Photo By Lisa Zins / CC BY 2.0

How To Tell If a Brown Recluse Bit You

When most people hear they have a Brown Recluse problem they think it is the end of the world! We all know they are all around Middle Tennessee, but when someone gets an infestation they can't believe it! Well, Brown Recluse infestations are actually much more common than people think. We come across many who thought they'd never have a Brown Recluse, and now have them all over their home! If you have a problem with Brown Recluse Spiders, don't worry, because it can all be taken care of.

When most people think about Brown Recluse Spiders, they think about the terrible results of getting bitten by one. However, although most people think that if one bites you it is going to eat your skin away, this is rarely the case. Most Brown Recluse bites are just like any other spider bite. They swell up, may hurt a little, and also may itch. While most of these bites are like common spider bites, there are of course some other cases where the bites get out of hand, which is what you have most likely come to associate with these spiders. The Brown Recluse has a potentially deadly venom inside of it called hemotoxic venom. This is the venom that causes, in some cases, the skin to eat itself away and form a hole. It is very important to note though, that necrosis (what makes the skin get eaten away) only occurs in 14% of Brown Recluse bites. If you get bitten by one, there is no reason to be immediately alarmed. Most likely, it is just going to be like a normal spider bite, and cause no other major problems. On top of there only being a 14% chance of this bite causing major issues, you also have a very small likely hood of even getting bit! As suggested by the fact that the word recluse is in its name, these spiders tend to stay out of the way of everything. Even if they are found in plain view, they are not aggressive at all and would much prefer to not bite you. In one extreme infestation documented in Kansas, over 2,000 Brown Recluse Spiders were removed from this home. Talk about an infestation! Even though there were over 2,000 of these spiders in this home, the 4 people living inside the house were never once bitten, although they had seen them many times. The only time a Brown Recluse will bite you is if you touch it. If they sense pressure on their skin they will think that they are being attacked, and bite whatever is touching them. This is why most of the time Brown Recluse bites are completely accidental. There may be one in your bed, or in some old clothes, and if you happen to role over in the bed and land on it, well you're probably going to get bitten. Likewise, if you put on a shirt that you haven't worn in quite some time and there is a Brown Recluse living in the shirt, well as soon as you put the shirt on and the spider feels some kind of pressure, you are again most likely going to get bitten. If you are unlucky enough to be accidentally come into physical contact with one of these spiders and get bitten, here are a few ways you can tell if it is going to be within that 14% of serious bites:

  • The bite will become painful and very itchy within 2 to 8 hours.
  • Pain will become even worse 12 to 36 hours after the bite.
  • Over the next few days the skin will become very weak, and begin degrading.
  • The skin could degrade in a spot as large as 10 inches.
  • After some time and the skin has degraded, the damaged skin will then peel off like it was never attached.

So yes, while these spiders are a much more common pest than people suspect, they are capable of causing extreme damage to the human body. Thankfully for most of us however, the extreme damage is only prevalent in 14% of cases. On top of that, the only way to get bitten by one is if you accidentally happen to touch one, and given that they like to be recluses and hide away, that is probably not going to happen either. If you do however have Brown Recluse Spiders in your home, there are multiple options to rid these bugs from your home, and make sure that there is a 0% chance you'll be bitten by one, and have to deal with the extreme damage they can do.

If you have any problems with Brown Recluse Spiders, please give Certified Pest Control a call, as we would absolutely love to help! We are always the cheapest price in town, and always give the absolute best service possible to every customer. If you are interested in our Brown Recluse services, or any other service we offer, please click the button below!


Source: “Brown Recluse Spider.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 May 2018,