Action Pest Management:
THE BROWN RECLUSE aka FIDDLEBACK SPIDER
This spider is one of Oklahoma’s most feared spiders. Since 1957 this spider has been recognized as a cause of necrotizing (flesh-eating) bites
They are mainly found in the central Midwestern states southward to the Gulf of Mexico, but especially in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri.
The name “Recluse” is a bit deceiving. It is important to keep in mind that just because they aren’t seen often, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They prefer cool and dark places such as bathrooms, closets, dorms, garages, cellars, vent, and heating ducts and have been known to hitch a ride in your laundry. They will nest in dressers, snuggled in your clothes, books, boxes, furniture, toys, carpet or in any crack or crevice. Outside of the home, you can find them in dark storage places, inside hollow tree trunks or even under rocks.
The name Fiddleback comes from the dark stained violin shape it carries on top of its abdomen.
They are shy and is usually most active during the night hours. They feed on silverfish, earwigs, crickets and other insects.
Mating, which may occur from February through October can produce 40 to 50 eggs, which are deposited in off-white, round 1/4″ silken cases, usually found in dark sheltered places. One to five egg sacs will be produced in a lifetime, that on the average will last for one to two years but can last up to 4 or 5 years.
The bite of the Brown Recluse may be relatively painless, but will usually produce a burning sensation within the first hour and during the next 6 to 12 hours. The venom can cause extensive tissue damage. The center of the wound usually blisters and is surrounded by a reddening area, followed by a pale or blanched area. In serious cases, the blister can rupture, causing an open ulcer and may become a deep sunken ulcerated sore. It normally takes 6 to 8 weeks for the bite to heal.