Brown Recluse Spiders In Iowa

Brown Recluse in Iowa

July 10, 2014

The Brown Recluse spider is extremely rare in Iowa. However, with our summers heating up in recent years, this spider species is making its way into northern territories. As one of the few poisonous spiders in Iowa , it is important to be able to correctly identify the brown recluse spider from other common household spiders. At Preferred Pest Control, we are here to give you tips on how to decrease exposure and stay safe around dangerous pests.

Brown Recluse Identification and Habits

Long-legged, light brown in color and unlike other spiders that have eight eyes, the brown recluse spider has six eyes arranged in three sets of pairs. An adult brown recluse is small, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. These spiders are also commonly known as "Fiddlebacks" because they have a distinctive violin-shaped marking on their back, right behind their eyes.

The brown recluse, as the name implies is reclusive. You probably won't find this spider crawling up your bedroom wall. Instead, they are secretive spiders and prefer not to be seen, although they do live indoors. Common hiding places for the brown recluse spider are in dark rooms and in cracks and gaps under shelves, boxes and other items. This spider is both a hunter and a web builder. They build their webs near the ground, but don't use them to catch their prey. They'll search out their prey by roaming around basements, barns and other dark areas. Because of their shy nature, they will not attempt to immediately bite. Instead, they will try to escape at all cost. Bites are only used as a defense mechanism when no escape is possible.

The Brown Recluse Spider Bite

The brown recluse spider bite is poisonous and can cause serious injuries. You probably won't immediately notice that you have been bitten, as there is no pain or immediate effect. However, within a few hours symptoms will develop and can include: severe pain or itching, nausea, vomiting, fever, muscle pain, blistering and necrosis (death of skin around bitten area). In rare cases, brown recluse bite victims develop infections that lead to the need to amputate the affected limb.

If you have been bitten by a brown recluse or other spider species and are developing any of these symptoms, it is crucial to receive immediate medical treatment. Call 911, or the American Association of Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

Stay Safe from Poisonous Spiders

While a lot of spiders are secretive and are hard to eliminate without professional help, you can take these precautions to limit exposure to spiders in your home.

  • Wear protective gloves when working in potentially hazardous areas, such as storage spaces in the basement or attic.

  • Keep food in the refrigerator and the house clean to minimize infestations of other insects, which are spider's main source of food.

  • Eliminate any visible cobwebs indoors, in the garden or around the house.

  • Inspect stored clothing and other household items prior to usage.

  • Rake leaves and clean gutters to remove debris around your home.

  • If you store shoes, boots, roller-skates, etc. in the garage, use plastic bins so spiders cannot nest inside your shoe. Also, before putting on your shoes, inspect the inside of the shoe for cobwebs and spiders.

What To Do If You Think You Found a Brown Recluse

If you suspect that you have a brown recluse spider in your home, it is critical to have the spider properly identified by a pest management professional. If it is indeed a brown recluse, a treatment plan must be in place to prevent infestation. The brown recluse spider can lay one to five egg sacs which contain anywhere from 30 to 300 eggs that hatch within a month.

Call us today for a free inspection and quote at (515) 415-5550 or We also offer same day emergency service for no additional charge, so you can go to bed with peace of mind.