What Attracts Brown Recluse To My Home?

Things You Must Know About Brown Recluse Spiders!

The last spider anyone wants to find in their Tennessee home is a poisonous spider. But there is something worse than having a poisonous spider in your home...having dozens of poisonous spiders in your home. This is what makes the brown recluse a significant problem. It isn't just that they have venom with necrotic properties or that they enter homes, it's that it is not uncommon for a home to have several dozen brown recluse spiders. What brings these spiders into a home in the first place? Are some homes more prone to having a brown recluse infestation? Let's take a look.

There are two primary reasons any bug or wild animal will enter a man-made structure: harborage and sustenance. The brown recluse spider is no different. And the easier it is for them to get in, the higher the probability that they will. So, while a home with holes, cracks, and gaps isn't necessarily "more attractive" to a brown recluse, it is more susceptible to invasion.

a brown recluse infestation on the outside of a tennessee home


There are two ways a home can be attractive to a brown recluse. If the exterior of a home has weeds and overgrowth, a woodpile, construction materials, rocks, or other hiding places, the brown recluse will feel welcome. Inside a home, they can be found hiding in closets, attics, basements, and crawl spaces. They prefer still, dark, secluded areas to hide in, and feel most comfortable if there is a lot of clutter. For a spider that is a recluse, an abundance of hiding spaces is attractive. But, even if a home is clutter free, and a yard is well kept, brown recluse may still come in. All homes provide safety from the elements. This alone may be enough incentive for them to enter and stay.


The brown recluse is a hunter spider, and nothing makes a home more attractive to these predators than lots of food. Their primary food source is small bugs. The more small bugs you have, the more attractive your home will be to a brown recluse. For this reason, an ongoing pest control plan is one of the best ways to make a home less attractive. Many homeowners have lots of bugs they don't even know about. Overwintering pests get in through cracks and hide in wall voids, crawl spaces, basements, and attics. This is another reason these spiders like these locations. They are filled with cockroaches, beetles, silverfish, firebrats, crickets, and more.


Since brown recluse like to hide, almost all of the best ways to avoid being bitten are linked to a careful inspection of potential hiding places.

  • Tap shoes and boots before sliding your feet in.
  • Pull sheets and bedding down before sliding into bed.
  • Shake clothing out before putting items on, especially if they have been on the floor. The best course of action is to never leave clothing on the floor.
  • Be careful when turning things over in your yard.
  • Look before you sit. The last thing you want to do is to lean back on the couch and disturb a brown recluse clinging to the fabric.
  • Never pick a sheet or blanket up and put it over you if it was lying on the floor next to your bed, especially in the middle of the night when it is dark.
  • Shake your towel before you use it to dry yourself.
  • Be cautious when opening boxes that were stored in a secluded place.
  • When you store items that brown recluse might hide inside, such as clothing or shoes, put them inside a plastic bag or a sealed plastic container.
  • Seal cracks in your exterior walls.
  • Inspect and replace damaged screens, weather stripping, and door sweeps.
  • Reduce hiding places on the outside of your home that lure brown recluse to come in close and explore your walls for entry points.
  • Clean up attic spaces so they are orderly and free of clutter.

If you'd like to take the first step toward making your home less attractive to brown recluse spiders and sign up for year-round pest control, which directly addresses the food source spiders are looking for, we make it easy with a free home evaluation. It only takes a few quick clicks. 


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