Brown Recluse Texas (Misunderstood)

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Brown recluse Texas spiders are one of the most dreaded indoor and outdoor pests. They’re found primarily in Texas and throughout the southern and southeastern regions of the United States.

In this article, we’ll be talking about one of the four most venomous spiders in the US: the brown recluse. We’ll talk about identifying them, their nature, and their habitat. We’ll also look into the symptoms and stages of brown recluse spider bites and how to prevent them from living in our homes.

Brown recluse spider in front of white background. - Texas View

Understanding Brown Recluse Texas Spiders

Brown recluse spiders are generally not aggressive toward humans and don’t bite unless they feel threatened. These spiders are also often misunderstood and misidentified, which is what we hope to clarify in this article.

How to Identify Brown Recluse Texas Spiders

Here’s what brown recluse spiders look like:

  • Brown recluse spiders have a dark violin-shaped structure on their heads that extends down to their abdomen, which isn’t visible on young spiders.
  • They have six eyes divided into pairs of three that form a semi-circle pattern.
  • Another identification is their color, which ranges from yellowish brown to dark brown.
  • Brown recluse spiders have hairs on their oblong-shaped abdomen
  • Their legs are darker in color than the rest of their body.
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Habitats of Brown Recluse Texas Spiders

Brown recluse spiders, true to their name, are reclusive. They live in warm, quiet, dark, and undisturbed places such as:

  • Under piles of leaves and rocks
  • Closets
  • Garages
  • Attics
  • Critters
  • Underneath furniture
  • Basements
  • Barns and sheds

Are Brown Recluse Texas Spiders Harmful?

Brown recluse spiders are categorized as venomous. However, their fangs are pretty small and can’t penetrate human skin unless you step on them.

For example, one of these spiders can easily crawl into a pair of shoes left in the back of your closet for a while or into some of your clothes left overnight on the floor.

Then, you come to put them on, which makes the spider feel trapped. So, they’ll instinctively react by biting you and saving themselves.

It’s true that most bites don’t lead to severe cases. However, they can still be potentially dangerous, especially to children, elders, and those with weak immune systems.

Brown Recluse Texas Spider Bites

Brown recluse spiders don’t pursue humans to bite, but they will bite when disturbed. Unfortunately, most bites happen inside homes, where you may unknowingly make them feel frightened.

We must be careful since their bites aren’t usually noticeable. Additionally, the longer the bite remains untreated, the more dangerous it will be. Sometimes, symptoms can take hours to days before appearing.

Common Symptoms of Brown Recluse Bites

Here are some of the most common symptoms of Texas brown recluse bites:

  • Ache around the bite site
  • Pain in the abdomen, chest, back, and legs
  • Blisters at the bite site
  • Bruising
  • Swelling

Severe Symptoms of Brown Recluse Bites

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, promptly seek medical attention.

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Necrosis

Stages of Brown Recluse Bites

The stages of brown recluse bites are as follows:

Stages of the BiteWhat Happens to the Bite
Stage 1: after a few hoursThe bite site will become sensitive, redden, and will start to burn.The bite site’s color will bruise and turn blueish.
Stage 2: after 3–5 daysIf the spider injects venom, you might feel slight discomfort.An ulcer will appear on the bite site.
Stage 3: after 7–14 daysWhen it’s a severe case, the ulcer will break down and turn into a wound that takes months to heal completely.
Stage 4: after 3 weeksThe wound will heal, and a black scab will cover it.
Stages of a Brown Recluse Spider Bite

How to Manage a Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Once you start feeling any symptoms and suspect that it’s from a brown recluse, do the following:

  1. Immediately wash and clean the area bitten with soap and water.
  2. Use a damp cloth or cold compress to reduce the swelling of the bite.
  3. Elevate the affected area and avoid touching it.
  4. Seek medical attention if the symptoms are severe.
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What’s Not a Brown Recluse Spider Bite?

As mentioned, these spiders are often misunderstood. Because they’re highly poisonous, they’re often blamed for other types of bites, infections, and burns.

So, how do you know whether it’s a bite from a brown recluse or not?

  • Brown recluses only bite once. So, if you have numerous bites, then they’re not from this type of spider.
  • Bites from these venomous spiders are usually pale in the center. If your bite has a reddish center, then it wasn’t caused by a brown recluse.
  • Most brown recluse bites become painful ulcers after 1–2 weeks. So, if the affected area gets infected earlier, it was probably caused by something other than a brown recluse.

How to Keep Brown Recluse Texas Spiders at Bay

It’s important to note that completely removing brown recluse spiders can take months. You may even need to call in professionals to fully eliminate the infestation from your home.

Fortunately, you can keep brown recluse spiders out of your home by doing the following:

  • Seal any cracks in your home.
  • Place door sweeps on the exterior of your doors.
  • Clean regularly and remove spider webs, especially in storage areas.
  • Trim the weeds around your home or building.
  • Wear gloves, long sleeves, and pants when going somewhere with spiders.
  • Spray common household pests.
  • Some people also use sticky traps. If you do, remember to check and replace it often.

Brown Recluse FAQs

Where Do Brown Recluses Appear?

Brown recluses are more commonly found in Texas, Georgia, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. They may also appear in other states where the weather is moderately warm. Yet, they seem to prefer being in the southwestern US more.

What Do Brown Recluses Eat?

Brown recluse spiders don’t hunt. for food. Instead, they spin webs that catch their food for them. They sit back and wait for insects, such as ants, crickets, and cockroaches, to crawl onto their sticky web. Once these crawly pests get stuck, the spider then goes in to enjoy the feast.


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Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
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Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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