Spider Spotlight: The Brown Recluse
Even small spiders scare some of the bravest of people because you never know what they could do. Many spiders are harmless to humans and play a role in keeping other insects away from your home. As hard as it can be, leaving most spiders alone is a good idea to help keep your house pest free. However, there are a few spiders that may be helpful, but also are dangerous when they encounter a human, like a brown recluse. Brown recluses are rarely seen and so they can be hard to avoid, knowing beforehand what to watch for could make the difference in you being bitten.
GETTING TO KNOW THEM
A brown recluse’s name is pretty self explanatory as they are brown and known to be reclusive as they hide out of plain sight. If you do happen to see a brown recluse than they can be hard to miss as they aren’t tiny. Females range from about one fourth of an inch to half inch with a leg span of an inch, the males are about half that size. They can also be identified by their eyes, most spiders have eight, but brown recluses only have six.
Some people don’t even see the spider that bites them because many times they get bitten by rolling onto the brown recluse while sleeping or sliding their foot into a boot that has been sitting around for a while. Brown recluses don’t come into open areas of your home unless forced, so watch for them in closets, basements, or other storage facilities that aren’t frequented by people or light.
THEIR NATURAL HABITAT
Brown recluses can live in a lot of different places and environments. They can survive in temperatures ranging from 45 to 110 degrees farenheights, going long periods of time without water or food. They can live for two years, but aren’t generally aggressive toward humans. Brown recluses are normally within your home, but that doesn’t mean you’ll see them. They are found in darker places like cellars or garages, however you may find them in other locations that are dry and warm. Brown recluses may hide in boxes of clothes or bedding, under furniture or ultimately anywhere they can go and not be disturbed.
A QUICK BITE
Brown recluses normally only bite when pressed to a human’s skin, when this happens the spider injects cytotoxins into the bloodstream that could cause tissue damage or necrosis. Many people don’t realize they have been bitten by a spider because they may only feel a little sting or nothing at all. Within 30 minutes, there will be a burning sensation and in less than eight hours a neurotic spot could develop that could continue to enlarge. If these symptoms do not happen within 48 to 96 hours, then necrosis is not likely to happen. If they do appear, then the area that was bitten could become sunken and ulcerated with lesions that could take months to heal.
Death from a bite by a brown recluse is uncommon, but can happen. If you have symptoms like fever, severe pain, nausea or chest pain then you could be having a systemic reaction and should seek medical attention. These problems occur mostly in children under seven. If bitten, then you can ice the affected area which will help reduce and prevent swelling as well as help with lessing the potential tissue damage. Sanitizing the area is also important as it can help prevent an infection from happening. Seeking medical attention is important because they would be able to spot early signs of any problems and treat any issues with medication before they become serious. Surgery is unlikely, but the doctor may also recommend a tetanus shot if you haven’t had one in multiple years.
Even seeing a brown recluse is unlikely, so if you are seeing these spiders then there could be a problem on your hands and they should be dealt with immediately. Brown recluse bites are serious and should be taken that way, bringing in a pest control professional is the best option to be sure the spiders are being handled properly. Professionals will be able to flush the spiders out of their hiding spots to either a sticky pad or into the open to be removed.
If you do get your house treated, keep an eye out wherever you step or sit because the spiders can easily be there and you may not notice them until it is too late. Shaking out your sheets and bedding where the spiders may like the warmth is a good idea in order to be sure there isn’t one there. If you see a brown recluse, either killing it with a closed-toed shoe or vacuuming it up are the best options in getting rid of the spider in the moment. Sealing cracks and crevices around the outside of you house well help the brown recluses and other pests from coming into your home. Eliminating clutter around your home in the different areas brown recluses like will also help keep them away.