Spiders are Not Trying to Attack You, No Matter What the Horror Movies Say

Our Texas insect expert answers common questions about bugs.

By Laura RiceOctober 30, 2015 10:19 am

You see them in the movies: giant spiders with a thirst for blood. Tarantulas with a taste for human flesh. A giant spider from space unleashed upon unaware citizens. No matter what the movies are saying about spiders, they’re just trying to go about their daily business – not your blood.

Wizzie Brown is an insect specialist with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office.

What about those scary brown recluses?

“They are not trying to attack you no matter what horror movies say. The recluse spiders, they’re more of an indoor species, so you typically find them in attics or closets that aren’t disturbed, underneath beds… But they’re going to usually be in boxes and different things like that.”

What does the Brown Recluse look like?

“They are anywhere from a pale brown to a dark brownish grey spider. They have a violin or guitar-shaped marking on their cephalothorax, which is kind of their back. But there are other spiders that look very similar to them. So if you’re suspicious, collect the spider, stick it into the freezer to kill it and send it to me for identification.”

How do I get rid of these spiders?

“If you have brown recluse in your house, it depends on how many you have and how comfortable you are with having them there with you. A lot of people will use glue boards to trap them. They just put them in areas where they would hide. But you can certainly spray base boards and different things like that to kind of cut down on the population.”