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Brown Recluse vs. Brown Widow Spider?Brown recluse vs black widow spider by Heron Home & Outdoor - serving Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas

Metro Orlando FL | Kissimmee - Sanford - Leesburg

The climate in Florida 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. Florida is a native home of both the black and brown widow spider. The brown recluse is not native to Florida, but has been found in isolated homes for the last few years. 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.

What Does a Brown Recluse Look Like?

Most brown recluse spiders are a dullish brown color, but there are some that may come in a yellowish shade. The body of an adult can grow up to about 11mm 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.

Brown Recluse Tips and Information

  • Dangers:
    • The brown recluse is one of the more venomous spiders that inhabit the North American continent.
    • While death is a possible outcome from the bite of a brown recluse, this only occurs in very rare cases.
    • The types of symptoms that a person may experience will depend upon the location of the bite and the amount of venom that is injected with the bite.
    • 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. The death of living tissue (necrosis) will cause a deep open wound that will usually result in scarring.
  • Prevention: The brown recluse is not aggressive, and it does not look for opportunities to bite people. They only bite when they feel threatened. A person can effectively avoid getting bit by a brown recluse by taking a few measures to guard against the possibility.
    • 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 awhile, shake them out before putting them on.
    • If you pull old clothes or blankets out of storage, make sure to shake them out before you use them.
  • Treating a Bite: If a brown recluse bites a person, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
    • If medical attention is not readily available, cover the bite with an antibacterial gel.
    • Try to dress the area with a band-aid or gauze bandages.
    • Try to avoid exposing the bite to hot water, as hot water or heat will help the venom to spread.

What Does a Brown Widow Look Like?

Though called the “brown” widow, this spider can range in color. You may see them with a 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.

Brown Widow Tips and Information

  • Dangers: Though not quite as dangerous as its relative the black widow, the brown widow can pose a significant threat to human health.
    • Most of the symptoms will be centered 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.
  • Prevention: 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.
    • They generally can be found in places that are dark and go undisturbed for long periods of time.
    • An outside woodpile or an old tool shed would be prime locations for a brown widow.
    • The best way to prevent bites is to shake out any item that has been stored away for a long time before you use it.
    • Maintaining good screens and windows can also be a good way to keep them out.
  • Treating a Bite: The bite of a brown widow does tend to be less threatening than that of the black widow, but it is still recommended that you seek medical attention.
    • If possible, try to catch the spider in a secure container and bring it to the hospital for identification.
    • Identifying the spider can help the medical personnel form a more effective treatment plan.

Prevent Spider Bites with Pest Control

While most people never suffer a bite from a venomous spider, they are more common than many would think. Take care when working or walking in a prime location for spiders. Always get a bite treated as quickly as you can. If you believe that your home or property has a significant problem with venomous spiders, there are products and professional services that can be effective for spider management.

If you feel that you have potentially dangerous spiders infesting your home or business, or just simply don’t like having them around, give Heron Home & Outdoor a call. We’ll inspect your home, working with you to make sure your needs are taken care of and any problems are addressed. Call Heron today for a free estimate!

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Brown Recluse vs. Brown Widow Spider? Serving Orlando and surrounding counties

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