Thanks for the link, Witz. I haven't heard of this beastie before. When I had a look at it I was intrigued to see it looks a lot like our common huntsman spider (although a huntsman is usually a lot bigger, up to a handspan across), which is considered fairly harmless here although its bite can cause problems.
I found a Wikipedia link with more info too - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_recluse_spider
We have a spider called the White-Tailed Spider" which looks quite different but is about the same size. The white-tailed spider has an abdomen shaped like a matchstick, as if the match as a white head. Unusual. But the bite is alleged to cause necrosis. It used to be considered gospel, but now they're saying the same thing as Wikipedia said about the brown recluse bite - that it's often a staph infection (which, from my own experience, could be associated with a spider bite - any spider).
The jury is still out on the topic over here with the white-tails. They have a very similar habit to the brown recluse. Old cardboard boxes are a common location, so we avoid bringing them into the house. It's also how baby cockroaches get into the house after you've exterminated them, yet another reason for avoiding the cardboard boxes.
We live with dangerous spiders here. I'm not comparing or saying, "We're worse off than you, nyaah, nyahh" only to say, we've given up on exterminators. You need different and stronger pesticides to take out spiders and if you only make them sick, it just makes them cranky. I don't want to have to deal with a cranky funnelweb spider - you don't live long enough to have tissue necrosis! Although touch wood, we've not had a funnelweb fatality since the antivenin was developed back in the 80s.
But what works for us - we train the kids, too, from toddlers - always check clothing, shoes, boots, socks - carefully examine it for spiders before you put it on. Do not keep shoes or boots outside the house because more spiders live outside than inside. And if you get bitten, no matter what sort of spider - seek medical attention pronto. If you can identify the spider, even better. It's why I wear thongs (flip-flops) in summer. Nowhere for a spider to hide.
Even with exterminators visiting regularly, you need these precautions.
Our neighbour over the road used to have her place sprayed regularly. And yet she would STILL find funnelweb spiders in the bottom of her swimming pool - they wander in and get trapped. And they can survive under water for a week or more. Frankly, I think they were attracted to her place because of the pool. She eventually had it filled in.
We used to try to catch any we found to send them to the serum laboratories, but there is no need these days. Any nasty spider we find gets the boot. Squish. We keep the huntsman spiders around because they will keep other nasty spiders under control. Not inside the house, though - outside, please. On the tree. They are not aggressive, they only attack when really thoroughly provoked (as when I saw one of our hens trying to eat one - the only time I've ever seen a spider bail up a hen. She'd REALLY got the spider riled!).
Strong suggestion - wear thick rubber gloves when tidying around piles of paper, books and boxes. The brown recluse shouldn't have fangs long enough to go through rubber gloves. And you'd have to clean it all out anyway, for the exterminators.