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Brown Recluse Spiders

This withdrawn web weaver hides inside homes -- within the darkest, smallest, most isolated places it can find.

Geographic Region

Brown recluse spiders are mainly found in the central Midwestern states and south to the Gulf of Mexico. They are especially prevalent in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.

Natural Habitat

Commonly residing inside homes, the brown recluse spider can be found in any of the following places: attics, bathrooms, garages, closets and cellars, vents and heating ducts. Brown recluse spiders can nest in stored clothes, old books, boxes, furniture, toys, carpets, coatings, corners and cracks. When outdoors, brown recluse spiders can be found underneath rocks or inside woodpiles or hollow tree trunks.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions do not affect brown recluse spiders, as they are most frequently found inside structures. Brown recluse spiders do not typically travel outdoors; rather, they hitchhike on boxes, furniture and and other items from infested structures.


Shy and sedentary during the day, the brown recluse spider is active in homes at night while searching for prey. It can be found in buildings, weaving its web in high and dark corners. Brown recluse spiders have no interest in humans and only bite in self-defense. Their webs are built on the ground and are used for nesting, not trapping prey.

Unique Characteristics

  • The brown recluse spider is small -- only a quarter-inch to a half-inch long.
  • Its body has a dark brown violin-shaped spot. It has three pairs of eyes, while other spiders have four pairs.
  • The venom of a brown recluse spider is highly toxic to humans.