Luckily for most of us, the brown recluse is not an invasive spider species. While they do actively hunt, they prefer paths less traveled by humans and stick to isolated locations. 


Brown recluse spiders are usually between 1⁄4 inch and 3⁄4 inch but may grow larger. While typically light to medium brown, they range in color from cream-colored to dark brown or blackish gray. These spiders usually have markings on the dorsal side, with a black line coming from it that looks like a violin with the neck of the violin pointing to the rear of the spider, resulting in the nicknames fiddleback spider, brown fiddler, or violin spider. 


Brown recluse spiders are known to build irregular webs that frequently include a shelter consisting of disorderly thread. They frequently build their webs in woodpiles and sheds, closets, garages, plenum spaces, cellars, and other places that are dry and remain relatively undisturbed. When dwelling in human residences they seem to favor cardboard, possibly because it mimics the rotting tree bark which they inhabit naturally. Like most spiders though, they can be found anywhere. 

Brown recluse spider contact generally occurs in isolated spaces, but unlike most web weavers, they leave their webbings at night to hunt. Males will move around more when hunting than brown recluse spider females, which tend to remain nearer to their webs.