Pesticides for Brown Recluse Spiders

Many are under the impression that if they call a Pest Control company, they will come out and eliminate the Brown Recluse spider from their home. But almost no pest control company will guarantee they can eliminate the spider. Any company that does guarantee eradication of this spider is probably not telling the truth. 

The tenacity and mobility of Brown Recluse Spiders make them notoriously difficult to eradicate. Unlike insects, they do not clean themselves and are less likely to ingest any pesticide residue. And unlike other spiders, they don't spin webs to catch prey so that pesticide residue collects on the web which is later ingested. 

If insecticides are used, studies show that they tend to flee the home "en masse" when insecticides are being applied. And since they can safely eat insects that were killed by insecticides a mere 24 hours prior, and they actually prefer to eat dead insects over living ones (81% of the time in one study), applying insecticides may only add to their choices for food rather than helping to get rid of the spider. 

Spraying the pesticide directly on the spider will probably kill it, but so will stomping the spider with your shoe or spraying it with water. If you choose to use pesticides anyway, first apply the pesticide all around the outside of the house, then apply it behind the baseboards before doing the rest of the house. Getting inside the walls and behind the baseboards are essential. Female Brown Recluses rarely roam far from their hiding places inside walls and boxes. They will keep reproducing as long as there are some mobile male spiders available in the home.

For this reason, Pest Control companies typically use glue traps to help eradicate the spider. The glue traps (sticky traps) offered on this web site are the same brand used by thousands of Pest Control companies throughout the United States. However, even many Pest Control technicians don't know the best places to put the traps. We include an information sheet on all the best places to put the traps based on recommendations by Kansas University researchers. Click here for more information on traps.

Thomas J. Martincic
Brown Recluse Response Team