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We are your one-stop source for information on prevention and treatment of Brown Recluse spider bites




"Brown Recluse spiders are the Navy seals, the Green Berets...and 
the Top Guns of the spider world." 
Kansas State University - Brown Recluse Research Project

The name "Brown Recluse" describes the color and the habits of this increasingly infamous spider. 

Brown Recluse spiders are one of the few spiders in the United States that are known to be harmful to humans. They are regarded by some as more dangerous than the Black Widow spider because it is considered a house spider and isn't as simple to identify. 

Brown Recluse bite wounds can cause severe tissue damage very quickly (see bite wound photos), so it is essential to learn how to identify this spider and learn how to eradicate Brown Recluses and prevent bite wounds

How to Catch and Identify the Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse spiders are both reclusive and nocturnal so they lurk around at night when most people are in bed. For this reason, populations of these spiders often go unnoticed. 

If a Brown Recluse is seen, they scurry around so quickly that it is difficult to get close enough to identify them. And if you do, you might well be tempted to squash it with your shoe. 

For this reason, spider traps are immensely helpful and highly recommended by universities. With spider traps, the spider will be caught as it scurries around at night. And, since it is frozen on the glue trap, you can take a very close look at it and match it with one of the high resolution pictures below.

Adult Brown Recluse spiders are yellowish-tan to dark brown. They have long, thin gray to dark brown legs covered with very short, dark hairs. Both male and female spiders are similar in appearance and are equally venomous. 

Young Brown Recluse spiders are smaller and somewhat lighter in color. The most distinguishing mark on a brown recluse spider is the presence of a dark brown or black violin or fiddle on its back with the violin's "neck" pointing toward the rear of its body. 

For this reason, they are sometimes called "violin spiders" or "fiddleback spiders". See the below pictures which were taken from a brown recluse spider in a Missouri home:

Brown Recluse Spider

To the right is a detailed photo of a Brown Recluse spider. Brown Recluses will not have any stripes or patterns on the abdomen and has fairly delicate legs which it can easily lose if handled too roughly. 

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Variant color

Another Brown Recluse spider. Note the variant color in the abdomen of the Spider. This one has a lighter tan color whereas the previous spider was more of a dark brown. If the abdomen is dark brown and shriveling up a bit, the spider is near death.

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Variant Sizes

This photo shows the different sizes of a Brown Recluse spider. Juvenile Brown Recluses will be light tan in color. 

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"The Violin"

A close-up view of the spider's "violin" or "Fiddle" shape. Above the violin is the Spider's 6 eyes. Most spiders have 8 eyes. Above the eyes are the fangs of the spider.

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Brown Recluse Fangs

This is an extreme close-up and rare photo of a Brown Recluse attempting to bite. They can bite and inflict a wound almost anywhere there is bare skin.

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Courtesy: Kansas University

Black Widow vs. Brown Recluse?

A Brown Recluse Spider is placed in the same jar as a the infamous Black Widow. At first, they do not fight at all and seem content to live together with the common goal of getting out of the jar. After one week, a small beetle was placed in the jar for food. 3 days later, the Black Widow and the beetle are both dead. The Brown Recluse spider is still alive, but with only 4 of its 8 legs. In lab conditions, Brown Recluses have lived for several months on only 3 legs--hunting and feeding as normal. Brown Recluses can still bite up to 8 minutes with all 8 legs and even the abdomen removed. So even with only its head intact, it can still deliver a venomous bite. 

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Brown Recluse Spider Video

This video demonstrates the quickness of the spider.  

Click here to view the video (RealVideo player required) 

Also in quicktime (MOV) format (11MB download)

The presence of a violin-like marking on the back of a spider is not conclusive evidence of a brown recluse spider. There are other species of spiders which have markings that resemble violins. The brown recluse spider does not have any markings on its abdomen. 

If you see a spider that has markings on its tail end, it cannot be a brown recluse spider. The color of the abdomen is tan to brown. 

The spider has 6 eyes in 3 pairs arranged in a semi-circle in front of the violin. This is uncommon since most most spiders have 8 eyes. The average size of a mature Brown Recluse spider is about the size of a quarter.

Brown Recluse First Aid Kit Testimonial:

"I was bit on 9-12-04 and went to the doctors on the 14th with a fever and feeling dizzy and nauseous. The doctor confirmed that it was a brown recluse and gave me antibiotics to fight the bite. I took the meds with little improvement. The bite blistered and grew larger every day. By the 20th the bite was the size of a dime and very painful and still growing. I ordered the kit and got it the next day. By the 23rd (after two days of using it) the yellow pus was cleared up and healthy skin was all that was left. I have a small scar from the bite, but I'm sure if I had used the product at the first sign of the bite I would not have a scar or have been in as much pain. This stuff really works!" C. C. - Manteca, California

Click here to order your kit | Order Spider traps 

Diet and Feeding Habits

Bite Photo
Source: Dale Losher

Brown Recluse spiders feed on cockroaches and other insects. They do not spin webs to catch prey but instead hunt for their prey or wait until an insect comes in close proximity to them. 

Mobile prey like houseflies and relatively harmless prey are held down with the initial bite while the venom does its work. With prey that might be more harmful to the spider, such as other spiders or ants, they will lunge and bite the prey in a vulnerable area and immediately back away while the venom acts to quickly paralyze them. The spider then moves in to feed. The same venom that acts to liquefy an insect's innards for consumption also causes the "flesh rotting" appearances as shown on the right. 

During the day, they spend their time in quiet, undisturbed places. If they are seen roaming during the day, pesticide applications, hunger, overcrowding or a desire to find a mate has probably brought them out. 

Sometimes they will be discovered trapped within a smooth surface such as a bathtub or sink. But because they are primarily nocturnal, they will typically begin to stray from their hiding place about an hour or two after dark. This is when they spend their time hunting for food. 

This also explains why most bites occur while victims are sleeping. While they are hunting for food, they may crawl up onto a bed and bite when the victim inadvertently rolls onto the spider during normal sleep movements. Necrosis such as in the above photo above can be the result. Necrosis can be prevented by applying our product to the wound as soon as possible. 

Brown Recluse spiders are remarkably resilient and can survive 6 to 12 months with no food or water and have an average life span of 2 to 4 years. In laboratory conditions, they have lived as long as 7 years. 


Brown Recluse spiders prefer warm, dry locations. Here are some places where they are typically found indoors:

  • Inside shoes 
  • Inside dressers
  • In showers and bathtubs (slippery surface traps the spider)
  • Underneath couches, tables and chairs
  • In bed sheets of infrequently used beds
  • In stacks of clothes
  • Behind baseboards.
  • In boxes
  • Behind pictures
  • In closets
  • Behind furniture
  • Garages
  • Storage sheds
  • Cellars
  • Firewood
  • Near furnaces and water heaters

Spider traps are most effective at reducing Brown Recluse populations from these locations your home. By setting traps, it can be determined whether or not a home has Brown Recluse spiders.

Watch the below video to see one of our Spider Traps in action
(Video Length: 1 minute 41 seconds)

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Advantages of Spider Traps:
  • Immediate knowledge of whether you have an infestation or not.
  • Opportunity to safely learn how to identify the spider.
  • No chemical residues in your home.
  • Pesticide applications can be detrimental because Brown Recluses prefer dead insects over living ones. 
  • Inexpensive and easy to use. 15 traps are only $9.95. Additional traps only 32

Because of shipping, cars, planes and trains, the spider can be found most anywhere in the United States. Specific reports of the Brown Recluse spider have been found in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas 
  • Wyoming

However, they are most commonly found in central area of the United States as indicated below:


Brown Recluse spiders are often blamed for any spider bite which produces a necrotic wound. However, there are other species of spiders which produce necrosis when biting humans. They are: 

  • The Desert Recluse (photo) - Found in the Southwestern United States
  • The Arizona Recluse (photo) - Found in the Southwestern United States
  • The Mediterranean Recluse (photo) - Found in isolated populations throughout the United States. Very similar in appearance to the Brown Recluse. 
  • The Chilean Recluse (photo) - Isolated populations found in Florida, California and Massachusetts (See below).
  • The Hobo Spider (photo) - Found in the Pacific Northwest.
  • The Yellow Sac Spider (photo). Found all throughout the United States.

Yellow Sac spider bites are believed by some experts to be more common than Brown Recluse bites due to their wide distribution.  

The Chilean Recluse species from South America has been found in the suburbs of Los Angeles, and in Polk County, Florida. In Massachusetts, a substantial population was discovered at Harvard. The Chilean Recluse is believed to be the most toxic Recluse spider and is implicated in a number of deaths in South America. 

The highest concentrations of Brown Recluse spiders are found in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. As an example of their abundance, a 75 minute search of a barn in Missouri yielded 40 spiders. One study in Missouri found the Brown Recluse spider in 70% of the homes that were sampled. 

Brown Recluse First Aid Kits have been sold in all 50 states and include a money back guarantee if you are bitten by any of the above spiders. We receive orders and reports of necrotic wounds from every state in the union.  

Brown Recluse First Aid Kit Testimonial:

"I would recommend this kit to anyone who is bitten by a Brown Recluse spider. This kit relieved some of the pain and definitely helped the healing of the necrotic wound. You must act quickly when bitten by this spider, because the wound develops rapidly. And yes, as we surprisingly discovered this spider is in California as well as other states. We've been told about several encounters in the Northwest, when discussing our situation with other victims. Be careful and buy the kit as a preventive measure."
Dale S. - Fairfield, CA |  
Kit information

Click here to order your kit | Order Spider traps 


Recluse nest with juvenile spiderling nearby.

80% of reproduction occurs in May, June or July but may occur as early as February. Females differ very slightly from males and it is difficult to tell the difference between the two. 

A male finds its mate through a scent she leaves on the threads of her web or on certain surfaces she has walked on. The female would most likely view the male as suitable prey, but the male usually performs certain maneuvers and/or courtship dances to lure her. If successful, mating will ensue. 

Females will deposit her eggs in off-white silk cases measuring about 1/3rd of an inch in diameter. An egg sac has an average of 40 eggs and females will often make more than one egg sac. She may make 300 in her lifetime. 

The eggs are then carried by the female, deposited in a web or attached to plant. Young spiders emerge in 3 to 6 weeks and full maturity is reached in about a year as long as food is adequate and temperatures are mild. The young are fed and/or guarded by the mother for the first few weeks and thick, irregular webbing will be seen in the nest area. 

Dangers to humans

Relatively few spiders are able to pierce the human skin, but the Brown Recluse spider is one of them. Brown Recluse spiders are non-aggressive. 

They typically hunt at night and most people are bitten by them through accidental contact while putting on clothes, rolling over them in bed at night, or coming into contact with areas where they prefer to dwell. They generally bite when trapped between the skin and another surface such as bed sheets. 

The bite frequently goes unnoticed until the serious after-effects begin to settle in. The spiders are active in temperatures ranging from 45o F to 110o F but bites can occur at any time of the year in a heated home where there is a constant temperature. Click here for information on how to avoid being bitten by a Brown Recluse spider or learn about spider traps.

More Testimonials:

"Your product really works well. I was bit by a brown recluse spider and was in extreme pain. I ordered your kit and it began drawing the venom out just as it had stated it would. This product is the best that I have found and would recommend it to anyone."
Donna S. Rudyard, Michigan

"I was bitten by a brown recluse spider and very scared, since I had seen those horrifying pictures on the internet of what could happen. I got a package immediately from the company and a woman talked to us on the phone and was very helpful and reassuring. I used the product, and my bite never got like those terrible cases on the internet! There was never any" tissue eating" thank God! Your first aid kit really worked and I am very grateful! It was definitely worth the money paid!!! Thank you!" D.S. North Hollywood, California 

Click here to read over 100 testimonials!

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