The brown recluse spider, or Loxosceles reclusa, is so named because of its dark coloring and the fact that it prefers seclusion. This spider might prefer to be left alone - but alas! Its antisocial tendencies won't stop it from living with you in your house. These spiders are fairly common, and are found mainly in the central Midwestern states of the U.S.
Brown recluse spiders can be identified by the "violin" type marking on their bodies, and their color usually ranges from tan to dark brown. Their bodies may have a velvety appearance.
Occurrences of recluse bites are rare - unless you accidentally touch one without realizing it, the spider is not likely to bite. The number of people treated annually for bites is generally in the hundreds, not thousands. The bites have never been deadly, and 90% of all brown recluse spider bites heal without scarring. That's the good news; the bad news is that it often takes a lot of time and effort to rid your home completely of brown recluse spiders.
There are several preventive steps you can take, like making sure that all screens are tightly fit, removing trash, and eliminating the type of cluttered spaces that recluses flock to. Sticky traps and glueboards can catch a few spiders at a time, but aren't likely to do much in the event of a larger infestation.
Insecticides are an extremely useful method for getting rid of brown recluse spiders; there is the do-it-yourself pest control option, as well as having a trained professional come to your house.