What Spiders Eat Brown Recluse?

What Spiders Eat Brown Recluse?

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions we have received.
They are organized by category/subject.

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Where do Hobo and Recluse Spiders live?

Hobo Spiders live in the Northern United States as well as Canada.

They can be found anywhere in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado,and Southern British Columbia.

We feel that it is likely that there are Hobos in Northern California. We have also received spider samples from the many parts of Mid-West and North Eastern USA which appear to be Hobo spiders. The Red areas of the maps show regions with Hobo Spiders.

Recluse Spiders live in the southern United States from California to Florida and up to Nebraska & Missouri and over to Virginia.

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I saw/caught a Spider. How can I identify it?

First, visit the Identification Page to find a match. If you can’t find your spider, send an email to [email protected] and ask how to proceed. Let them know if you have digital pictures, live samples, or other resources.

What do Hobo and Brown Recluse Spiders look like?

Male Hobo Spider

Female Hobo Spider

Hobo Spiders are brown and measure roughly 12 to 18 mm in length. Their legs show no distinct rings and have short hairs. Their abdomens have several chevron shaped markings.

Males are distinctively different from females in that they have two large palps that look like boxing gloves. These palps are often mistaken for fangs or venom sacs, but they are in fact the male genitalia.

The females also have these palps, but the ends are not ‘swollen’ as they are on the males. Females tend to have a larger abdomen when compared to males.

The most recognized feature of the Brown Recluse spider is violin pattern on the cephalothorax or, in other words, the location on the top side of the spider near the head. Thus they have been nicknamed the Fiddleback Spider. This characteristic is common in adult brown recluses, but some young brown recluse spiders do not have any contrasting pigmentation in the violin region.

Recluse spiders also have abdomens devoid of any coloration pattern. Their legs lack thickened spines but are covered with fine hairs.

Unlike most U.S. spiders, the Brown Recluse spider has six eyes arranged in pairs called dyads. (Most U.S. spiders have eight eyes arranged in two rows of four.) One dyad is anterior, or toward the front, and the other two are lateral, or toward the sides of the cephalothorax (where the first legs of the spider attach to the body). All 13 species of U.S. recluses have this same eye pattern.

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What does a Brown Recluse Spider Bite look like?

To the left is a picture of a Hobo Spider bite. Brown Recluse bites are the same. About 50% of bites are ‘dry,’ meaning that no venom is injected, and nothing happens to the victim. Often times the victim does not even realize that he has been bit.

See also:  How A Spider Bite Look?

What will happen after I’m bit?

Typically, when venom is injected, the victim will experience an immediate redness which develops around the bite, then begins to disappear within a few hours. Very often, for the first 24 hours, the bite appears to be no worse than that of a mosquito; then it begins to blister in the center. Within 24 to 36 hours the blister breaks open leaving an open, oozing ulceration.

This ulceration ‘scabs’ over within three weeks from the initial bite, leaving a permanent scar. If the bite is delivered in fatty tissue, the lesion may be very deep and extensive and not heal for two or three years. Systematic reactions to Hobo Spider poisoning include severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, soreness, and flu-like symptoms.

What should I do if I get bit?

Consult a physician. In extreme cases where the bite was not taken care of early, skin graft, amputation, and the possibility of bone marrow failure may occur.

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What are natural preditors of Hobo and Brown Recluse Spiders?

There are 3 major predator spider types that if found in homes seem to reduce the amount of Hobo spiders: the Steatoda spiders, Large jumping spiders, and the other harmless European House spiders.

Pets such as cats will feed on Hobo and Brown Recluse spiders after playing with them. The preying mantis will also eat Hobo spiders but due to its day time activity and the Hobo spiders night time activity optimum results are not achieved.

Other competitors or predators would include birds, cats, «cat face» spiders, wolf spiders, some crab spiders, several wasps, and other web weavers that may catch a hobo in its web and then feast. The reason for some of the effectiveness of these other insects is not because they are incredible hunters. Instead, it is because of competitive exclusion or in other words, there just isn’t enough room or food for the hobo spider so it won’t try to make a home.

How can I control Hobo and Brown Recluse Spiders?

The foremost expert on Hobo Spiders, stated that «. . . traps are far and away the most safe and effective measure that can be used for controlling hobo spiders indoors.» And, in fact, traps have shown to be the most effective means available to control Hobo & Brown Recluse Spider populations.

In order to kill Hobo or Brown recluse spiders with pesticides you usually have to hit the spider directly with large doses. The problem with non discriminate spraying is that you kill the good competitor and predator spiders and insects and thus make more room for the more mobile and hardy Hobo & Brown recluse spiders. This will often lead to a worse problem as one man witnessed in 1997 in his own home.

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Big H products also offers a large catalog of great products for Home & Garden such as Fly traps, Yellow Jacket Traps, Diggit TM tools, novelty lighters, and more.
Click here to see our complete catalog of products.

Email Photos of Spider Bites — Are they Real?

Many people have been circulating a series of images showing a terrible bite with the skin deteriorating to the bone claiming the injury to be a brown recluse spider bite. An expert offers the following:

It is possible that the wound did result from a recluse bite. However, a number of aspects of this story are pretty suspicious, and have the classic symptoms of a hoax.

No one can seem to verify where the alleged bite occurred, whether a spider was caught in the act of biting or at the scene of the crime, whether the victim was tested for additional etiologic agents of necrosis such as bacterial infection, if a doctor actually made the diagnosis or it was a self-diagnosis from the victim, if the diagnosis came from an area of the country that actually has brown recluses, etc.

Some versions of this have included a picture of a spider that was supposed THE spider that caused the wound. Not so. It is a stock photo from an Ohio university website. This image was used last year in a very hyperbolic news story in Long Island.

The final summary on this is that if it indeed is a brown recluse bite, then it is truly one of the rare, horrific ones however, there is not sufficient information provided with this image to ascertain whether it is credible or not.

Rick Vetter Entomology Univ. Calif. Riverside Riverside, CA 92521

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What Spiders Eat Brown Recluse?

It’s their active season. Here are some things you might not know.

Brown recluse spider. The photo shows its size in relation to a quarter. Image via Kansas State Research and Extension.

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It’s brown recluse spider season. That’s the spider with the violin markings on its back – sometimes called the fiddleback spider, brown fiddler, or violin spider. Brown recluse spiders are rather shy and nonaggressive, but they have a powerful poison. Occasional bites happens because people and brown recluses often share the same living space. These spiders like dark corners and places inside the house, and also live under the furniture, boxes and books. From a research team at Kansas State University’s Department of Entomology, here are 10 things to know about these venomous spiders that like to live where we do:

1. Brown recluse spiders are found outdoors in the U.S. Midwest, as well as inside structures. They tend to thrive in the same environments that humans do.

2. Brown recluse spiders are venomous, but bites do not always result in large, necrotic lesions where surrounding tissue dies. Often, the bite goes unnoticed and only results in a pimple-like swelling. However, some people develop a necrotic wound (with blood and pus) which is slow to heal, with the potential for a secondary infection. If you know you’ve been bitten, catch the spider if safely possible, and show it to medical personnel for clear identification.

3. They readily feed on prey that is dead, so are attracted to recently killed insects. However, they can and will also attack live prey.

4. Brown recluses build small, irregular webs in out-of-the-way places but do not use these to capture prey. They tend to hide in the dark and move around at night searching for prey.

5. A brown recluse is tiny when it first emerges from the egg case and takes several molts to reach adulthood, six to 12 months. Remember, they are only active from March to October so this may take one to two years. Then they may live two to three years as adults. Females can produce two to five egg cases during this time (two or three is most common) and each may contain 20 to 50 spiderlings.

6. Sticky traps for spiders and other insects, available at most hardware and garden stores, work well to trap brown recluse spiders. They may not significantly reduce the numbers, but definitely help, and are a great way to detect and monitor the spider populations.

7. Brown recluse spiders are mostly only active from March through October, so trying to control them from October through March is generally not necessary or useful.

8. Insecticides labeled to control brown recluse spiders kill the spiders, but must be sprayed directly on them, or the spider needs to come into direct contact with the treated area while it is still damp. Otherwise, little control is achieved.

9. Brown recluse spiders are better controlled with insecticides on non-carpeted surfaces.

10. Preventative measures like sealing cracks in foundations and walls, clearing clutter in and around the home, moving woodpiles away from the house, placing sticky traps in low traffic areas and spraying pesticides can help eliminate brown recluse populations within the home.

Bottom line: Ten facts about brown recluse spiders.


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7 Things You Need to Know About the Brown Recluse Spider

Spiders are an important part of the ecological system, as well as any household. These multi-legged creatures eat other spiders and insects that you probably don’t want crawling around. But some spiders, regardless of their diet, are dangerous to humans as well as pets, and should be destroyed if they have taken up residence in your home.

The brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa), is one such spider.

The brown recluse is an unusual arachnid, with many quirks and characteristics you need to know about. Here are our top seven things we think you need to know about the dangerous brown recluse.

1) Where Do Brown Recluse Spiders Live?

There are a few ways your home can be attractive to the brown recluse: if there’s a place to hide and food to eat. Any bug or animal will enter your home if it has these things and if your home has gaps and cracks that haven’t been taken care of, your home may even be more susceptible to a brown recluse invasion.

There are several good hiding spots for a brown recluse:

  • Overgrown vegetation surrounds your home
  • Your home has a woodpile outdoors (or, even indoors!)
  • There’s construction going on around your home and materials have been left in your yard.
  • Interior clutter inside your home, especially in closets, attics, basements, and other dark, still places.

2) What Does the Brown Recluse Like to Eat?

The brown recluse is a hunter, plain and simple, and likes to eat other small bugs. For this reason, it’s important to have an ongoing pest control plan in place to keep these invaders out of your home. For more information on how a pest control plan can help you, give our team a call at 515-518-8864 today.

3) What Does a Brown Recluse Look Like?

The brown recluse is an interesting arachnid with some very unusual features. The brown recluse is, well, brown, but perhaps the best way to confirm its identity is through its signature violin-shaped marking on its body. This marking isn’t always the exact shape of a violin but it will be a slightly darker shade of brown than the rest of the body. If there are color variations other than brown, or if its legs are a darker brown than its body, it’s not a brown recluse. While some spiders have “spine” markings on their legs, the brown recluse has several fine hairs. The width of a brown recluse body is about a ½ an inch.

See also:  When To Seek Treatment For A Spider Bite?

Interestingly, this spider has only six eyes, unlike most spiders that have eight.

4) Is the Brown Recluse Poisonous?

The brown recluse is not poisonous, it’s actually considered venomous. While the terms both refer to toxic chemicals, the difference is all in the delivery. Poison works through touch, ingestion, or inhalation whereas venom is injected directly into the wound.

The venom that a brown recluse possesses is actually several times more poisonous than several venomous snakes. Lucky for humans, its tiny fangs aren’t capable of injecting the same amount of poison that a snake can. In fact, the brown recluse has smaller fangs than most other spiders. Nonetheless, it is still entirely capable of biting a human and injecting its venom.

5) What are the Long-Term Effects of a Brown Recluse Spider Bite?

While painful, there typically aren’t any long-term effects from a recluse spider bite in healthy adults. Most bites will resolve themselves within a week, though if you believe you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider, see a doctor immediately and try to catch the spider if possible. In a small minority of cases, more severe complications can occur.

A small subset of bites can become necrotic, meaning the affected tissue will die and slowly begin to decompose. This can cause secondary complications. While exceedingly rare, it’s always important to see a doctor if you believe you’ve been bitten by a brown recluse.

6) How Can I Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders?

Since moving around in your sleep would be considered an act of provocation by a brown recluse, it is imperative that you gear up, so to speak if you plan to handle one. Be sure to don full-length pants, a long-sleeved, shirts, boots, and gloves.

Identify any potential spots in your home where they might be living. The brown recluse prefers to live indoors but can survive outside if necessary. Dark places like attics, crawl spaces, garages, and heating ducts are common abodes. Additionally, the brown recluse spider may take up residence behind baseboards, closets, and crevices near the bed. Outdoor locations include outbuildings and woodpiles.

Ensuring that traps are out of reach for children and pets, place glue boards or sticky cards in these areas and check the traps daily. While these cards are effective for trapping, they don’t typically destroy an infestation.

Insecticidal dusts and sprays are far more effective for controlling a large population of brown recluse spiders. Protective gear such as safety masks and goggles are highly recommended. Use these products to spray or puff into identified cracks and crevices where they are living, as well as along the base of your home’s foundation.

Not comfortable getting rid of a recluse infestation on your own? Give Miller a call today at 515-518-8864!

7) What Spiders Look Like a Brown Recluse Spider?

There are four spiders that are commonly mistaken for the brown recluse:

  • Southern House Spider- most commonly found in Florida, these spiders don’t hide out in the same areas as the brown recluse and they’re not known to be dangerous.
  • Spitting Spider- not dangerous to humans, these spiders lack the violin markings the brown recluse has.
  • Funnel Weavers- they weave a funnel-shaped web, often out in the open, but have a variety of colors on their body versus the single color of the brown recluse.
  • Orb weavers- common in Kentucky, like funnel weavers they have a variety of colors on their body.


Understanding the basic details, potential threats, and how to properly identify this unusual spider are the first steps to getting rid of a brown recluse infestation. If you are bitten, contact a medical professional immediately. A bite from a brown recluse spider can cause extensive tissue damage if left untreated.

Miller Pest & Termite recognizes that all homes and infestations are different; we will customize a plan for your particular situation and get rid of these dangerous pests quickly.

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To learn more about how we can rid your home of brown recluse spiders,

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