Don't Fear the Brown Recluse Spider……….Seriously

If you live in the United States, you’ve probably heard of brown recluse spiders. While it’s true that the venom of the brown recluse spider can cause nasty necrotic lesions in some and could be potentially deadly for a small portion of the population, it’s pretty unlikely that any of the sensational stories you’ve heard about brown recluse spiders are true. Recluse spiders belong to the genus Loxosceles, meaning "crooked legs," so named because their legs look like a bunch of old, bent-up metal coat hangers lying in a heap. They are hunting spiders, meaning they don't sit around in spider webs waiting for their supper to come to them. Their ancestors were cave spiders, so they like the dry areas like the underside of the flap of a cardboard box or in your attic. While brown recluses do bite on occasion, they manage to live side-by-side with humans without causing too much trouble. Take, for example, the owner of a home in Kansas who had a brown recluse spider infestation that lived there for 11 years without biting anyone in the house. When a member of the family was finally bitten, she took a Benadryl and went on with her day. Approximately 90% of all brown recluse bites result in absolutely nothing, and they are rarely fatal, so stop fearing them.......seriously.