San Antonio: (830) 931-1292 | Waco: (254) 224-6744 | College Station: 979-431-3992

San Antonio: (830) 931-1292 Waco: (254) 224-6744 College Station: 979-431-3992

How To Tell Black Widows And Brown Recluses Apart

How To Tell Black Widows And Brown Recluses Apart

Untitled design – 2021-04-28T085111.547

There are two very dangerous spider species that are quite common in home infestations – black widows and brown recluses. As such it’s important to be able to tell these two species apart from each other and apart from other spiders.

Visual differences

The main way to tell the two species apart is visually. Black widows have a very distinctive appearance. They have a shiny black exterior, with a bulbous abdomen, and a red hourglass marking. Brown recluses on the other hand can be easily mistaken for other spider species such as the wolf spider. They are small, brown, and they have a violin marking on their abdomen.

To complicate matters further, only female black widows have the distinctive look. Juvenile and male widows do not have the hourglass, and they may even be dark brown in coloration. You then have other widow types such as the brown widow, the fake black widow, and other spiders that could be mistaken for black widow males and juveniles. The main thing to keep in mind though is that only females are venomous and they are only ones with the hourglass.

Different types of venom

The venoms of these two spiders are also quite different, but both are very dangerous. The black widow carries a neurotoxin, which can lead to death in people with compromised or weak immune systems. The venom basically attacks the nervous system, leading to pain, nausea, loss of consciousness and respiratory arrest. Brown recluses on the other hand have a necrotizing venom. This venom can dissolve flesh, which is very painful and can lead to disfiguring wounds. Although rare, brown recluse venom can also lead to deaths. Both bites will require immediate medical attention.

Getting them out of your home

Because of how dangerous these spiders can be, you should get in touch with a pest control company as soon as you spot them in the home. A specialist will be able to remove the spiders and implement preventive measures that will keep your home spider-free for up to six months. This is the safest way to make sure that both black widows and brown recluses are removed as safely and as quickly as possible from your home.

For more information on these two dangerous spider species, or if you’ve spotted them in your home, contact us today.