Brown Recluse Spider Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Brown recluse spiders are usually found in the southeastern part of the United States and have a very powerful venom. Come learn about these spiders, how they live and how to identify them.

Brown Recluse Spiders

It's late at night and you're thirsty, so you decide to get up and get a drink of water. You turn on the kitchen light and are just about to grab a glass and reach for the faucet when you notice a brown spider dash across the floor. It darts under the couch, but when you bend down to look for it, it's gone. You'd better be careful and let your parents know, because you may have just seen a brown recluse spider!

Brown recluse spiders have powerful, dangerous venom and come in different shades of brown. They also have a noticeable violin-shaped spot that starts at their eyes and stops right before their abdomens.

Brown recluse with violin spot
Brown recluse with violin spot

Brown recluse spiders are less than half an inch in length and have long legs. And though most spiders have eight eyes, brown recluse spiders have six eyes grouped together in three pairs.

Brown Recluse Habitats

Brown recluse spiders are typically found in parts of the Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee) and the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Ohio) in the United States, along with Oklahoma and Texas. However, they occasionally turn up in other states as well.

Brown recluse with six eyes
Brown recluse with six eyes

Outside, you might find a brown recluse hiding under a rock or hanging out in the rotting wood of dead trees. And just like you, brown recluses also like living indoors and can be found in houses and other buildings.

Hiding Places

Brown recluse spiders are also excellent at hide-and-seek once they're inside, creeping around in places like your garage and attic. They can also be found in cracks in the wall, small holes near your fireplace and parts of furniture, like your couch. They usually find their way into a house or building by being sneaky and hitching a ride on things like boxes from places that are already crawling with brown recluse spiders.

Nocturnal Behavior

Although you may not realize it, you may already be sharing your house with a brown recluse spider because they're nocturnal, or most active at night when you can't see them. And though females spin flat webs, you won't see them in windows or the corners of a room like you might with other spiders. But don't be alarmed - brown recluse spiders aren't aggressive and usually don't go after people - unless they go after them first.

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