Highlights

  • Contrary to popular belief, brown recluse spiders are not found in California and FloridaRead More
  • A nickname for brown recluse spiders is violin spidersRead More
  • Wounds from brown recluse envenomations are often very largeRead More
  • Most bites are dry bites (bites where venom is not injected). In such cases bacterial infection is the only dangerRead More
  • There are no tests that can disclose if your spider bite wound was from a brown recluse spiderRead More
  • It has six legs and its legs are the same colorRead More
  • They egg sacs are white, and each egg sac contains 40-50 spiderlingsRead More
  • Their life-span in 4 years on averageRead More
  • They prefer to live in dark and dry places. Watch out for spiders in clothes and shoes!Read More

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Unforgettable Encounters with the Brown Recluse Spider

By Anders Nielsen, Ph.d.

If you would like to know more about the Brown Recluse spider, its bite, preferred habitats, how to prevent the spider from entering your home and what to do if it bites you, please visit the home page of this website.



"I Was Bitten."

This is a compilation of horrific stories about recluse bites. This guy had his whole apartment infested with brown recluse spiders. The volume of venom from a brown recluse is very small, but the venom is very potent. Within four hours an area around the bite of 12 inches was grey/black. Later the same day he is severely affected and has to go to the hospital. He is admitted immediately to the ER. Recluse bites spread very fast. The doctors opened his leg and removed all the venom; otherwise he would have suffered permanent damage to his leg. The pictures are true. He had a 105° F fever and had to take morphine as pain relief.



Fiddleback Spider

Secretive, brown, and with a fiddleback design on their back. So starts the voiceover in this video. The video is from Missouri Department of Conservation. They do have brown recluse spiders in Missouri, but they are, of course, more common farther south.

Brown recluse spiders avoid human contacts and might go unnoticed. However, as its bite can cause serious medical problems, you should be aware if you live in an area with recluse spiders.

Progression of Recluse Bite Wound

Here you can see the progression of the bite from two hours after the bite (blistering and swelling). After 14 hours, there is much more blistering and swelling. Thirty-eight hours after the bite, it has not changed. After 62 hours, it had started to turn purple but is still blistering. After 86 hours, things started to get a little better, and after 134 hours, the worst is over. Luckily, not all people are so heavily affected by brown recluse spider bites as this guy, and the spider in his area (Arizona) has a milder bite than its relatives farther east.

Not an Insect!

This guy starts out by explaining that one of the common insect bites that can be hard to deal with is the bite of the brown recluse spider. Although he knows a lot about the spider, spiders are not insects. Besides this small error, he explains very well how to treat a bite from a brown recluse. He describes the progress, the necrosis, and how to reduce swelling and pain by applying ice in intervals. Stay safe!

Here are some brown recluse spider photos. Please let me know if you have a picture that could be featured here.




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