TREATMENT STRATEGIES: oh by the way…Brown Recluse spiders don’t live in Utah…
Although brown recluse spiders can be difficult to control, with a combination of sticky traps and persistent chemical application, their numbers can be greatly reduced to the point where they’re found in low enough numbers that a homeowner or business might consider acceptable.
It’s been general procedure that pest management professionals (PMPs) don’t guarantee eradication of brown recluses, but instead reduction of the population to such low numbers that it will significantly reduce the spider’s potential for causing damage. Yet for some people, even one brown recluse spider is one too many.
The first step is to verify the presence of brown recluse spiders in a home by using sticky traps placed next to walls and other vertical surfaces. If a house has recluses, it should have plenty of them — and they should be easily trapped. Recluse spiders leave behind a shed skin in an asterisk pattern, which will allow a PMP to determine whether recluses had been present at one point, even if no spiders can be found. (See photo.)
Older homes seem more susceptible for infestation because of numerous cracks and crevices, but even in Missouri or eastern Kansas, not every home has recluse spiders.
One Midwestern company’s threshold is to treat if more than six brown recluses are captured in traps. Treating baseboards, dusting wall voids and crevices with micro-injectors has been effective, with follow-up visits each month for the first three months. Service then becomes quarterly.
Preventing spider entrance into the home may also be effective by sealing and caulking holes and cracks, and by power spraying the vegetation on the house. Physically removing old silk and shed skins allows you to see whether there is additional activity on the next visit. However, many homes cannot be made impenetrable.
In addition to actual treatment, there are a couple of things you can advise your clients to do that can reduce or minimize the chances of encountering brown recluse spiders:
- In the bedroom, pull the bed away from the wall, remove all ruffles or bed skirts and all clutter from under the bed such that the only way a brown recluse could climb on the bed is up one of the four legs. Some people put sticky traps under the foot of each bed leg, which can be done in homes without small children or inquisitive pets.
- In the garage or attic, store clothing in spider-proof clothing bags or zipper-closure plastic bags. This is important for items that are not used very often, such as baseball mitts, sports shoes, gardening gloves and apparel.
If you have any more questions about the Brown Recluse be sure to give us a call at 435-628-2700!