These spiders are found in the hot and humid desert environments of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. Recluse spiders are known to have a violin-shaped mark on their backs, but with the Desert Recluse spider, these markings may be a bit more difficult to see as they’re mostly a uniform tan or brown in color.
Wolf spiders, commonly mistaken for recluse spiders, have 8 eyes whereas the Recluse has 6 eyes arranged in three groups of two – this separates them from a lot of other spider species since most spiders have 8 eyes.
They’re ¼ to ½ inch long, and spin irregularly shaped webs where they spend most of their day in, before going out to hunt for food during the night. They feed on small insects but will occasionally dine on a large insect if it’s already dead.
They’re rarely found indoors, and prefer the outdoors in dark, undisturbed places. They may be found in dead cacti, wood, and may even stay in rodent burrows where they may also have a steadier stream of insect food.
If found indoors, like most other spiders, they may be found resting along cracks and crevices on your walls, or even under an undisturbed pile of laundry or other debris.
They typically live for 2 to 4 years, and may produce over 100 spiderlings a year.
Desert Recluse bites may cause reddened skin that may develop blisters, and the bite site will be quite itchy for the first few hours. Their bites, while perhaps not immediately painful for all bite victims, are necrotic and may cause a breakdown of tissue several days after the bite, which may then take several weeks or months to heal.
Other symptoms of a Recluse bite may be fever and chills, skin rashes, vomiting or nausea, or even joint pain.
Necrotic flesh is black, dead tissue, so if you suspect that you’ve been bitten by a Recluse spider, seek medical attention right away.
If possible, try to capture the spider that bit you so you can bring it in for positive identification by professional staff.
Now if you’ve found a Recluse spider in your home or property, you may want to get in touch with a professional pest control company to have them come and take a look – there may be more Recluse spiders in your home that you haven’t discovered yet. Professionals can remove these dangerous spiders and other pests to help ensure your safety, and companies like Watchdog Pest Control will put in measures to prevent them from coming back.
Measures you can put in place to prevent Desert Recluse spiders from finding your home appealing are sealing the cracks along your walls that they can use as entry points. You may also want to invest in screens for your windows, and place steel mesh on any outside vent.
These measures would also help deter other pests from coming in to your home, and remember, since Desert Recluse spider feed on insects, the less you have in your home, the less appealing it is for them to stay there.