Brown Recluse Identification, Pictures of Bites, Habitat, and Prevention

Brown Recluse Identification, Bite Images, Habitat, and Prevention

The brown recluse spider. The fiddleback spider. The brown fiddler. The violin spider. You may think I’ve just listed off an army of arachnids, but these names all describe the same thing. If you haven’t seen one of these, you’re lucky! If you have seen one and would like to learn about how to handle it, that’s even better! Let the experienced pest control professionals of Parker Pest Control break down what you need to know about the brown recluse spider.

What Does a Brown Recluse Spider Look Like?

The first thing you’ll notice about the name of this spider is that it can include the words “fiddle” or “violin.” This is due to the distinctive violin shape found on its cephalothorax – right behind its head.

The second important feature, if you’re ever close enough to see it, is the eyes. While most spiders have 8 eyes in 2 rows of 4 eyes each, the brown recluse spider has 6 eyes in 3 separated pairs.

As for size, you don’t have to worry about them being the monstrous bird-eating-sized spiders you hear about from Australia, as the brown recluse spider is only about the size of a dime.

Average Size of Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Habitat + Nests

Brown recluse spiders are found only in the lower states between Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
⦁ They love living in and around your home and are most active between the months of April and October.
⦁ They are even known to hitchhike on a box or a vehicle to travel from place to place.
⦁ In your home, the brown recluse spider will make its nest in dry, undisturbed places like ceilings, walls, attics, drawers, boxes, piles of shoes and clothing, or any other quiet, hidden places. Outside your home, brown recluse spiders will make nests in old piles of wood or outdoor furniture that are dry and undisturbed.
⦁ Brown recluse spiders spin mostly flat, messy looking webs to catch prey and protect their egg sacs. While this is their main source of food, the brown recluse spider can go months without eating!

Brown Recluse Spider Nest

What Does a Brown Recluse Bite Look Like?

Brown recluse spiders are reclusive, hence their name, so they aren’t interested in chasing after or biting you. Most bites occur when they are pushed up against your skin, when you’re putting on clothing with a brown recluse spider in it or rolling over at night, for example. These bites often hurt very little, if at all, and 90% of them heal without medical attention.

An early stage of the spider bite looks similar to the bite in the following image:

Early Stages of Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Stages of Brown Recluse Bites

If the brown recluse spider’s bite does progress, the venom can cause the bite to become necrotic, killing cells around the bite site. This can be seen in the following image:

Brown Recluse Spider Bite Issues

In severe cases, brown recluse spider bites can become further infected and even develop gangrene, as seen in the following image:

Gangrene from Brown Recluse Spider Bite
If you experience any of these, seek immediate emergency medical help!


To prevent an infestation, tape old boxes closed and clean undisturbed areas as regularly as you can! Sprays and insecticides, which work on many other pests, do not effectively control the brown recluse spider, but qualified professionals from Parker Pest Control can. If you suspect an infestation, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-324-2847, find pest control services near you, or request immediate services!

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