Black Widows & Brown Recluse Spiders

We’ve got spiders!

Black widow spider

A brown recluse on our bureau.

This is the first time in my life when I’ve seen a spider roughly every 3 hours each day, most of them venomous.  Arkansas has some terrific wildlife but as for our spiders, they’re more terrifying than terrific. At left you can see the brown recluse I found on my underwear drawer. I found another one in my pants (luckily, not while I was wearing them!) We had a black widow making her egg sack in the corner of our front door for a few days, until Ryan bravely squished it with a broom handle. At right, you can see a picture of a black widow spider – we didn’t take this one; I was too scared to get close enough for a photograph.  The last kind of spider that’s flooded our home are the daddy long legs (is that even their real name?) [Edit: “daddy long legs” are arachnids but aren’t actually spiders] These spiders have congregated in huge pods, like bonobos having a good time together.  The photos below were taken on our landlord’s deck just under the eaves of the roof.  One spider in particular was intent on coming indoors, and I had to scoot it out.

Every day we have to make the decision to either follow our Buddhist principles and harm no life form, respecting every little living thing while risking getting bitten by a venomous spider, or whacking it with our sandals.  Generally, we follow these guidelines:

  1. If it can be captured easily, do so and let it go outside.

    Daddy Long Legs huddle

  2. Never kill anything outdoors.
  3. Kill the venomous insects found indoors.
  4. Dissuade spiders from living in our home (prevention)
  5. For parasites: Show no mercy! LOL (mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, fleas, etc)

Any thoughts on how to reduce our spider population?

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Debbie Hackney

You need to tell the home owner. This needs attention of a professional who can use some insecticide that will stop this infestation. Or, you, Ryan and the cats can be severely bitten. Good luck and be safe!

Terry Michaels

If you are scared, then you should probably do something about it. If you aren’t scared, then most likely you will be safe. I am not sure that photo is a brown recluse or not. They are very small and don’t get big. There is another common household spider that looks sort of like a brown recluse but it is not. It gets much bigger. Get a book on spiders and look them up or else google it.


I just added an identification video to the above post. I’ll research brown recluse id more to make sure we have those, but as of right now I’m pretty convinced we’re one of the houses with, as he said, “hundreds living in the home”. I’m not eager to get close enough to check how many eyes it has though, LOL! Dang, we’re like in the red middle of recluse territory here in Northwest Arkansas. Thanks for commenting, and I’ll keep in touch with our spider progress!


Yep, that’s definitely a brown recluse – you can click my photo in the above post to make it bigger, and compare with the video found in the lower-left side of this website: The spiders look identical to me. Ours are about quarter-sized, the size of brown recluse spiders.


Also, I got a positive ID from an expert who works with the brown recluse and other insects at the St. Louis Zoo.

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