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Boxelder Bugs


Black Widow      Brown Recluse     Wolf Spider

Black Widow (Latrodectus) Black Widow


  • Length of females is about ½ inch and the males are ¼ inch long.

  • Females are black.

  • Red hourglass shaped marks are seen on the underside of the abdomen of the females.

  • Found throughout the world in temperate and tropical areas.

  • Outdoors and indoors; secluded protected sites under or inside logs, under dense shrubbery, under boards, in firewood piles, under furniture, behind and under any debris.

  • Favorite places include barns, sheds, meter boxes, woodpiles, etc.

  • If bitten, immediately call a physician or go to a hospital emergency room.

Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) Brown Recluse


  • Color varies from yellowish to light tan to dark brown.

  • A dark brown violin marking can be found on the cephalothorax.

  • Six eyes are situated in 3 groups of 2 in a semicircle pattern.

  • Body length can range from ¼ to ½ inch long with long thin legs each with two tarsal claws.

Brown Recluse


  • Natural infestations occur in outdoor situations where spiders live in piles of debris.

  • They have adapted well to indoor habitats and are commonly found in storage areas, crawl spaces and other dark recesses.

  • They seem to prefer layered situations like stacks of clutter.

  • They are nocturnal spiders that feed on soft-bodied insect species.

  • Females retreat to an irregularly spun off-white web in undisturbed areas. These webs are not designed to entangle prey.

  • Bites occur when the spider is hiding and accidentally becomes trapped against the skin. The venom associated with the bite causes great discomfort to humans.

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Wolf Spider (Lycosidae)


  • Long body covered with hairs can be nearly 1 ½ inches in length and have a leg span of 3 inches.

  • Key identifying character is the positioning of eyes: bottom row consists of 4 small eyes of equal size. The posterior, top row, is curved backward with the middle two eyes larger in size.

  • Legs are very long with the 4th pair being the longest in length; all legs are sparsely covered by hairs.

  • They are black and white or earthtoned in color. Coloration may be uniform over entire body or arranged in patterns.

  • Commonly feared due to appearance and large size

  • Very active spiders that hunt during the day and night

  • Rapid movers

  • Build no webs

  • Not inclined to enter structures unless venturing after food

  • Female Wolf spider attaches her egg sac to the tip of her spinnerets and carries it with her until spiderlings hatch

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