Matthew Difonzo on Brown Recluse Spiders
The brown recluse spider is nicknamed the fiddleback or violin spider because of the distinctive dark violin-shaped marking on top of the cephlothoraxfront body section. Notice the neck of the violin points toward the rear. The brown recluse is unusual in having six eyes instead of the usual eight. The spiders are tan to dark brown and nearly 1/4 (dime) to 1/2 inch (quarter) in body size. The immature spiderlings resemble adults in structure but have somewhat lighter coloration.
Recluse spiders avoid areas where there is human activity, and prefer closets, guest rooms, basements, and attics. Outside, they like piles of rocks and leaves. They frequently inhabit shoe boxes, clothing and furniture. These spiders are most active at night and feed on silverfish, crickets, and other insects.
Most people are bitten on the hands or feet when they are handling infested items.
People bitten by brown recluse spiders should ice the wound and seek emergency medical treatment, as brown recluse bites can cause necrotic (rotting) skin lesions and lead to serious reactions or even death in some people, especially children, according to MedlinePlus(opens in new tab), a service of the National Library of Medicine. But about 90% of brown recluse bites are not medically significant, and they “heal very nicely, often without medical intervention and treatment,” Rick Vetter, a retired research associate of entomology at the University of California, Riverside(opens in new tab), wrote on the university’s entomology department’s website. After seeking emergency help, people with less severe bites usually heal quickly after cleaning the wound and applying the RICE method — rest, ice, compression and elevation
Brown recluse spiders (Loxosceles reclusa) are native to a region comprising Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama and parts of Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and new reports of sightings in WEST VIRGINIA!