Warm Tennessee Weather Makes Brown Recluse Spiders Happy

Warm Tennessee Weather Makes Brown Recluse Spiders Happy
We love perfect growing season weather! It means that, when harvest time comes, we can visit the farmers market and get locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables! Brown recluse spiders feel the same way about the warm weather this season as we do. No, they aren’t looking forward to yummy Tennessee grown tomatoes or snap beans, but they know that warmer weather brings more of the food that they love: other insects!
Brown recluse spiders, like most other spiders, prefer to feed on flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes, and other insects. They have a paralyzing bite that paralyzes their prey almost immediately. These nocturnal hunters are actually more of a scavenger than an actual web-sitting spider. They are most commonly found roaming around at night in search of dead insects to feed on.
Brown recluse spiders are one of the most feared spiders in Tennessee, though they hardly live up to their reputation. As their name suggests, these spiders are rather reclusive and will hide away in warm, dark places during the daytime. Hunting at night also allows them to avoid coming into contact with people, especially when they are invading a home. Some of the most common places to find these spiders are:
  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Closets
  • Heating and cooling registers and ductwork
  • Inside storage boxes (in clothing, shoes, boots, linens, etc.)
  • Eaves of buildings
  • In the corners of storage sheds, barns, and garages
  • Inside rock walls
Encounters with the brown recluse spider are relatively uncommon; these spiders typically only bite if a person inadvertently surprises the spider or tries to trap the spider as the spider’s natural instinct will be to bite in order to protect itself. Contrary to popular belief, these spiders do not seek out humans to bite them.
These small, 3/8” long and 3/16” diameter, light brown spiders are easily identified by the dark brown fiddle-shaped marking on their backs. Anyone who is bitten by a brown recluse spider should seek medical attention immediately; the bite of this spider can be extremely painful and the venom that is injected can cause a variety of reactions. If possible, obtaining the spider you were bitten by and keeping it secure for proper identification is important in order to take the proper course of medical treatment.
The warm summer weather in Tennessee is a happy time for many of us, including the brown recluse spider. Keep these dangerous spiders out of your home or business with a year-round pest control plan from the Tennessee pests control professionals at Russell’s Pest Control. We offer several pest control plans to fit your needs, your schedule, and your budget. Don’t wait another day; give us a call to learn more about our residential pest control plans!

Knoxville Pest Companies Respond To Spike In Spider Infestations

Knoxville Pest Companies Respond To Spike In Spider Infestations

Raishad Hardnett
July 18th, 2017


As temperatures continue to rise in East Tennessee, some pests are becoming more active.

Several Knoxville pest control companies say calls are flooding in this summer more than past years, especially for spider infestations.

Calls are ringing off the hook at Russell’s Pest Control company, where staff are now receiving 20 to 30 calls per week for spider problems alone.

“Spiders especially have skyrocketed this year,” said Brian Smith, service manager for Russell’s Pest Company. “It wasn’t as active last year. It was very hot, but very dry, and there wasn’t a lot of rain. We’ve had a good amount of rain this year.”

Across Knoxville, at least three pest companies report a rise in spider-related calls, including a venomous spider called the Brown Recluse.

The spider, identified by a violin-shaped torso, can be found all over the South, from East Tennessee to Oklahoma. Smith said they are usually more prevalent in the Midwest than East Tennessee, but multiple companies say calls are becoming increasingly more common.

One company, Dayton’s Pest Control, reported about half a dozen calls for Brown Recluse in the past month. Experts say that is not overly prevalent, but still more than usual for East Tennessee.

Last week, another Knoxville company, Frogg’s Pest Control, responded to a home littered with them.

“The Brown Recluse gets a lot of attention because of the severity of the bite,” said Smith. “Their venom can cause flesh and muscle to deteriorate.”

However, experts at the University of California Riverside found “90 percent of Brown Recluse bites are not medically significant, and heal very nicely often without medical intervention.” 

Smith said the spider is likely to live in more homes than many people realize, due to their secluded nature. Exterminating the spiders is tricky, however, because they hide in nooks and crannies, often making glue traps more effective than pesticides.

“We try to put a lot of glue boards, a lot of monitors out to try to catch those spiders because they are so reclusive,” Smith said.

Smith said Russell’s Pest Control is beefing up staff to handle the uptick in pest calls.

If you do find Brown Recluse in your home, your best move may be to call the professionals.