Differences Between a Brown Recluse vs. House Spider

Posted by Remedy on

Each year, only around seven people die from spider bites. So you’ll probably be safe, right?

Death from spider bite may be unlikely, but other symptoms like vomiting, fever, and growing wounds are worth avoiding!

Isn’t the solution just to avoid venomous spiders? Yes – but one of the most common spiders looks like one of the most dangerous.

Brown recluse spiders are second only to black widows in the US in danger. But they look like a common house spider! That is, if you haven’t studied up on the differences.

This brown recluse vs house spider guide is just what you need to stay informed. Read on to learn the differences, as well as what to do if you find one in your home.

Brown Recluse vs House Spider Appearance

The easiest way to spot the difference between these two spiders is their appearance. If you can get close enough, look for the differences in markings and eyes.


The venomous brown recluse spider has distinct markings on its body. These marks are often described as looking like a violin. Look for this shape on its head and body.

The brown recluse spider isn’t the only one with this marking. But if these spiders live in your area and the spider is brown, it’s a strong identifier.

By contrast, house spiders are usually just one color. And if they happen to have markings, they won't be in the brown recluse's violin shape. They'll be of similar color, not the stark contrast of the brown recluse.


If you can get close enough, counting the eyes is one of the fastest ways to differentiate between these spiders.

The vast majority of spiders have eight eyes. This includes the common house spider.

However, the brown recluse spider only has six eyes!

Having six eyes is very uncommon in spiders. Therefore, a brown spider with six eyes is most likely a brown recluse.

Brown Recluse vs House Spider Webs

What if you can’t get a good look at the spider in your home? Then, look for the webs they make.

Can you see spider webs scattered around your home? This suggests a common house spider. They like to create uneven webs in places you can spot.

The brown recluse on the other hand hides its webs. It likes to stay hidden, keeping its webs under furniture and in other quiet spaces.

Do House Spiders Bite?

House spiders don’t often bite humans, preferring to run away from any perceived threats. However, they may bite if threatened. That may be if you pick it up or happen to touch it by accident, such as by rolling over on it in bed.

House Spider Bite Symptoms

House spider bites are usually not hazardous. They may form a small bump on the skin, but it should go down soon.

The exception to this rule is if you happen to be allergic. If you experience uncomfortable symptoms, it's always best to seek medical attention.

Do Brown Recluse Spiders Bite?

Similarly, brown recluses don’t often bite. They will only do so if they feel threatened. So be careful blindly placing your hands into cracks, crevices, or under furniture.

Brown Recluse Bite Symptoms

As the venomous spider on this list, the brown recluse's bite is far more dangerous. Its venom is more potent than a rattlesnake's.

At first, the pain may be minimal. But it will worsen over time.

The next stage is blistering around the area. This is followed by the skin possibly changing color and curving inward. Then, brown recluse victims may get a fever or experience vomiting.

Eventually, this bite can kill skin tissue. This can result in permanent scarring to the area.

If you suspect you have a brown recluse bite, seek medical attention immediately.

Could It Be a Desert Recluse?

Another consideration is whether you’ve spotted a desert recluse spider.

Desert recluses are just as dangerous as brown recluse spiders. But their markings are lighter in color.

Because of their lighter color, they can be harder to distinguish from house spiders. But the tell-tale violin marking and six eyes are still there. If you spot these signs, react the same as you would to a brown recluse.

What If I Find a Spider?

A spider infestation can happen at any time of year. But you're more likely to spot them outside of winter, and at night. What should you do if you find one of these spiders in your home?

If you find a house spider, your pest control issue is less serious. The pest isn’t posing a serious threat. However, for most households, it’s still preferable to get the spider out of your home.

If you find a brown recluse spider, the issue is far more urgent. Though these spiders don’t bite often, the risk they pose is still very dangerous. It’s far more important that you rid your home of the spider.

How should you get rid of a spider infestation? The best answer is a pesticide spray.

One way of getting this done is to hire a pest control company to come treat your home. While this may be the preferred method for many people and can be a great option, it can sometimes be very expensive and may require dealing with complicated schedules or multiple hour time windows requiring you to wait around for someone to show up.

Another option is to do the spray yourself. You can find many of the same products that the professionals use online and can do your own application. The downside is that there are THOUSANDS of products online and many of them can be very expensive still. It can be confusing and frustrating trying to decide which product is best for what you need.

How can you find the best pest spray for your pest and your home? We have the answer. Remedy provides a DIY pest control solution that is shipped straight to your home. With a little information provided by you, we help choose the pesticide that would be best for the pests you are dealing with and send it to you at the frequency that is best for your climate.

The Best Pest Control Product

The brown recluse vs house spider question is a common one, but now you know the difference. And you know that pest spray is the best solution.

At Remedy, we have put together the best option for your DIY pest control needs. Our professional identification, advice, and guidance are here whenever you need them. But you never have to invite us to your house.

Tell us about your home and pests to start your pest control subscription. We send exactly what you need, when you need it. Develop your DIY plan today to keep your home spider-free all year round!

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