Brown recluse spiders: 4 things to know as the dangerous pests become more active


Beware: A dangerous pest could be lurking in the shadows of your home this summer.

According to WOOD-TV, brown recluse spiders are becoming more active as the weather warms up.

Here's what you need to know to identify – and avoid – the unwelcome arachnids:

>> Read more trending news 

1. What do they look like? The nocturnal spiders can be as large as a half-dollar and usually have violin-shaped markings on their upper body. 

>> ‘Very aggressive tick,’ whose bite causes red meat allergies not a hoax, CDC says

2. Where are they found? According to Live Science, brown recluses usually live in the southern and central U.S., including the following states:

  • Alabama 
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana 
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

They like "dark, secluded places," such as in closets or under garbage cans, Live Science reports. They might be lurking in boxes, shoes or clothes in your garage or basement, Holly Schwarting, who works for Kansas State University's Department of Entomology, told KFVS in 2016.

>> PHOTOS: 25 ways Florida could kill you

3. Are brown recluses dangerous? While fatalities are rare, you definitely don't want to get bitten by one.

"The brown recluse spider's bite can be kind of a nasty one," Schwarting told KFVS. "Their venom contains a material that causes our tissue to break down, so it can create a lesion and a slow-healing wound."

The bite may have a red or purple circle around it, according to MedlinePlus. Bite victims may experience discomfort, chills, itching, nausea, fever and sweating, the site says. Rarely, the bites can cause jaundice, kidney failure, blood in urine, seizures and comas. 

You should go to the nearest hospital, call 911 or contact the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you think you've been bitten, according to MedlinePlus.

4. How can I protect myself around the house? 

Schwarting offered the following tips to KFVS:

  • Wear leather gloves while cleaning
  • Shake out shoes and coats
  • Set up glue traps
  • Pay attention to your surroundings


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Transgender woman says CVS pharmacist refused to fill hormone prescriptions
Transgender woman says CVS pharmacist refused to fill hormone prescriptions

A transgender woman in Phoenix has filed a formal complaint against CVS with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy, after she said a pharmacist refused to fill her hormone prescriptions and humiliated her in front of other customers. >> Read more trending news  In a blog on the ACLU of Arizona website, Hilde Hall said it was the first time she filled...
911 call released in high school football player's death: ‘I just shot my friend’
911 call released in high school football player's death: ‘I just shot my friend’

Police have released the heartbreaking 911 call a Charlotte teenager made after authorities said he shot and killed his friend, WSOC reports.  “I just, I just shot my friend,” Jermarion Worthy can be heard telling the dispatcher. “Somebody just shot through the house.” “Is anyone injured?” the...
No winner in Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot; prize skyrockets to $493 million
No winner in Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot; prize skyrockets to $493 million

No winners in Friday’s Mega Millions means the jackpot keeps rising -- Tuesday’s drawing has topped $493 million. It’s possible that the prize could surge over the half-billion mark based on ticket sales, lottery officials state. >> Read more trending news  Tuesday’s jackpot of $493 million will be the fifth-largest...
Rapper Offset, of trio Migos, arrested in metro Atlanta on weapon, drug charges
Rapper Offset, of trio Migos, arrested in metro Atlanta on weapon, drug charges

Rapper Offset, of the trio Migos, was arrested Friday on weapon and drug charges in Georgia, WSB reports.  Clayton County police said the rapper, whose real name is Kiari Cephus, and his bodyguard, Senay Gezahgn, were traveling in Jonesboro, just outside Atlanta, when the 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera that Offset was driving was pulled over after...
This video of a chimp seeing its foster parents again is the best thing you'll see all day
This video of a chimp seeing its foster parents again is the best thing you'll see all day

We can't stop watching. The precious video of a chimp reuniting with its foster parents is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. The Zoological Wildlife Foundation in Miami posted the video of Limbani on its Instagram and Facebook page. They said Limbani was born with pneumonia and was rejected by his mother. Tania Sanchez and her husband...
More Stories