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Brown Recluse on the Rise: Are You Afraid of Spiders?

News 2011/04/27 15:00:00
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First it was Africanized killer bees, then deadly fire ants. And now, beware of the brown recluse.

No, it's not a cheesy pitch for one of those SyFy cheapie movies like "Sharktopus," it's news that one of the most feared spiders in North America is on the crawl and expected to spread into northern states as a result of climate change. England's Daily Mail reported that the spider – which is typically found in the Midwest and South – will move into parts of Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota, Ohio and Pennsylvania by 2080.

If you live in one of those states, you've got time, but it's worth noting where they hang out and what they look like. The recluse tends to build its web in dry, undisturbed places like woodpiles, sheds and cabinets and if they make their way into the house they seek out cardboard, shoes, the sheets of infrequently used beds, inside gloves, in piles of clothes on the floor or near warm spots. You can identify them by a dark, violin-shaped mark in which the neck is pointing down toward the abdomen and unlike most eight-eyed spiders, the Recluse only has six, arranged in pairs. Their bites aren't always fatal, but can be in children, the elderly and others with weakened immune systems.

When disturbed or provoked, the recluse injects powerful venom that can kill, or at the very least kill the skin tissue around the bite and cause painful sores and deep scarring. Symptoms include itching, fever, nausea, vomiting or shock. Doctors frequently misdiagnose the bite with other serious conditions like Lyme disease or some cancers.

Are you afraid of the spread of the brown recluse?
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  • Linda D 2012/09/28 14:03:43
    Yes
    Linda D
    Is this a Brown Recluse? brown recluse
  • JYAC2 2011/07/16 03:10:06
    Yes
    JYAC2
    I have a house full of them, and garage. I've been killing the nasty little buggers for months. Putting down strips of gray tape and spraying cracks and crevices to boot. You are not supposed to bomb because this will only drive them out of their hiding places. I killed one on the kitchen sink just tonight getting ready to do the dishes. Thank God I was not bitten. They run very fast. If it had come toward my hand instead of away, I'd probably be at the hospital right now because there is no way I could have gotten my hand out of the way in time to avoid being bitten.
  • tecknotron BN-0 RP2012 2011/05/05 03:45:10 (edited)
    No
    tecknotron BN-0 RP2012
    Maybe a little. It just makes me want to kill them. I won't wimp put there.
    Oh, and we don't have exotic weird spiders here.
  • dragon warrior 2011/05/04 11:46:31
    No
    dragon warrior
    I'm only afraid of what the venom of some spiders can do.
  • Dennis 2011/04/28 23:38:31
    No
    Dennis
    Got bit by one and it appeared to have bore a hole near the bed of my index finger and nail. It was cured with a 500 lb bottle of penicillin and at that time in my life a twelve pack of Guinness.The skin started to rot and luckily i was seconds from a Hospital. I accidentally put my hand in an area where it was being recluse
  • Texas Johnny 2011/04/28 19:55:50
    Yes
    Texas Johnny
    Only if they are from Australia!! Like the Sydney Funnel Web, Mouse Spider and the Brown Widow!!
    Makes the Recluse look pretty lame!
  • Heather 2011/04/28 15:06:20
    Yes
    Heather
    I hate them!!!!!!!!!
  • Ldude893 2011/04/28 15:04:31
    Yes
    Ldude893
    Got the fear from a children's picture book I found in the library in 1st Grade.
    This is the cover of the book. I hadn't gone around finding it again.

    childrens picture book library 1st grade cover book finding
  • Danny 2011/04/28 15:04:10
    Yes
    Danny
    +1
    Can't deny it, the little bastards freak me out. Not "little girl" freaked out, but "ooohhh, looky there,.... squish" freaked out.Same as rattle snakes, ooohhh, Bang....
  • Tony Mariotti 2011/04/28 15:01:06
    No
    Tony Mariotti
    +1
    waaaaiiiit a minute----I thought us conservatives were supposed to be the fearmongers?
  • Louisa - Enemy of the State 2011/04/28 15:00:22
    Yes
    Louisa - Enemy of the State
    Yes, I'm afraid of the Brown Recluse because my husband says he finds them in our garage. I'm guessing if they are in the garage, they can find their way into our house!
  • Randy 2011/04/28 14:46:22
    No
    Randy
    Not afraid but not a fan.
  • DANNY_B0i♛ 2011/04/28 14:25:46
    No
    DANNY_B0i♛
    I have to kill them all the time for my mom and my girlfriend lol. If they are bigger than my hand you can get it yourself. :)
  • kate 2011/04/28 14:22:54
    No
    kate
    If you understand the habits of the spider, you can take measures to be careful for them. Their bite is dangerous and can cause permanent, long term skin and muscle damage, much less pain.
  • Shelo 2011/04/28 14:21:04
    No
    Shelo
    I've never seen one in my life. If I did, I would get far, far away from it. I know better than to loot around in woodpiles and abandoned stuff or any other place these spiders hang out. And if one did bite me, I know to haul it to the hospital.
  • abbiekat 2011/04/28 14:20:44
    Yes
    abbiekat
    Yes, they gross me out. Just the way the crawl and urg. Don't ask why they scare me they just do.

    Yeah this is me....... (except more girly and without dreads.)
    gross crawl urg scare yeah girly dreads arachnophobia
  • Halle524 2011/04/28 13:56:04
    Yes
    Halle524
    it scared me just to click on the questions picture!
  • ☠ Cheryl ☮ 2011/04/28 13:55:28
    Yes
    ☠ Cheryl ☮
    +3
    PETRIFIED

    petrified Petrified of spiders

    petrified Petrified of spiders
  • sami 2011/04/28 13:42:46
    Yes
    sami
    +1
    When I was bit by one when I was in my forties, it caused a rotted looking spot that took a long time to heal ... I am getting toward the elderly age bracket, so yes I don't want to go through that again ... I have to do lots of yard work so I am always on the watch ... I have also seen three copperheads in the last 5 years ... I try to be careful ...
  • ↓←↑♣→NVL←♣↑→↓ 2011/04/28 13:42:29
    Yes
    ↓←↑♣→NVL←♣↑→↓
    I am afraid of all bugs, this gives me reason to be more afraid because I might be still alive by then, at least like 85 years old
  • Doc 2011/04/28 13:25:30
    Yes
    Doc
    +1
    I don't like spiders anyway, but I'm particularly afraid of the brown recluse. I've seen first hand what a bite from one can do. It ain't pretty!
  • hyrulien 2011/04/28 13:23:24
    No
    hyrulien
    I eat the little bastards with my cereal
    eat bastards cereal spider cereal
  • santa6642 2011/04/28 13:23:09
    No
    santa6642
    Leave them alone and you won't have a problem.
  • Michael 2011/04/28 13:19:53
    Yes
    Michael
    Hell yes, I am! When I was in the military and lived in Florida I went to base medical for something and while I was there I saw a brown recluse bite victim get his finger chopped off to prevent the spread of venom!
  • Spider 2011/04/28 13:16:14
    No
    Spider
    +1
    It is funny how many people across the US are afraid of a spider that does not live anywhere near them. And those it does live near will never see it, much less be bitten by it. It is called a recluse for a reason. There are many other things worth being afraid of to have a fear of this little guy.
  • sami Spider 2011/04/28 13:57:06
    sami
    +1
    I was in a recliner on the screened in patio at our ranch house in W Tx and looked up and there they were, black widows ... Out in the yard were the brown recluse ... Then at home in the DFW Metroplex I was bit by a brown recluse ... That was 20 years ago ... My skin rotted around the bite ... I am now elderly so yes I do worry ... I did not know until this story that they also got in the house in sheets of an unused bed ... One more thing to worry about ... It is the copperheads I worry the most about but I have only seen 3 in the last 20 years at my house in GP and one rattlesnake in W Tx ... I have seen more tracks in the dirt where the snakes slither ... Or their skins ... The other day when I was working in a flowerbed, I looked up to see a 3 foot non-poisonous snake just watching me ... When I made a movement it just slithered away quickly ... You just have to watch is all you can do and hope for the best ...
  • Louisa ... sami 2011/04/28 15:04:40
    Louisa - Enemy of the State
    lol.....I'm keeping my springtime planting to container gardening!
  • Spider sami 2011/05/04 15:01:31
    Spider
    Black widows generally are not aggressive unless protecting an egg sac, just so you are aware. I would indeed be afraid of spiders if I were you, as you are definitely in danger of a lethal bite. I know I do not have to tell you this, but please be careful.
  • Anonymouse ~superdoge~ 2011/04/28 13:09:39
    No
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    +1
    Nothing wrong with spiders. I think they're cute, but I'm the only person in my family who would go within a metre of one... Lucky you don't get the big ones in England though :P Poor you.
  • Tony Ma... Anonymo... 2011/04/28 15:04:11
    Tony Mariotti
    brown recluses are tiny spiders as well.
  • Anonymo... Tony Ma... 2011/05/06 14:57:40
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    you don't get ones that can bite you then. they have to be moderately big to be able to get into you to release their venom. Good luck with your brown recluse then :P
  • Lily 2011/04/28 12:53:33
    No
    Lily
    +2
    No, not scared of spiders. Never was. Just another facet of nature. scared spiders facet nature happy spider
  • Spider Lily 2011/04/28 13:17:07
    Spider
    +1
    Bwahahahahah. I love him!
  • Lily Spider 2011/04/28 13:18:11
    Lily
    =)
  • Shelo Lily 2011/04/28 14:22:12
    Shelo
    +1
    That one's pretty cute.
  • Lily Shelo 2011/05/03 00:47:54
    Lily
    =)
  • Rocky 2011/04/28 12:52:32
    No
    Rocky
    No....I'm not afraid of Spiders...but this little devil.....I have seen numerous wounds that were inflicted by its bite. Here in West Texas...it is more prevalent than the Black Widow....and the bad thing is a person normally doesn't know when or where they received the bite. With a Black Widow, a person immediately feels pain at the bite point.
  • Spider Rocky 2011/04/28 13:19:25
    Spider
    Thing is there are lots of bugs that have the same sort of poison as a brown recluse that are more common. Just because you have a wound that could have been a brown recluse bite doesn't mean it actually was one.
  • sami Spider 2011/04/28 13:58:40
    sami
    You know a brown recluse bite because the skin rots around the wound ...
  • Spider sami 2011/05/04 15:12:37
    Spider
    The brown recluse is not the only, nor the most common, bug that produces this poison... which I just stated, but you apparently did not see. The physical reaction to a brown recluse spider bite depends on the amount of venom injected and an individual's sensitivity to it. Some people are unaffected by a bite, whereas others experience immediate or delayed effects as the venom kills the tissues (necrosis) at the site of the bite. Many brown recluse bites cause just a little red mark that heals without event. The vast majority of brown recluse bites heal without severe scarring. (Reference: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-f... and http://spiders.ucr.edu/brs.html) I do actually have a tiny scar from the brown recluse bite I received. I did not require treatment.
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