If you have arachnophobia – a severe fear of spiders – you aren’t alone.
Arachnophobia ranks as the third most common phobia in the United States – right there behind fear of public speaking and fear of death. While arachnophobia is extremely common, it’s ungrounded in most cases. The vast majority of spider species are harmless to humans. The furry, big-eyed house spiders and jumping spiders that you’re most likely to encounter in your home pose a much greater threat to household insects than they do to you.
However, there are always exceptions to the rule. While most spiders are harmless and even helpful, others are downright dangerous. While all spiders are venomous, only a few species are known to bite and injure humans. One of the more common of these is the brown recluse spider.
The brown recluse spider is found all around the country, though it mainly resides in the Midwest. Brown recluses are light brown spiders with thin, hairless legs, and a distinct violin-shaped mark behind the head area. The violin mark is the spider’s most distinguishing feature, one that has earned it the nickname ‘fiddleback spider’.
Brown recluses are pretty easy to identify – that is, if you ever see one. The ‘recluse’ part of its name comes from its shy, retiring habits. These spiders tend to hide in dark, undisturbed areas of the home where they can go about their business without human interference. This means a place like an attic – quiet, sheltered, and often cluttered – is the ideal sanctuary for brown recluse spiders.
While you may not see the spiders themselves, its easy to spot the evidence they leave behind. Brown recluses create wispy, sloppy ‘cobwebs’ all throughout the house – if your home starts to look like a haunted Halloween mansion, it’s likely that you have a brown recluse problem.
Generally, brown recluse spiders will do anything they can not to bite you. In fact, they’re usually trying to avoid humans at all costs. Still, the occasional bite does happen. If it can’t get away – for instance, if it’s trapped in a shoe or cornered against a wall – a brown recluse will inflict a painful and dangerous bite.
The symptoms of a spider bite vary from person to person. The most common symptoms associated with brown recluse bites are fever, nausea, and skin lesions in the area of the bite. People with compromised immune systems may experience more severe symptoms, and, in rare instances, the brown recluse’s bite can be deadly.
There are a few things you can do to help control the spider population in your home. One of the best precautions to take is to clear clutter. Brown recluses love to hide in clutter, and they especially favor cardboard boxes; a pile of cardboard storage boxes in a quiet corner of your house is the perfect place for spiders to settle down.
However, if you have a major brown recluse spider problem, simply cleaning the house won’t be enough. Many people try to eradicate the spiders by themselves, with insecticide sprays or sticky traps, but these usually aren’t effective approaches. Brown recluses can be hard to track, and because they’re so good at hiding, there are probably still some hanging around even if you think that you’ve sent them all running.
When you’re looking to completely eradicate brown recluses from your home, the best approach is to hire a professional exterminator who is skilled in getting rid of these tricky pests. If you have a spider problem and want to have it solved ASAP, contact us today at 515-518-8864. Even if you aren’t an arachnophobic, you’re bound to feel safer knowing that you no longer have to share your home with spiders.