings, mostly little hunting type spiders. The best way to truly identify a brown recluse is that it only has 6 eyes ( instead of the normal 8 )
in 3 groups of 2.

Recluse are spread throughout the nation in large numbers in every state.

The brown recluse is not native to every state. The fact is they can’t thrive very well outside the areas indicated on the map shown here. So states such as Florida have no real over population of the spiders. Indeed the brown recluse has been found in Florida ( 6 confirmed cases in the last 100 years) but that’s mostly attributed to the spider being transported to the region via moving trucks or tucked away in some delivery vehicle.

Recluse bites do not heal until it reaches the bone.

The venom of a recluse is necrotic (containing 9 different proteins) and will deteriorate the flesh but many wounds heal with little or no treatment. Anti biotics are usually prescribed by doctors. And getting professional medical help is always strongly advised.

The brown recluse will seek you out and bite.

Recluse as the name indicates means they are shy in nature and prefer to hide in undisturbed usually dark areas. They usually only bite when disturbed or provoked. One family in Oklahoma had over two thousand recluse spiders removed from their home by professionals. They lived in there for two years before realizing they had a problem and no one in the home was ever bitten.

With all this said, if you should unfortunately be bitten by a brown recluse see a Doctor, or if you have a infestation in your home or business, call a professional. Even though there are a lot of misgivings and misinformation out there the fact remains that this spider can be dangerous and the consequences are too high to risk doing self treatments. Let the pros do it who have the know how and the tools. But hopefully this bit of information has eased your mind and will allow you to read the morning paper instead of rolling it up as a weapon.

The truth about Americas most deadly spiders” is a free e-book which you can choose to download and read at your leisure. Simply sign up for my also free newsletter and it’s your to keep. This is the first of many detailed writings that I have planned and I truly hope that you’ll enjoy it and use the information to keep your home spider free. If you missed the sign up box when you logged onto my site simply fill out the newsletter request form at the right of this page and shoot me an e-mail and I’ll get it right to you.

Information is a powerful thing and I hope together we can put to rest any undue arachnophobia’s.

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About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • Pam

    Wow… Great information. This is the first good photo that I’ve seen of what a Brown Recluse looks like. I live in North Carolina and have been told they are very common here and I thought I may have seen (and killed) several near our house but I wasn’t certain.

  • Pam

    Wow… Great information. This is the first good photo that I’ve seen of what a Brown Recluse looks like. I live in North Carolina and have been told they are very common here and I thought I may have seen (and killed) several near our house but I wasn’t certain.

  • admin


    I’m glad you got some good info. I am with you for the most part—-kill first id later. 🙂

    Thanks for reading

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  • Thanks Pam,

    I’ve had several people report them near you but remember-there are some look a likes which can be pretty harmless. Look for the eyes!

    The Bug Doctor


    i live on the South Carolina Coast and we defiantly have them here 

  • Thanks for the input– we might need to do some map updating ;)–

  • Wow very good info supplied in this article!  I am at work today and thought I had one in my inbox near my desk….thanks to your pics and general information I have concluded that it wasn’t one. Turns out to be just another hunter who fell from the ceiling.

  • Glad I could help but did you say “another hunter?”– does your job supply hats? lol

  • joshua

    very interesting information, living where i do its good to know.

    i have a brown recluse cross my path at least once a month, usually just minding its own business trying to get to its next spot, sadly for it, it never makes it.

  • You’d think they would change their path! lol

    Dealing with pests is about 80 -90% knowledge— Sounds like you got the upper hand- Good work

  • eis

    I just move out into the country in Arkansas.  This is the first time I saw a brown recluse, and if fact that is what I have all over my garage and around my house!  We have moved most of our boxes into the garage, now unpacking slowly as we buy furniture.  I have found a couple of brown recluses in each box so I have to unpack them in my garage.  In one hour I’ve seen more than a dozen.  They are everywhere around my house too.  I just tidies up some bins with tools and there were a whole bunch.  I squish each one.  Funny though, first one made my heart race and freaked me out.  Now, I just squish it with my finger.  I worry about my kids though.  Seems like it’s time to call professionals, but I live too far out there for anybody to come.  In addition, I need to be careful with chemicals around the house for health reasons.  What would professionals do anyway?  I am not sure if I’m better off with recluses around or the poison…..

  • Hi els,

    I don’t think you’re out to far for a pro to come in. I have accounts waaaaay out in the boonies and most of the techs I know do as well. I’m thinking you should give a company a chance. Picking your poison as it were, is a no brainer. Pest control products can be placed in exact places, doses and amounts. The relative exposure to you or anyone else in the home is next to nothing. You can’t say that about the recluse that can move about and you could have more venom in one bite than another. You could be bitten several times at once or per year–maybe you’ll get bitten in a very sensitive placed like your eyelid or throat…..

    You say poison I say treatment- you say recluses I say necrotic poison.

    It’s all in your perspective.

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  • Hey great post man!  I learned a lot in a little time. Which is all I had.  I must learn to write like that, lol.

  • Thanks- I’m usually pretty long winded, you caught me on a good day. 😉

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