As most of us have noticed, the brown recluse activity has been exceptionally high this year. Every single house has brown recluse, it is just a matter of how severe the problem is. Well, this year is no different. As for the answer as to why they are worse this year, I do not have an answer to that. However, this is a great time to go over some facts and myths about this beast.
First of all, brown recluse are just as the name implies, reclusive. What does this mean? It means that they prefer areas of seclusion, dark places that offer them a great place to hide. perfect example of this is in the cracks and crevices of your home. Behind Crown Molding, behind cabinets, inside chairs, inside shoes, even inside of clothing. Not the best place to be as far as I am concerned.
Now lets talk about the facts. Yes, as stated, every home has brown recluse spiders. Most of the time, they reside in attics and walls hidden deep in the insulation. Boxes and sheds are also a great place to find them. Many people will be rearranging or remodeling and find a problem in their home that they didn’t know existed. Is this a reason to panic? For the most part, NO. The reason for this is simple. Everyone has a different reaction to the venom of such spiders. It has been determined that an average of 23% of the population develops the Necrosis, or the rot that everyone has seen on the internet. Which first of all states that about 77% of the population will develop a rash, itchy spot or some swelling at the bite site. Now, with that said, lets talk about the actual 23% for a minute. The first thing everyone wants to do is Google “Brown Recluse Bite” only to see the severe “horror story” that everyone is familiar with. Thumbs falling off, legs being eaten away by the venom. Well, consider that these cases are from people that did not seek medical attention for reasons such as; “I will try to treat it myself” or “I can’t afford to go to the hospital” or “I don’t know what that is, lets see if it goes away after a couple of months”…
Fact is, if you suspect a brown recluse bite, the medical field has come a long way to treat these areas with little to no damage IF it is treated shortly after the bite. And by “Shortly”, I am referring to a day or two, NOT a couple of weeks. Brown Recluse venom is a Cytotoxin which attacks the tissue of its victim causing the tissue to basically rot from the inside. There is no doctor on this planet that can look at a spider bite and determine that it was a brown recluse PERIOD!!! The only way a physician can make that assumption is if you take the spider with you to the doctor. It CAN be determined after several days of the venom taking effect, not the day of the bite. I hear all the time that a person suffered a spider bite, went to the doctor and the he/she said it was a brown recluse. Not Possible.
Now, lets visit some myths.
1. “Brown Recluse will Kill You”. False! Being a Cytotoxin, the possibility of it becoming fatal is very very VERY slim. Such hazards are with children and the elderly. However, it is not the actual bite that has caused the person to parish, it is a reaction to the antibiotics received.
2. “Brown Recluse do not build webs”. False. They do build webs but not for the same reason as other spiders do. The build webs for a place to chill out while they are not hunting food. They do not utilize a web to catch their food like most other spiders.
3. “There is NOT a chemical that can kill brown recluse”. False. There are advancements in the materials we can use that do actually kill the spider. Fact is, this chemical is rather expensive. My theory, I don’t care what it costs, if it works, I’m going to use it.
Ok, now lets get into the business part of this. At SGH Pest Management, Inc., we strive to learn how to take care of any problem to include Brown Recluse. There IS a chemical in our rotation that does assist in the killing of brown recluse. The down side is, Brown recluse can not be ELIMINATED but can be CONTROLLED. Several different methods have shown that the control aspect of it is feasible by utilizing an Alternating Chemical Usage, Chemicals designed to terminate the brown recluse, Monitoring stations and Dusts. These all play a huge part in the control of these spiders. Obviously no company can place a “No Brown Recluse Guarantee” but you can use a company that promises to do everything it can to Control them. Don’t be fooled by those companies stating that no chemical will kill the brown recluse.
If you suspect a brown recluse problem in your home, there are several steps that you can take to avoid getting bit by it.
- Remove Dust Ruffles on Beds, these allow the spiders to crawl into bed with you.
- Shake out clothing/shoes prior to putting them on.
- remove any form of clutter that would assist them in finding a place to hang out.
- Do not use boxes when possible. Storing your items in sealable plastic totes is much better and safer
If you have any questions about the brown recluse, feel free to drop me a line and I will be glad to assist you in getting the facts that you deserve. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and if there is anything SGH Pest can do for you, please do not hesitate to call. Thank You.
This is what a Brown Recluse looks like.