Brown Recluse Spiders

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Brown recluse spiders

Brown recluse spiders are prominent in Missouri. I read once that 70% of all Missouri homes have the Brown Recluse spider, including mine. I am unsure if that number is accurate or not.One thing is for sure, I know I have them.

At first I was really scared.  After all we had 6 children we were raising in this spider infested home. I was seeing 4-5 Brown recluse spiders a day.  Although at that time I did not know what they were or anything about them.

I first heard the name Brown Recluse spider when we were tearing out a wood paneled wall and old fire place to remodel. When the wall was open I saw hundreds of what I thought was spider carcasses. It was at that moment I became scare, almost panicky.  My lovely husband, (The Antman) began to educate me on the Brown Recluse spider. Those were not carcasses. Since the Brown Recluse spider molts and sheds its exoskeleton as it grows, those spiders were alive and well.

That was 12 years ago. Fortunately we have never had on incident with the Brown Recluse spider. We have had several close calls, but no bites. Over the years I can tell the numbers have been reduced. I only see one or two a year.

I continued to educate myself on the Brown recluse spider. I discovered a lot of things about their habits and their life cycle. For instance houses that set vacant for a period of time are prone to have Brown Recluse, along with homes that have a lot of natural like wood, shake shingle roofs, cedar trim, log homes, wooden landscaping timber, and homes in wooded areas.  Brown Recluse spiders are not limited to these areas only. They are in commercial buildings, hay bales, and children’s toys, just to name a few.

While researching the Brown Recluse spider I found a lot of useful information on spider bite prevention and spider deterrents.  Some of the things that I have done that have helped reduced the numbers of Brown recluse spiders are:

  1. Never store in card board boxes. I use plastic containers whenever possible.  Card board boxes are attractants to Brown recluse spiders. It mimics their natural habitat. Plus, once things are boxed up you really don’t get in to them that often. So this makes for a nice, dark, quiet hide out.
  2. Reduce clutter in and around your home. The more things you have stacked around the more hiding places you are providing.  Keep clothing off the floors. Brown Recluse spiders love to hide under clothes. Keep vines trimmed away from the house. Keep wood piles and yard waste away from your home.
  3. If you have a dust ruffle or bed skirt on your bed make sure that is not touching the floor. This is a direct highway to your bed. Make sure that your bedding is tucked in and not touching the floor. I am sure you have heard the horror stories of people getting bit at night while they are sleeping.
  4. Make sure your bed is not against the wall. The Brown Recluse spider has great difficulty climbing smooth surfaces. If there is texture he can climb it.
  5. When going into an area that is not frequented (attics, cellars unused basements, ect.) use caution and wear clothing that covers your legs and arms.  Wear gloves if you will be rummaging through things. The fangs of the Brown recluse spider are small and rarely can penetrate through clothing.
  6. Seasonal clothing should be stored in plastic containers. Shoes should be stored in plastic containers. The Brown Recluse spider loves shoes for whatever reason. If you will not be using plastic storage at least check items thoroughly before putting them on.
  7. Take the time to examine your home thoroughly. If you see areas that a small insect could possibly make their way into your home through, seal them up. Calking or expandable foam work very well.
  8. Call an experience exterminator. Your home should be treated inside, outside, crawlspace and attic at least once a year during their breeding season. Breeding begins usually in May and can last through August. The best time to treat is when they are out. In severe cases to reduce the numbers quickly you should have your home treated more often. I had my home treated monthly inside until we were at a comfortable level.
  9. To prepare for a Professional Brown recluse treatment clear baseboard areas, clear areas under sinks, clear base board areas  in closets, provide access to attic and crawl spaces.
  10.  If you or a family member is bitten by a Brown Recluse spider seek medical attention immediately. If at all possible bring the spider with you to the Dr. or the ER.

We are available to answer questions Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm at 417-880-2687 or you can e-mail questions to

To schedule an appointment for Brown Recluse treatment in the Springfield Missouri and surrounding area Call 417-880-2687



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