Houston Homeowners' Brown Recluse Spider Control Guide

a brown recluse spider on a houston home foundation

Brown recluse spiders can deliver a dose of venom that can cause serious problems for a person. Many spiders in Houston are misidentified as brown recluse spiders because people fear the brown recluse. True brown recluse spiders vary from brown to gray. They have slender, tapered legs and six eyes that are gathered in pairs in a semi-circle on their heads. They have a violin-shaped mark on the front part of their body that is quite dark. If a spider has more than six eyes or doesn’t have the violin mark, it isn’t a brown recluse spider.

Medical Issues With Brown Recluse Spider Bites

Brown recluses generally only bite when injured or are folded inside a piece of clothing or linen and crushed. The bite is painless, but 3-8 hours later it may be red, swollen, and tender. Most bites resolve on their own, healing in about three weeks. Some, however, are very serious. A brown recluse bite may form a red, patchy area of skin. This falls off and leaves an open wound. The wound does not heal well and may take several months to completely heal. In addition, some people get a systemic reaction within 72 hours of being bitten. This reaction causes rashes, fever, generalized itching, vomiting, diarrhea, shock, or death. If you think you have been bitten by a brown recluse, seek medical help immediately. 

Where To Find  Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders are shy and tend to be under clutter, in dark, quiet corners of the house, in garages, attics, in trunks, and under clothing that has not been disturbed for a while. They are nocturnal. If you see many of these spiders, you have another pest problem that is feeding the spiders. You may have one or two spiders or hundreds. 

Lifecycle of the Brown Recluse Spider

In Houston, the mating period is between April-July. Females produce up to five tan egg sacks with about 50 eggs in each sack, in their lifetime. The loosely formed egg sacks are attached to a surface until the eggs hatch. The female stays close to the egg sacks, while the males and juveniles are more likely to roam. The tiny spiders that hatch from the eggs go through five to eight molts before reaching maturity. It takes about a year to be sexually mature. Brown recluses live two to four years. 

Preventing Brown Recluse Spiders

The best way to treat brown recluse spiders is to prevent them from coming in. Here are some ways to do that.

  • Store clothing and shoes off the floor. 
  • Shake out clothes and shoes before wearing them. 
  • Seal cracks on the foundation and walls that might admit spiders. 
  • Make sure door and window screens are tightly fitted and have no holes in them. 
  • Remove clutter from the house. 
  • Store clothing and shoes that will not be used for a while in plastic storage containers with tight-fitting lids. 
  • Remove other pests that are the spider’s prey. 
  • Move beds out from walls so spiders cannot use them to get in the bed. 
  • Remove dust ruffles and bed skirts so spiders cannot use them to climb up into the bed.

Get Professional Help

Because of the seriousness of the bites from brown recluse spiders, it is important to get professional help to get rid of them. These spiders are known to be resistant to many pesticides. You will also need help eliminating the other pests that the spiders are feeding on. Cantu Pest & Termite can help. Our professional technicians will perform a complete inspection of your house. They will note any infestations of spiders and the pests they are feeding on. After the inspection, our technician will develop a customized treatment plan to remove all pests, including spiders. After the initial treatment, we will come out quarterly to make sure the pests do not return. Call Cantu Pest & Termite today to learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control solutions or help to get rid of brown recluse spiders in your Houston home. 

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