You’ve probably hear horror stories about recluse spiders, especially the most famous species, the brown recluse spider. Brown recluse bites can cause pain, severe infection, swelling, ulcers, and other medical complications. They are a common and dangerous pest in many areas of the United States, and should receive prompt attention from Mesa pest services.
There are several species of recluse spiders in the United States, but only two of these species are likely to be found in homes in Arizona. They are the Arizona recluse and desert recluse. According to the Arizona Cooperative Extension, there are no known established colonies of brown recluse spiders in Arizona, and they are not native to the state.
The chance of seeing a brown recluse spider in Arizona is rare, but it’s not uncommon to see Arizona recluse or desert recluse spiders in, around, or near your home or work. Your trusted Mesa pest control company can help you find the tools you need to identify a recluse spider, get them out of your home, avoid recluse spider bites, and prevent infestations in the future.
Recluse spiders are commonly known as “fiddleback” or “violin” spiders because they have a violin shape on their cephalothorax. However, this is not a foolproof method of identification because the desert recluse is typically a uniform brown color, which makes the violin marking difficult to see. Striped wolf spiders and other solid brown spiders are often misidentified as recluse spiders, but can still infest homes and may need attention from Mesa pest services.
When fully grown, recluse spiders can be as large as one inch in diameter. One interesting feature is that they have only six pairs of eyes, instead of the eight pairs of eyes that most spiders have. Their webs are irregular, flat, and sticky, making them easy to overlook and often unseen by humans even when they have infested a home.
Brown recluse spiders are known to live near humans primarily in urban areas. They rely on buildings and man-made structures for shelter. In contrast, desert and Arizona recluse spiders are less reliant on people and most often found living far away from people, where they won’t be bothered. Since they like dry, dark places, they are often found in dead cacti, wood piles, cracks in stone or block walls, storage areas, attics, and other piles of debris that are undisturbed. The spiders spend their days sitting in their webs, and often go on foraging missions away from their website at night. When an infestation of desert or Arizona recluse spiders happens, there usually are fewer spiders in one area than there are with brown recluse infestations. This can make them harder to find and identify, and means you’ll want the experience of a qualified Gilbert pest control company.
Since recluse spiders usually make their homes in piles of debris or clothing, storage areas, wood piles, and other undisturbed places, the best way to avoid providing shelter for them is to keep your home clean and tidy, including places such as the corners of closets and basement storage areas. Keep wood and organic garden debris stacked away from your home and avoid wood chip mulch around your home’s foundation. Avoid leaving clothing on the floor. Clothing and other storage items should be kept in airtight plastic containers or sealed plastic bags, rather than in cardboard boxes or open piles.
Keep in mind that recluse spiders can hitchhike their way into your home on firewood, clothing, or other items you bring in from the desert. Prevent bites from recluse spiders by shaking out clothing before putting it on, especially if the garment has been laying on the floor. Check through items when taking them out of storage, and check the inside of your shoes before putting them on. Be cautious when cleaning out sheds or dark corners of basements and when working with wood debris.
In the hours following a bite from a recluse spider, the affected area will become red and swollen, and may turn into a blister. If left untreated, the bite may develop a weeping sore or painful ulcer. If you think you may have been bitten by any kind of recluse spider, seek medical attention right away because individual reactions to bites can vary widely and can occasionally be very severe, especially if you are allergic to the venom.
Although they are painful, recluse spider bites are rarely fatal, and will sometimes resolve without any medical attention. Complications are often the result of untreated infection from an open sore or an allergic reaction. It’s also common for other infections and skin conditions to be misdiagnosed as recluse spider bites. You’ll want to watch for the characteristic puncture marks on your skin or gather the details about the spider if you see it so it can be properly treated. When in doubt, always seek medical attention.
If you suspect a recluse spider infestation in your home, call Varsity Termite and Pest Control. We specialize in removal of all types of spiders, using a multi-targeted treatment that disrupts nesting areas and webs, kills the spiders, and also prevents them from re-entering your home. Our technicians are friendly, respectful, and knowledgeable. To schedule your consultation, give us a call today!
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