What to Know About Brown Recluse Spiders in Ohio

If you live in Ohio, chances are you’ve heard of the dreaded brown recluse spider. These common spiders are known for their venomous bite and can be found lurking in dark corners and closets across the state. 

Like the southern black widow spider, the name of the brown recluse spider is enough to leave just about any outdoor enthusiast quaking in his boots. These are some of the most common venomous spiders in the United States, and their bites can really pack a punch!

But how much do you really know about these oft-feared arachnids? Let’s delve into some interesting facts about brown recluse spiders in Ohio. 


Key Takeaways

  • Brown recluse spiders are common in Ohio but prefer to remain isolated in places like wood piles and attics, meaning you aren’t likely to see one out in the open.
  • A brown recluse bite can be painful and lead to more serious complications like necrosis of the tissue around the bite.
  • The best way to prevent brown recluse spiders from setting up shop in your home is to keep things clean and seal up any potential entry points. 


Are There Brown Recluse Spiders in Ohio?

First off, let’s get some basic facts out of the way. The brown recluse spider is one of many species of spiders that call Ohio home. It is relatively small—about the size of a quarter—with a distinct violin-shaped marking on its back. 

The brown recluse is also notable for its brownish-yellow color and six eyes, instead of eight like most other spiders. While they can be found all over the state, they are more common in southern and central regions where it is warmer year round. 

These spiders prefer dark, secluded areas like basements, closets, attics, and woodpiles. They generally come out at night to hunt insects or scavenge for food. These spiders are fairly common in the Midwest including much of Ohio. 

That said, you’re not super likely to see one. They prefer out-of-the-way places for building webs and are typically only active during the warmer months of the year. 

Despite their reputation as an aggressive spider species, they will usually only bite if threatened or provoked; otherwise, they will simply retreat from any human contact. That said, bites from these spiders can be painful and potentially dangerous if not treated quickly and properly, so it pays to exercise caution when dealing with them! 


How Dangerous Is a Brown Recluse?

Brown recluse spiders are not something you want to mess with. They’re the stuff of nightmares and the bane of homeowners everywhere. But how dangerous are these little critters really? 

A brown recluse bite is no joke. These spiders possess a neurotoxic venom that can cause some pretty nasty reactions in humans. Typically, the first symptom will be pain around the area where it bit you. This can then be followed by redness, itching, swelling, and even lesions on your skin.

In serious cases, a person may experience fever, nausea, joint pain, and even organ damage, which is why it’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you believe you have been bitten by a brown recluse. Don’t wait until things get worse! 


Brown recluse bites aren’t all that rare. In fact, there have been numerous reports of people being treated for spider bites throughout Ohio over the years, and many of those were found to have come from brown recluses specifically! 

While medical treatment can prevent the vast majority of problems in most people, in the immunocompromised or those with allergies, the bite of a brown recluse spider can be life-threatening.

So it’s best to familiarize yourself with what these spiders look like so that you can take appropriate measures to protect yourself if necessary. 


How to Identify a Brown Recluse

Brown recluse spiders are notoriously difficult to identify, as they can vary significantly in size and appearance. However, there are some key characteristics that can help to distinguish them from other types of spiders. 

For example, brown recluse spiders typically have a dark brown or black body with a light brown marking on their abdomen. They also have long, thin legs and a small head compared to their body. 


What to Do If a Brown Recluse Bites You

While brown recluse bites can be serious, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you get the help you need right away. 

  • Apply ice as soon as possible: Applying cold compresses or ice packs will help reduce swelling and pain associated with the bite. Keep in mind that ice should only be used for 15-20 minutes at a time and not directly on the skin as this may cause frostbite. 
  • Keep the wound clean: Make sure to regularly disinfect the area of the bite with soap and water; this will help prevent any infection from spreading further. It is also important to keep an eye out for any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or pus coming from the wound. 
  • Take an antihistamine: To reduce itching and inflammation associated with the bite, take antihistamines such as Benadryl or Claritin-D as directed on the bottle. This will also help reduce any allergic reactions caused by the bite itself. In most cases, doctors will also prescribe antibiotics to treat the bites. Brown recluse spider bites can result in necrosis of the flesh, so it’s important to seek medical attention ASAP.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible: Depending on how severe your reaction is to the bite, your doctor may recommend seeing an allergist, infectious disease specialist, or dermatologist for further evaluation or treatment options such as antibiotics or topical creams/ointments.  


Taking Precautions

Brown recluse spiders can be dangerous, so it’s important to take steps to keep them from making their way into your house. Here are some tips for how to do just that. 


Keep it Clean

Brown recluses love clutter and mess, so make sure you don’t give them any places to hide! Vacuum regularly, especially in areas like closets and basements where these spiders may be lurking. Additionally, make sure your yard is free of debris and tall grass; this will reduce the number of hiding spots available to them outside. 


Seal It Up

Check all windows and doors for cracks or crevices that might provide an entryway for the spiders. Caulk up any openings or use mesh screens over vents. Make sure that window screens fit snugly in their frames as well—you don’t want any bugs getting through those either! 


Take Away Their Food Source

Brown recluses love roaches, crickets, and other insects, so if they have access to these food sources, they will stay around longer than you’d like them to! Reduce the number of bugs in your home by keeping food stored properly and cleaning up spills quickly. You can also vacuum regularly (see Tip 1!). 


Get Help From Professionals

If all else fails, or if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of trying to keep out these dangerous spiders on your own, consider hiring a professional exterminator who can help get rid of any existing pests as well as offer advice on how to continue keeping them away from your home in the future. 


Final Thoughts

While it’s true that brown recluse spiders have a reputation for being dangerous and venomous pests, there’s no need to panic when encountering one in your home or garden! 

With a few simple precautions—such as regular vacuuming and dusting—you’ll be able to keep these pesky critters at bay without having to resort to harsh chemical treatments or expensive exterminators. And should you ever encounter one up close and personal, just remember: stay calm, and leave it alone! And of course, call a pest controller to take care of the problem for you.