Brown Recluse vs. Brown Widow Spider?

Serving Louisiana & Mississippi

Brown Recluse vs. Brown Widow Spider Identification with Presto-X, formerly Fischer Environmental - Spider extermination services in New Orleans, SE Louisiana & Mississippi

The climate in Louisiana makes it a prime location for several species of spiders. While the majority of these spiders are not dangerous, there are a few among them that are venomous and could pose a significant health risk toward humans. Two of the spiders that could be a hazard to those living in Louisiana are the brown recluse and the brown widow. It is important for residents to be familiar with what these spiders look like, their behaviors and the correct plan of action that should be taken when a person suffers a bite.

All About Brown Recluse Spiders

Most brown recluse spiders are a dull brown color, but there are some that may come in a yellowish shade. The body of an adult can grow up to about 11 mm in length and with the legs and all, they are approximately the size of a quarter. They also have no stripes or spots to identify them from. A common nickname for the brown recluse is the fiddle-back spider because of the violin-shaped mark on the cephalothorax. Spotting this mark is the best way of making a positive identification of a brown recluse spider. Some of the most important things to know about brown recluses include:

  • The brown recluse does not go looking to bite people—they only bite when they feel threatened.
  • While death is a possible outcome from the bite of a brown recluse, this only occurs in very rare cases. Most bites actually heal in very little time and result in only minimal damage, but when a bite is serious, it can result in blisters and necrosis.
  • A person can effectively avoid getting bit by a brown recluse by taking a few measures to guard against the possibility.
  • If a brown recluse bites a person, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Brown Widows in Louisiana

Though called the brown widow, this spider can range in color. You may see them with a nice solid brown color, or they could be a patchy or mottled brown. Occasionally, they might be a tannish color or white. A good identifying mark for a brown widow female is the orange hourglass shape that appears on the underside of their abdomen, and the black and brown striped legs. Several things to know about brown widows include:

  • The brown widow is known to be less aggressive than other spiders in the widow family, but they might still bite if they feel like they are in danger.
  • Though not quite as dangerous as its relative the black widow, a bite can cause symptoms on the location of the bite and it can be quite painful.
  • Some of the additional symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, lethargy, sweating, nausea, and shortness of breath.

Preventing Brown Recluse and Brown Widow Spiders 

Preventing these spiders from being in your property is the best way to prevent a bite. If you are going to do some work outside, make sure to wear gloves. If you are digging around in the garage or attic, make sure to look into boxes and small spaces where a spider could be hidden. If you plan to wear a pair of shoes that have been stored away for a while, shake them out before putting them on. Maintaining good screens and windows can also be a good way to keep dangerous spiders outside where they belong.

While most people never suffer a bite from a venomous spider, they are more common than many would think. If you believe that your home or property has a significant problem with venomous spiders, there are products and professional services like Presto-X, formerly Fischer Environmental that can be effective for spider management. If you think you have either of these spiders near your home, contact us today so we can get rid of them for you!

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Brown Recluse vs. Brown Widow Spider? In Louisiana & Mississippi

Serving all of SE Louisiana and Mississippi

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