Did you know that there are over 58 species of spiders living with us in Florida? In this Spiders in Florida Series, we take a look at these spiders in Florida:
- Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa)
- Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)
- Northern Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus variolus)
- Red Widow Spider (Latrodectus bishop)
- Southern Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus genus)
In this series, we already covered the Most Common Domestic House Spiders in Florida.
- American House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)
- Daddy Long Legs (Opiliones order)
- Domestic House Spider (Tegenaria domestica)
- Jumping Spiders (Salticidae family)
- Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis),
- Yellow Sac Spiders (Cheiracanthium genus)
Below we discuss the Brown Recluse Spider in the Tampa Bay area:
Brown Recluse Spider
The Brown Recluse spider is also known as Loxosceles reclusa. According to the Department of Entomology at Penn State, the brown recluse is established in 15 states and can be found across the country in climates that range from the high humidity of Florida to the arid desert regions of Arizona and the cooler temperatures of the Midwest. You can find them indoors in basements, attics, crawl spaces, between walls, in furniture, and even in clothing. They’re often carried into the home via boxes and bags.
- Color: brown or greyish
- Size: oval body, about 1/3” long
- Features: 3 pairs of eyes plus dark, violin-shaped marking on body
The brown recluse’s venom has a cytotoxin that can affect the tissue at the bite site. Medical treatment is needed, as dangerous reactions from the venom can occur. These may include but are not limited to chills, fever, rash, pain, and nausea. Children are more sensitive to spider bites than healthy adults and may suffer life-threatening reactions, reports the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Brown Recluse spiders have violin-shaped markings on their back, which leads to their commonly being referred to as fiddleback or violin spiders. They only have six eyes arranged in pairs in a semicircle, as opposed to the regular eight.
They’re 6-11mm (0.24-0.43in), and light to dark brown, with a uniformly-colored abdomen covered in fine hairs.
Habitats and Habits
Brown Recluse spiders are notoriously shy which is why they are named “recluse”. These spiders are nocturnal in nature, and avoid humans as much as possible, building their webs in dark, secluded spaces, such as beneath porches and in deep closets.
A single female transported this way can infest a new building on her own, as they’re long-lived, can go many months without eating, only need to mate once to produce eggs, and can have 150 or more spiderlings in a year.
These spiders are venomous, but they rarely bite unless provoked. Many times this happens by mistake when they get caught in bedding or clothing.
Bites usually go unnoticed until the effects manifest after a few hours, and the severity of symptoms varies depending on the amount of venom, and the person’s sensitivity.
Typically a small white blister appears soon after the bite; the tissue may become hard, and develop a red, white or blue lesion. In extreme cases, the surrounding tissue can become gangrenous, leaving an open wound as large as a human hand, which can take eight weeks or longer to recover fully.
There is no effective antivenom, but if you’ve been bitten, you should obtain medical care immediately.
Brown Recluse Spiders are native to the U.S. and are endemic to the Midwest and the South.
To avoid these spiders, don’t leave clothing or shoes on the floor. If you find even one Brown Recluse, contact an exterminator as soon as possible, since this is usually an indication of an infestation.
We have different maintenance programs for unwanted pests like spiders, termites, roaches, ants, bed bugs, silverfish, fleas, and more. We offer same day, one-time, monthly, quarterly, and yearly extermination service programs which are all very effective pest control programs.
If you suspect a spider problem, contact a local experienced pest control company for an inspection immediately before they spread diseases?
Drive-Bye Exterminators offers home and commercial pest control services in Clearwater, Florida, and the surrounding areas. Family owned and operated for over 25 years, Drive-Bye Exterminators has state certified inspectors, and exterminators provide roach, subterranean termite, dry wood termite, roaches, spider, ant, and flea services to both commercial and residential clients. Whether a business owner needs help getting rid of a termite infestation, or a homeowner wants to rid their kitchen of ants, Drive-Bye Exterminators offers each client the same level of professionalism and excellence.