Identifying Brown Recluse Spiders in Salt Lake City: Key Characteristics and Physical Appearance

If you live in Salt Lake City, you may have heard of the brown recluse spider. This venomous spider is not native to Utah but can be found in certain areas of the state, including Salt Lake City. Brown recluse spiders are known for their potentially dangerous bites, which can cause severe symptoms such as necrosis or tissue death. If you want to stay safe from brown recluse spiders in Salt Lake City, it’s important to be able to identify them

Overview of Brown Recluse Spiders in Salt Lake City

The brown recluse or fiddle back spiders are part of the genus Loxosceles. These spiders are found in the central and southern United States, and their range extends into parts of Mexico and Central America. They enter homes because they prefer warm and dry environments in homes, barns, sheds, and other structures.

Why is it important to identify Brown Recluse Spiders?

The bite of a brown recluse spider can be dangerous and can cause a range of symptoms depending on the severity of the bite. In some cases, the bite can cause necrosis, or tissue death, leading to serious complications. Therefore, identifying brown recluse spiders is important for anyone who lives in an area where they are found, as it can help you take steps to avoid them and prevent bites.


Myths and Misconceptions about Brown Recluse Spiders in Salt Lake City

There are many myths and misconceptions about brown recluse spiders, which can make it difficult to identify them. One common misconception is that all brown spiders are brown recluse spiders. There are many species of brown spiders, and not all of them are venomous or dangerous. Another myth is that brown recluse spiders are aggressive and will attack humans unprovoked. This is not true; brown recluse spiders are generally shy and will only bite humans if they feel threatened or cornered.


Physical Characteristics of Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders are relatively small, with an average body length of 1 to 1 ½ inches. They have long, thin legs, which are usually a lighter color than the body. 

Distinctive Markings and Eye Patterns

One of the key characteristics of brown recluse spiders is their distinctive markings. These spiders have a dark violin-shaped mark on the cephalothorax, which is why they are sometimes called fiddle back spiders. The “neck” of the violin points toward the spider’s abdomen. In addition to the violin mark, brown recluse spiders have six eyes arranged in pairs, with one in front and two on either side.

Distinguishing Brown Recluse Spiders from Other Spider Species in Salt Lake City

Although brown recluse spiders have several distinctive features, they can be difficult to distinguish from other spider species, especially in Salt Lake City, where many different types of spiders exist. Here are some tips for distinguishing brown recluse spiders from other common spider species in the area.

Brown Recluse vs. Wolf Spider

Like brown recluse spiders, wolf spiders are a type of arachnid found in many places worldwide. This is one similarity these two species have in common.


In terms of appearance, both species have a dark brown coloration and long legs. However, brown recluse spiders have an identifying feature known as the “violin” marking on their back, which is absent in wolf spiders. Additionally, while brown recluse spiders have eight eyes arranged in three rows of three, wolf spiders have eight eyes arranged in four rows of two.

Brown Recluse Spider Bites

If you suspect a brown recluse spider has bitten you, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Brown recluse spider bites can cause various symptoms, from mild to severe. In some cases, the bite can cause necrosis, or tissue death, leading to serious complications. Symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite may include:

  • Reddening of the skin
  • Itching or burning at the site of the bite
  • A blister or ulcer that forms at the bite site
  • Fever or chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle aches or cramps

Preventing Brown Recluse Spider Bites

To prevent brown recluse spider bites, it’s important to avoid contact with them. Here are some tips for preventing brown recluse spider bites in Salt Lake City:

  • Keep your home and yard clean and clutter-free, as brown recluse spiders prefer dark, cluttered areas.
  • Seal cracks and gaps in your home’s exterior to prevent spiders from entering.
  • Shake out clothing and bedding before use, as spiders may hide in these materials.
  • Wear gloves when handling firewood or other materials that may harbor spiders.
  • Use insect repellent outdoors, especially in wooded or grassy areas where spiders may be present.