Brown recluse spider got this name for the reason that it prefers staying mostly out of the sight. Today, their numbers have developed, and with so many of them in existence, they do not have enough spots to live out of sight anymore.
When I first became a pest control technician, I came across a brown recluse occasionally, and when I shined my flashlight on the spider, it took off running for the shadows. They built their webs behind cabinets and other objects that kept them hidden. They still do that of course, and this spider’s habits has not changed. It is only that they have so many babies that the younger populations have to move out into the open to weave their cobwebs. Their parents occupy all the hidden spaces. And all those increases in baby numbers caused a population explosion of brown recluse spiders that now reaches across the USA.
When I first started my active pest control technician career, the company entomologist told me that recluse spiders lived in Indiana, but few people have ever seen them. The spiders lived only in the basements of the big city buildings, back in the dark corners where nobody ever went. But not long after he gave me that bit of information I got an unpleasant and shocking surprise.
One of my pest control accounts was a major Indianapolis hospital. In one building, they stored all of the patient’s records. This particular warehouse held shelves of boxes, and those boxes contained folders for every patient the hospital treated. Off the warehouse area were office spaces, and on the warehouse side of the office space wall was a work bench where employees worked on the files.
Spaced at intervals around the warehouse walls, we kept bait boxes, and in those bait boxes, we placed glue boards, and bait blocks to help keep rodent population under control. We didn’t want those mice and rats chew up patients’ files.
One day I entered the warehouse from the loading dock. Just inside the door was the first bait box that I checked on each visit. I picked up the box, opened the lid, and caught a sudden movement by an insect that my mind immediately recognized, and flagged with a sudden ‘get away from that’ thought. I dropped the box real quick. Then I investigated what caused my alarm, and saw that it was a brown recluse spider. It was a total surprise for me for the reason that I had re-baited that box on a number of other visits to the warehouse. In fact, I visited that building once every month, so that spider must not have been in the box for much long.
So I decided to catch the spider with a glue board, and as I positioned the board to coax the insect onto it another recluse jumped out from behind the bait blocks which was another scary surprise for me. I managed to capture both spiders on the glue board, took them out to my truck and continued my warehouse inspection. Three bait boxes later, I found another recluse and as I continued, I found a recluse in a cobweb at one end of the work bench. The brown recluse spider is highly venomous, and you really don’t want to get too close to one. But you need to know that they really are not very reclusive anymore. You must be careful when you move things around that you have stored for any period of time because you just might find one of these spiders in your face.