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Catch Brown Recluse Spiders With a Sticky Trap

Updated on June 23, 2016

Are There Brown Recluse Spiders in Your House?

Brown recluse spiders (genus Loxoscleles) are fairly large, dark-colored spiders that live in corners and neglected spaces inside your home (or garage). They come out at night to hunt for small insets and other spiders, hence one name for the group "wandering spiders." Some of this group are among the most poisonous arachnids in the world -- the brown recluse, while potentially dangerous, is less threatening. Still, a brown recluse bite symptoms can be quite ghastly, with an ever-widening lesion that can develop over weeks and require surgery to repair.

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How to Kill Brown Recluse Spiders in Your House

Assuming you actually have brown recluse spiders and not just harmless, beneficial spiders that eat flies and mosquitoes, then there's a good way to get rid of them: Sticky traps that immobilize and kill wandering spiders. These are "passive" traps that you don't need to set or attend to -- just check them once in a while, and when they're full of insects, simply throw them away. The drawback is that these traps will catch and kill beneficial insects as well as harmful ones. But if you have a serious problem with brown recluses, roaches, or other pests, this is an effective way to take care of them.

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Sticky Traps Kill Spiders


Brown Recluse Bite -- Close Up of Fangs and Mothparts

All spiders, including the brown recluse, are predators. They use sticky webs to snare prey, mostly insects, and they all have fangs. The fangs of the brown recluse, like other spiders, are sharp, hollow tubes that inject toxins into the prey to dissolve tissue and internal structures into a kind of soup. Once the prey has been liquified, the spider uses its fangs as straws to suck up the broth.

I Found A Spider -- Is It a Brown Recluse?


Is This a Brown Recluse?

You can identify brown recluse spiders by the violin shape on their back -- it's a reliable marking that even non-specialists can see. This marking may be faint or different in very young or immature brown recluse spiders. In adults, the combination of long thin legs, a pale brown body, and a darker violin mark on the back will serve to identify a brown recluse.

If you have a spider you do think is a brown recluse, carefully coax it into a jar or bottle and bring it to the nearest doctor's office. They will be able to tell you if it is indeed a brown recluse. If it is, you need to work to get rid of brown recluse spiders in your basement, house, or garage.

One cheap and effective way to control brown recluse spiders in your home is with sticky traps. These are just what they sound like -- a pad or surface coated with a sticky substance that traps the spiders, where they eventually die. What makes sticky traps effective for brown recluse spiders is the fact that they wander at night, seeking prey. The chances that a brown recluse will walk into your sticky trap is better than the chance other spiders will, because other spiders tend to stay in their webs and wait for prey to come to them.

Dead Brown Recluse in a Sticky Trap

This is an example of how a sticky trap works. The spider is immobilized, and you and your family are safe from nighttime bites that could lead to serious complications.

Sticky Traps Catch All Kinds of Insects


Cockroach in Sticky Trap

The above photo shows a brown recluse, and also parts of other unwanted household pests that were trapped. Cockroaches, silverfish, centipedes, and even bedbugs can be caught in sticky traps, keeping them out of sight and out of mind.


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