The Difference Between House Spiders & Brown Recluses

A brown recluse spider weaves a web on a house.
••• rickyblueblu/iStock/Getty Images

No matter where you go in your home, most likely there's a spider in the room with you. House spiders are common throughout the nation. Though most are harmless, there are some poisonous spiders, such as the brown recluse, that can deliver painful and debilitating bites. Identifying a brown recluse in your home requires knowledge of how these spiders operate, where they live and what they look like.

Location

A brown recluse spider captures prey in its web.
••• Eugenios Baltatzis/iStock/Getty Images

There are likely hundreds of varieties of house spiders wandering about your home, depending on the area of the U.S. in which you live. Brown recluses typically live in the central Midwest and the South, in a region including Georgia in the east, Texas in the west, north to Iowa and south to the Gulf of Mexico. While they can and do live in other areas, they prefer warmer climates.

Visibility

A brown recluse spider weaves a web.
••• lkpro/iStock/Getty Images

You can find house spiders throughout your home at all hours of the day. A brown recluse, on the other hand, typically only comes out at night or in dark areas of the home. House spiders vary in their appearance; brown recluse spiders are light brown to dark brown with a round body. Brown recluse spiders have a dark brown violin-shaped mark on their backs, their primary identifying mark.

Habitat

A brown recluse spider on its web in the dark.
••• kortemeyer/iStock/Getty Images

A house spider may reside in places that are less-traveled but still visible, such as under furniture, on windowsills and in corners. The brown recluse, on the other hand, likes to be completely secluded. According to the website "Pest World for Kids," a brown recluse commonly lives in cellars, basements, attics or in piles of stored materials where it can rest undisturbed.

Bites

A brown recluse spider on skin.
••• gashgeron/iStock/Getty Images

The majority of house spiders don't bite, but those that do bite usually don't cause serious or life-threatening conditions. A house spider bite will often leave a red, irritated bump that usually occurs in the middle of the night without disturbing sleep. But a brown recluse spider inflicts a painful bite that you will notice instantly. The bite forms a blister with a red-and-white ring, which turns into an itchy rash within 24 to 48 hours. High amounts of venom from a brown recluse spider bite can cause fever, chills, nausea, muscle aches, vomiting and even heart conditions.

Related Articles

Types of Dangerous Spiders
Dangerous Spiders in North Carolina
Spiders Found in New Mexico
Common Spiders in Massachusetts
What is the Lifespan of the House Spider?
Common House Spiders in Connecticut
Types of Spiders in Ottawa Valley
How Many Eggs Can a House Spider Lay?
Common House Spiders in Wisconsin
Common Spiders in South Texas
Pennsylvania Spiders That Bite
What Is the Most Poisonous Spider to Humans?
Florida Tarantulas and Other Spiders
How To Tell The Difference Between Poisonous and Non-Poisonous...
Life Span of Brown House Moths
How to Identify Spiders in Connecticut
Types of Poisonous Spiders
Poisonous Spiders Native to Illinois
Types of Spiders in Michigan's Upper Peninsula