If you are deathly afraid of spiders like I am, this will likely be what you consider to be a worst-case scenario. Deadly brown recluse spiders are considered the most dangerous spider in Missouri, but the good news is there are easy hacks to keep them far far away.

I have only had one encounter with a brown recluse spider (that I know of). About a dozen years ago, I was getting my Missouri house ready for sale. I was alone in the basement and noticed a pile of boards I had left in the corner. (A really bad idea, by the way) It's almost like I had a spider sense kick in because I approached the boards with extreme caution and instead of reaching down to pick up the boards, I kicked them instead. Out came a very angry looking brown recluse who made a beeline for me. 

If you're a member of PETA and feel like I should have escorted the brown recluse outside in a no-kill scenario, I have bad news for you. It did not end well for the brown recluse. #SorryNotSorry

I tell this very real Missouri brown recluse story because I found some very easy hacks on Architectural Digest on how to make your home more or less brown recluse-free. Here are some of the relatively easy things you can do:

  • Spray baseboards, corners and any other potential spider entry places with water mixed with vinegar or essential oils. They say lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus are the most effective.
  • Brown recluse spiders (allegedly) hate the smell of citrus and cedar so you can put cedar shavings and/or citrus peels around the outside entry points of your home to convince them to stay away.
  • Apply caulk to any cracks that a spider might crawl through. Brown recluse spiders in particular are very wiry and can scrunch down to get through almost any small entry point. Expandable foam and weather stripping can be effective, too.

I have one friend in Missouri who was bitten by a brown recluse and the bullseye mark on his arm caused necrosis medical issues for months.

The Missouri Department of Conservation refers to brown recluse spiders as "violin spiders" also. I don't care what name you call them. I want them 500 miles away from me (at least) and hope these tips can help all of us be safer.

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Gallery Credit: Noah Wittner via YouTube

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