Like most spiders, the Brown Recluse Spider seeks seclusion and therefore these pests end up being very widely spread out within an infested structure. For this reason it can take a very long time (up to 6 months or more) to gain control over a Brown Recluse infestation. Control is best achieved by following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. Integrated Pest Management incorporates many different components in one pest control program to obtain the most effective results. Some components of IPM include prevention, sanitation, exclusion, non-chemical control, and insecticide use.
1) Preventing spider bites
- Shake out and inspect towels and bedding before use
- Give shoes and clothing a shake and inspect them thoroughly before dressing
- Remove bedskirts or long sheets that make contact with the floor, and move the bed away from the wall. Do not store boxes underneath the bed.
- Always wear gloves when handling materials that come from outside such as lumber or firewood.
- Brown Recluse Spiders are often found inside cardboard boxes. Special care should be exercised when handling these boxes.
- Repair cracks and crevices in exterior walls with sealant or caulk
- Makes sure the screens and door sweeps on windows and doors are tight-fitting
- Tightly seal loose items in plastic bags or other air-tight containers before storing in basements, garages, or attics.
- Use tape on the edges and corners of cardboard boxes to prevent spiders from entering and making a home there.
- Since brown recluse spiders find many homey nooks within unmoved piles of rubbish, remove trash, old boxes, wood piles, rock piles, and other unwanted items.
- Where applicable, clean up dead insects that brown recluse spiders feed on.
- Keep stacked firewood or lumber at least 20 feet away from the house or structure.
- Eliminate as much clutter as possible in closets, attics, basements, garages, and storage units. Items that must be kept should be stored in an organized fashion in airtight containers with tape sealing any cracks that may provide entry.
4) Non-chemical control
- Rolled newspapers or fly swatters can be used to kill brown recluse spiders.
- Sticky traps and glue boards are very effective non-chemical tools that can be used to capture brown recluse spiders and monitor infestation levels in a given area.
- Remove brown recluse spiders, including their webs and egg sacs with a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum bag should then be disposed of immediately in a sealed garbage bag and placed outdoors.
There are many different pesticide formulations listed brown recluse spiders that can be safely applied by home and business owners. We have listed several of those products here.
- Pyrethroid Sprays- Research in the field shows that pyrethroid sprays (including active ingredients such as cypermethrin, cyfluthrin, etc) are extremely effective against brown recluse spiders, killing them on contact or just seconds thereafter. 565 PLUS XLO is one contact spray containing natural pyrethrins that provides quick knockdown of many different pests, including the brown recluse.
- Wettable Powders such as Demon WP or Cyper WP that are added to water and applied with a low-pressure sprayer can provide a powerful residual that continues working for 4 to 8 weeks following application. These residual liquid formulations can be sprayed along the outside perimeter of the home (especially under and around eaves, decks, patios, and window shutters), and inside along baseboards, in corners, and other potential spider harborages. You will know the residual is working because you will begin finding only dead brown recluse spiders rather than live ones.
- Residual Dusts. Difficult-to-access areas where brown recluse spiders may be living, such as behind cabinets and inside wall voids and crawl spaces, can be treated with Delta Dust or Drione Dust by inserting a hand duster into cracks and crevices and puffing the dust into the space. These areas can also be reached by drilling holes if needed. Residual dusts will remain effective up to 8 months if kept dry. Delta Dust is waterproof and will last up to 8 months in moist climates (Please read our article on proper dusting techniques).
- Dr. T's Cobweb Eliminator- This formula derived of all natural ingredients does not kill spiders directly, but rather gets rid of a spider's web and prevent web reformation in that same location, helping to drive spiders away. One treatment of Cobweb Eliminator lasts 6 months indoors and 2 to 3 months outdoors. Cobweb Eliminator may be applied to wood, painted surfaces, vinyl, fiberglass, concrete and masonry.
View our entire line of Spider Control products.