A few weeks ago, we identified the different widow spiders that are considered venomous in Arkansas. This week we focus on the one spider still on everyone’s mind: The Brown Recluse. These small, almost undetectable critters have received a bad reputation for terrorizing many, but that reputation may just be undeserving.
In the first of this two-part blog series, we show you how to identify a brown recluse, and we give you insight into these tiny terrors’ habits and habitats. In the next part of the series, we will talk about how to handle brown recluse bites and infestations.
The Truth about the Fiddleback (A.K.A Brown Recluse)
Let’s begin with the identification of this venomous spider. First of all, these spiders only grow to be approximately .6-2 centimeters long and have long thin legs covered in fine hairs. The brown recluse can come in varying shades of brown, but the abdomen is uniform in color with a fiddle or violin marking that can be spotted on their backs. One other specific feature of the middle back is the fact that this is the only species of spider that has only six eyes, arranged in three groups as opposed to all other species that have eight eyes arranged in four groups.
Habitat & Habits
There is a reason this spider was named the brown recluse: Brown – for obvious reasons – and recluse – because they are a reclusive species. They prefer dark, dry places like the wood framing of crawl spaces, attics, basements, garages, under porches, wooden surfaces, deep in closets, and inside furniture. They are the most active at night, the females building a flat sheet-like web to catch their prey and the males (who are hunters) roam around in search of prey.
Why is this important information for you, you ask? Because contrary to popular belief, the brown recluse is not an aggressive spider. Recluse bites are actually less common than most people think. According to several experts, you could live in a house with thousands of brown recluses (aaacckkk!) and never even see one, let alone get bitten by one. The most common time that bites occur is when the spider gets stuck between the skin and something else like sheets, the bottom of a shoe, or if you happen to stick a hand in the void between a kitchen counter and a wall or a toe in a void between the bottom of a desk and the floor.
Make sure to keep an eye out for the second part of Arkansas’ Tiny Terror: The Brown Recluse. In the meantime, if you happen to need any assistance with a brown recluse infestation removal, contact us online or by phone at any of our locations.
Little Rock: 501-228-0322
North Little Rock: 501-758-0322
Hot Springs: 501-623-2335