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Drought, heat bring spiders, bugs out
The venom from a brown recluse spider can cause skin irritations and lesions and, in rare cases, can be fatal.
August 8th, 2012
04:40 PM ET

Drought, heat bring spiders, bugs out

Record high temperatures and rapid expanding drought across the country are resulting in an increase in spiders and other bugs.

“All insects are cold-blooded, so in extreme heat they develop quicker, which results in more generations popping up now compared to previous summers,” said Jim Fredericks, an entomologist and wildlife ecology expert with the National Pest Management Association.

One spider to watch out for is arguably one of mother nature's most dangerous, the brown recluse.  The extreme heat is driving brown recluses to seek refuge inside homes.

Easily disguised as a common house spider, the venom from a brown recluse can cause irritation to the skin, lesions, and in rare cases, death.

“All spiders have a venomous bite, but only a few can be medically dangerous to humans, and the brown recluse is a top concern,” said Fredericks.

The brown recluse spider is smaller than you might imagine - about the size of a quarter.  It’s tan in color and has a dark spot in the shape of a violin on its body.

You aren’t likely to see them roaming around during the day - like their name suggests, they are reclusive. They typically hide in dark corners of your home, or in stored items like boxes and in closets.

“A common misconception is that spiders like to bite people,” said Fredericks. “But they actually don’t recognize people as a food source, and will typically only bite as a defense mechanism.”

A bite from a brown recluse will be painless at first. Within three to eight hours, the bite site will become swollen, red, and tender to the touch.  In 95% of cases, the irritation ends there and the bite will heal on its own without developing into a more serious irritation.

In some cases, however, the venom begins to break down the cells in the skin and progress into a necrotic lesion needing immediate medical attention. This process takes about two to three weeks.

“It is rare for a brown recluse to result in death, but it can occur in children or adults who are allergic to the spider’s venom,” said Fredericks. “It best to get medical attention right away if bitten, to make sure you aren’t allergic.”

Woman loses breast to spider bite

Brown recluse spiders are generally concentrated in the midwestern and south-central regions of the United States.

Reduce your risk of being bitten by wearing long gloves if sorting through dark spaces in your home or moving boxes and furniture. Experts also recommend setting out glue boards (which can be purchased at your local home improvement store) to catch the spiders before they have an opportunity to bite.


soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. cpc65

    Somebody call John Goodman!

    August 8, 2012 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lroy

      Somebody call Billy the Exterminator! Spiders are our friends because they eat other insects. Daddy Long Legs are my personal favorites. We do not have this spider up here. Still, as long as they stay in the window (in the cellar) and don't go anywhere, they're fine.

      August 8, 2012 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      Never put your fingers where you cannot see. Brown recluse is a funnel web spider. Look for the funnels. Also, infections are a big problem with the bites. Treat with hydrogen peroxide frequently unless it is serious. You'll know if it's serious – trust me.

      August 10, 2012 at 16:43 | Report abuse |
  2. Karen

    Calling attention to the opening sentence of Paragraph 2, spiders are NOT insects. They are arachnids.
    It would be nice if the folks we look to for news and information could get it right...consistently....

    August 8, 2012 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Starstuff

      What's the difference, two legs?

      Anyways, I like these little things.

      August 8, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      First of all, no one (except you) cares – it makes no difference to the story. Secondly, where does it say that spiders are insects?? Paragraph 2 certainly doesnt say that.

      August 8, 2012 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
    • Facepalm28

      It seems like the term "insects" is frequently used in situations where the speaker really means "insects and spiders" simply because there isn't any very good term that includes both. "Arthropods" is way too broad, and "bugs" is more colloquial than most experts like to sound.

      But, as others have pointed out, no one explicitly labels spiders as insects, nor does it make any difference to the story.

      August 8, 2012 at 17:48 | Report abuse |
    • Wheat Man

      You obviously missed the quotation marks at the start of the sentence. They indicate that the offending term is part of a quote from someone who was interviewed for the story. Blame the entomologist, not the reporter.

      August 8, 2012 at 18:46 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Spiders eat insects, so the more insects there are, the more spiders there will be because there is a larger food source. Why don't you use your brain before freaking out

      August 8, 2012 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
    • MATT

      that was a quote.. why dont you blame the scientist not the journalist idiot...

      August 8, 2012 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
    • bubba

      Who the eff cares? Get over yourself..

      August 8, 2012 at 20:03 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Nerd...heh

      August 8, 2012 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
    • wow...

      Give the girl a break folks. You guys are a regular lynch mob here.

      August 9, 2012 at 01:07 | Report abuse |
    • Steve D

      Nobody said spiders are insects! The whole point of the paragraph is that spiders are multiplying because they have more prey, because the prey – insects – reproduce and grow faster in hot weather.

      August 9, 2012 at 09:02 | Report abuse |
  3. usastillgr8t

    These things can be deadly. Stay away from them and call an exterminator.

    August 8, 2012 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jake

    It is important, especially when the source is presented as an alleged "wildlife expert" from the pest management industry. This is another example of how science is getting dumbed-down here in the US.

    August 8, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Roberto

    Forget the argument about arachnid vs. insect. I'm the recipient of a brown recluse bite while living in Texas 34 years ago. It got me on top of my instep. My foot swelled up so bad I couldn't put a shoe on for a week. Went on antibiotics–pretty strong ones. I had a necrotic lesion the size of a nickle. Still have the scar to this day. These little guys are bad news depending on where they bite and whom they bite. if they get you on a highly vascularized area of skin, i.e., inside the thigh, hands, back, you're in for some serious medical attention. I've also been bitten by a black widow. That bothered me for about a week and then I was fine. The brown recluse bite took about two months to heal.

    August 8, 2012 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • beebop

      Yup we have lots of both of those spiders in Texas. I've killed a few black widows in my backyard and a whole lot of brown recluses in the house over the years. One thing I would note is that the experts in this story are significantly downplaying the results of a brown recluse bite.

      I've had one, and it did turn into a nasty lesion. Fortunately I got medical treatment before it became a staph infection. I've had several friends also bitten by brown recluses. Generally, the poison eats away at your tissue causing large disgusting infected holes in your body. One friend of mine had to have meat carved out all the way to the bone in order to remove all the infected tissue.

      If you get a bite from a brown recluse, watch it very closely and the moment it starts to look like trouble, go get on antibiotics right away. The ensuing staph infection is what you have to be most concerned about.

      August 8, 2012 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
    • clem

      My daughter rode her bike back home, with a little basket on the handle bars, and said it was sticky. I looked in the basket and a mamma black widow was hovering, upside down exposing the hour-glass, over an enormous egg sack. Then I found a brown recluse in my garage. I about lost it.

      August 8, 2012 at 20:44 | Report abuse |
    • carol

      only 2 months? you were indeed lucky! I was bitten on the forearm the first of January of this year (yeah, we were having a warm spell) and even WITH medical attention (SMZ and Prednisone) I'm still fighting the after-effects. The resultant scarring is both ugly and restricts the circulation in my arm and hand. It's not easy to run a farm with one arm. An important point is that although there is anti-venom available for black widow bites, there is no equivalent anti-venom for brown recluse.

      August 9, 2012 at 17:44 | Report abuse |
  6. Spider Killer

    Kill them! Bring on the Orho Max!!!

    August 8, 2012 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jared

      Ortho Max doesn't seem that effective really.

      August 9, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
  7. Jesse

    "The venom from a brown recluse spider can cause skin irritations and lesions and, in rare cases, can be fatal."
    Skin irritations.....really...it seems a whole lot worse than that from the pics I've seen. It necrotizes the flesh..ie kills. Large parts of skin dies and has to be replaced. Really horrendus bite. I'm suprised by the fact they said 95% heals on its own. I wonder why that unlucky 5% has such bad damage.

    August 8, 2012 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mizh

      You are correct about the damage these spider bites cause. A friend who lived just outside Memphis got bitten in several places on his arm awhile back. The dr. kept having to cut out the dying flesh from the bites. It was awful and painful as hell, I'm sure. You need to ALWAYS look out for brown recluses — especially in shoes and things you haven't worn in awhile. They can also get in places like rubber gloves under the kitchen sink, so roll them up and put 'em in a zip bag. Be aware, people!

      August 8, 2012 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
  8. rob c

    two months ago i was bitten by something.. in the back of my left leg right behind the knee where it bends... at first it seemed like a mosquito bite ...or bites... but as the days went by, it became increasingly itchy.. then on or around the fifth day, it looked like there were three little pimples in a small triangle ...totally looked like bite marks... and i tried to squeeze them.. nothing came out but within the next hour the whole back of my leg swelled up and became hard llike a callous... i tried for the next two days to live with it but it became so painful that i couldn't walk without limping or go up and down a ladder at work unless i kept the left leg straight ... at lunch time at work one day i left and went to a doctor... by this time the back of my leg looked like it was hit with ashotgun blast... when a receptionist told me i would have to make an appointment because there were no doctors available, i turned around and showed her the wound.. her hair nearly stood up and took me in the back right away...the doctor asked why i waited so long and i told him that it didn't get this bad until almost a week later... well they gave me a shot of something..it must have been a miracle drug because the next day most of the pain was gone and bending the leg wasn't a problem...two months later you can see what looks like two scars and it is still a little on the hard side but it hasn't bothered me since... a few days ago when i was leaving for work i noticed a spider web on my minivan around my side-view mirror... thinking nothing of it, when i was pulling out of the driveway i saw what looked like a brown recluse come out from inside the side-view mirror and started to dangle trying to work his way back up to the mirror... i said to myself..this is the SOB that got me, i know it is..it makes sense since i sit in my car in the driveway alot to use my laptop ... (wifi signal too weak in the house)...and usually at nite too... i just kind of knocked him off to the ground ...not sure if it was wounded ...and for a second i wanted to run his behind over ...but i didn't.....anyway.. i live on long island and they say they're not suppose to be here but i beg to differ... i am 49 and never experienced anything like that before... i remember that it wasn't that big ...not exactly small either.. and when i looked up on the internet to see what a brown recluse looked like, i was convinced this was one ... you must be careful...they are quite sneaky and one of the rare spiders that hunt at nite ...

    August 8, 2012 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mizh

      You're lucky!

      August 8, 2012 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Probably wasn't a Recluse, they do not spin a web of any kind.

      August 8, 2012 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
    • rob c

      well it wasn't a normal spun web...more like couple of strands... but they in fact do build 'irregular' webs...so i read.. they just don't leave a web trail.. which would make them vulnerable...but you could be right..i'm no expert....and if you are right, then what on earth was it ?

      August 8, 2012 at 19:35 | Report abuse |
    • ericgoestoholland

      A horrible story indeed. For future reference, to readers, when the bite becomes calloused and swollen suddenly, go to the emergency room. It will only cost a metaphorical arm and leg.

      August 8, 2012 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
    • NC Guest

      Doesn't sound like a brown recluse, but obviously a spider that caused a severe reaction...
      Brown recluses have been reported as far northeast as Maine – likely because of hitching rides in boxes, etc. from folks moving from infested areas. I beg to differ with the 95 percent being bitten only experiencing minor symptoms. I'd think that the reverse is true.

      August 8, 2012 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
    • KAM

      Hi Rob C. – I wonder if it could have been a yellow sac spider...we are in NJ and have them in our trees sometimes, and sometimes are found in or on the outside of our cars. I've read they have a bite that can cause problems. They are yellowish in color. Maybe that was what bit you? Glad to hear everything ended OK...wow. In our house we often have Parson spiders...eek!!!!! Spiders do a lot of good, I know...but they can still give me a major case of the creeps, lol.

      August 9, 2012 at 02:06 | Report abuse |
    • rob c

      when it got bad it looked like the skin was eaten away.. an entire area the size of a small softball became hard like a cyst or something...and the three bite marks in a perfect triangle about 3/4 of an inch apart were oozing....and there were two small open wound gashes right there with the bite marks...it's the gashes that lead me to believe it was a recluse...the skin was literally eaten away ..like it was carved out...that was the thing that puzzled me the most..i never knew a spider could do that..until i read up on the recluse ...and when i look now, there are two long scars more than an inch long that run side by side like railroad tracks... no ordinary spider did this

      August 9, 2012 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
    • LinSea

      What part of the country are you in? If you are out West, especially WA, OR, ID, MT (although they do range as far south as northern CA and as far east as CO and WY), it might have been a hobo spider. They are brown, their bites cause tissue to necrotize and they are very aggressive. They will come right at you.

      August 9, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
  9. skeffs

    I got bit by one of these earlier this year and it took a good couple months to heal and that was with 2 trips to the ER and a megaton of antibiotics and potions and pain pills. It made me really sick to my stomach, headache, heart palpitations, chills, and the bite was horrendous and black and purple and blistering and swollen and would not heal where the fang marks went in. I know several others who have been bitten and their bites were even worse than my bite. I'm surprised the article said only about 5% get really bad. I am not allergic, but the venom is stronger than a rattlesnake venom – you just don't get as much venom injected. Don't keep woodpiles around your patio if you sit outside at night and be careful going through sheds and closets. I sat in a chair that one had climbed on and when he got on my I swatted him and got bit. We had recently moved a woodpile near the patio and I think the spider was on our patio at night looking for food but he found my leg instead when I swatted him. Don't mess with these guys.

    August 8, 2012 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Moctella

    I use ultra sonic repelers in my Garage and House to repel mice and spiders (and other) and promote lizards and snakes to kill bugs

    DO NOT use Ultra Sonic if you have Rodent Pets (i.e. Rabbits , rats, guinie Pigs, etc) Iit hurts them

    Avoid pesticides and poisons

    August 8, 2012 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. MesaMom

    More scorpions this year too. I used to be scared of spiders until I moved somewhere with scorpions.

    August 8, 2012 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lroy

      Where you are, personally I think I'd rather have a Rattler, thank you very much. Dangerous or not, as long as they're outside where they belong, let them be. Meanwhile, back on the farm (as they say), I'm being plagued by field mice and wasps again.

      August 8, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse |
  12. P.J.

    "It’s tan in color and has a dark spot in the shape of a violin on its body."
    I don't care if it has a dark spot the shape of a violin, I don't plan on getting that effin' close to see.

    August 8, 2012 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Ross

    I found a brown recluse in my sink last week. I put him in a mason jar and he's still alive! He's sitting on my fireplace mantel...

    August 8, 2012 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • les bingle

      Can I have it to collect its venom?

      August 8, 2012 at 20:06 | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Oh, so now you have a pet (quick, somebody call ASCPA, call PETA!). I know you can milk a snake (of venom), but can you (by a professional-please do not try this at home) milk a spider?

      August 8, 2012 at 20:16 | Report abuse |
    • NC Guest

      Brown recluses can live for many, many years....

      August 8, 2012 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Iroy, yes you can. Well, as you mentioned, a professional can. All venoms contain amazing compounds and some have already been developped into drugs, many more are being studied as potential drugs.

      August 9, 2012 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
  14. Fifi

    Absolutely NO on the glue board suggestion! They may or may not catch spiders (I doubt they would), but they will definitely catch mice and at least foul up a rat. It is a horrible way for an animal to die - struggling in glue and chewing off it's own feet. And the chance of you having to euthanize animals stuck to the boards pretty high. Stick to snap traps for rodents.

    August 8, 2012 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • les bingle

      just stomp on them.............done.

      August 8, 2012 at 20:04 | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      I use those. A couple of times, I was able to free them (pour olive oil on them), and pry them loose if they're not too stuck. I just had a bird who got stuck, and a couple of times Alvin got caught but was able to free him loose. You would think with three cats the mice would be smart enough to stay outside where they belong, but NOOOOOO...

      August 8, 2012 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
    • Don

      yea... concur w/ not using the glue traps... caught two small mice about a year ago now I think in garage... I still feel bad about it...they just looked at me... hoping I can undo that karma... s*t.

      August 8, 2012 at 22:54 | Report abuse |
    • Tiffany

      We caught a mom and baby mouse on a sticky pad a few years ago. I saw them in the morning on my way to work. It was awful; I couldn't stop thinking about the panicked look in their eyes. My husband and I spent our lunch breaks freeing them and never used those things again. Turns out the house was being taken over by mice. Fortunately, it was a lease.

      August 8, 2012 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
    • Joepub

      I agree, no to the glueboards. I was about 9 when I saw a tiny mouse stuck in the glue on the glueboard. I tried to free it, but the glue was too strong and it was actually pulling his paws off of him. I ended up stomping on the glueboard box repeatedly because I did not want it to suffer anymore. That was a sick and sad feeling that I had that morning. It haunts me to this day.

      August 9, 2012 at 00:14 | Report abuse |
    • KAM

      Agree...glue boards are cruel to anything caught on them. My Dad freed a mouse with oil once, where he worked...he said it was horrible to see the mouse on there. Very torturous and fearful for the mouse, bug etc. Humane traps are the way to go for rodents – work great, release far enough away by woods/water. Bugs? Let 'em outside, if possible, that is...

      August 9, 2012 at 02:11 | Report abuse |
    • Misty

      Couldn't agree more on the glueboards! Years ago my husband put some out in the garage and the next morning I saw a young mouse that had gotten it's stomach stuck on the trap, and had ripped most of it off trying to escape. I told my husband to them every one of the traps out. I am curious though – I have always seen more spiders during the month of October, which is why I have always thought spiders to be a popular Halloween symbol.

      August 9, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      Glue boards are awesome and yes, they catch spiders. Fly paper works well too.

      August 9, 2012 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • Ruth Anne

      Glueboards (traps) do work, and nothing has been in them except brown recluses. We have a lot of them in this house, apparently, and that sucks since we have two kids..sigh. I love spiders personally, but brown recluses are a different matter. We have the glue bait traps around the house and have caught way too many...scary to see that many...but they are hard to get rid of and we are just careful to shake out shoes and clothes before we wear them. No one has gotten bitten so far after two years of having them around in greater numbers than we noticed before, but we are really careful and hopefully no one will.

      My ex got bitten on the lower leg by some kind of spider, and he got a line going up his leg, a fever, and his hands and face started swelling, so a course of antibiotics was needed to make him well. He still has a scar there...nasty stuff. It's scary to me to think of any of us getting bitten, but they have to treat the whole house under a tent to do any good, they said, beside treating an actual spider that I could step on for free. They came out in force in early spring and I bet they will in fall again...they don't web really, but run across the floors and hide in anything left around, drat it.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
  15. johnharry

    is it me or has dragon flys xploded too ?

    August 8, 2012 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ross

      I live out in rural Oklahoma and my back yard is FULL of dragon flys. It started about a month ago out of nowhere. Weird...

      August 8, 2012 at 18:54 | Report abuse |
    • ohgod

      Be thankful for dragonflies: they eat flies

      August 8, 2012 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
    • beebop

      Dragonflies also eat mosquitoes.

      You should be happy to have them as that means less mosquitoes around your home.

      I tend to celebrate when I see lots of dragonflies around my house.

      August 8, 2012 at 20:39 | Report abuse |
  16. ohgod

    Wow. This article has brought out the campfire stores. "You think that's bad, let me tell you about the time my family was attacked by venom-dripping spido-scorpion brain worms."

    August 8, 2012 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DesertRat

      As good as labor stories!

      August 8, 2012 at 19:14 | Report abuse |
    • beebop

      That probably has to do with the fact that the author and "experts" are downplaying the results of a brown recluse bite.

      Everyone I know who has been bitten by a brown recluse (not some meager 5% like the story says) ends up with nasty infections that only medical treatment can fix.

      Google brown recluse bites. I dare you. I recommend not doing so after you've eaten though.

      Being from Texas I've seen these bites firsthand many times over, and even had one myself. I assure you the "expert" is wrong about only 5% of people being bitten having such dramatic results. Those results are common and I know plenty of people with the scars to prove it.

      August 8, 2012 at 20:43 | Report abuse |
    • soul68

      @beebpo Perhaps it's because the 95% who don't have problems don't even know they were bitten by a Recluse. 100% of the people who develop necrotic systems KNOW they were bitten by a Recluse.

      August 9, 2012 at 06:52 | Report abuse |
  17. Rev.Christie Bliss Ley

    A friend of mine nearly lost her foot due to a Brown Recluse Spider bite. S
    Stay well away from them.

    August 8, 2012 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JD

    Glueboards work great, but it takes a "seed" to make them work. Bait the trap with another spider or insect and they will come running; otherwise, you have to wait for something to accidentally wander onto it before it really starts to collect spiders.

    August 8, 2012 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mickey

      Same strategy works for mice.

      August 9, 2012 at 00:03 | Report abuse |
  19. Meki60

    they are probably muslim spiders

    August 8, 2012 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Engineer in Raleigh

    I keep the work gloves in my shed inside a large ziplock bag because of these nasties.

    August 8, 2012 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. les bingle

    I was bitten by a brown recluse last summer on my lower shoulder blade area near the back side of my armpit. Man it was really sore for 2 weeks swelled up and had a big azz sore there for 3 months.... i got the scar to prove it. Be carefull these are nasty little spiders with a potent bite

    August 8, 2012 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Flush the Fed

    Personally, I think our dusky Americans are far more dangerous than spiders.

    August 8, 2012 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. lroy

    I love dragon flies. I also like praying mantis. Just last week I saw a little stick bug (yup, looks just like a twig). Unfortunately, he was pretty dried up from the heat, tried to hydrate with water. At night hundreds of crickets chirping (what a chorus!). During the day cirquoas (spelling?) hiss-that's how you can tell how hot it is, the louder the hissing, the hotter it is. In five months, there will be snow on the ground and no more buggies. Oh, and I saw a beetle (looked just like John but maybe it was George), grabbed a piece of mulch so he could get up on the curb because he couldn't do it on his own.

    August 8, 2012 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • beebop

      I believe you are referring to cicadas, the bane of peace and quiet on a hot day.

      Those things are SO loud and you're right, the hotter it is, the LOUDER they get.

      August 8, 2012 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
    • KAM

      I love the Praying Mantis also...we seem to get one on our backdoor screen every year. I love when they turn their heads to look at you!

      August 9, 2012 at 02:15 | Report abuse |
  24. organically

    In spite of the endless proof of human induced climate change, some of the population is still in denial. There are three reasons for this (1) the belief that the rapid change in our climate over the last 50 years is part of a cycle although these cycles take thousands of years, (2) the occasional negative news story on the science of climate change, and (3) rightist conservative radical or ignorant tea party philosophy that climate change is a hoax. There are deniers in every scientific fact. Climate change deniers threaten humanity. Reversing climate change is impossible at this point due to the international thirst for fossil fuels and our overall society living standard. This is not going to change. So, rather than talking about stopping climate change, let’s ignore the utopian deniers and begin a dialogue on how to adapt and stop dwelling on environmentally and socially damaging energy topics like Solyndra and the keystone pipeline.

    August 8, 2012 at 20:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • inorganically

      Only a panicky global warming alarmist could twist a story about spider bites into an end-of-the-world climate change disaster.
      One year of drought? Climate change!!!
      Wetter than average summer? Climate change!!!
      Colder than average winter? Climate change!!!
      Several years of moderate weather? Climate change!!!
      Spiders found in peoples houses? Climate change!!!
      Anymore, it seems virtually anything that happens in the physical world is irrefutable proof that our planet is mere years away from being uninhabitable due to climate change and it's all our fault (more ours than yours, it's always implied). But make sure not to mention changes in cosmic radiation causing less cloud cover or melting ice caps on Mars because facts like that and many others might derail your agenda. This is why you probably encounter some people who resist the incessant propaganda people like you interject into unrelated conversations. While we might recognize some changes in the climate, we don't like being blamed for something when no proof yet exists that we did it. Anthropomorphic climate change still hasn't jumped the line from correlation to causation. Show us the smoking gun.
      Back on topic, I don't like spiders.

      August 10, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
  25. ginny

    Lay duck tape down..works every time!

    August 8, 2012 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. No one

    This is one article I could do without having a picture, almost broke my monitor.

    August 8, 2012 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. jmurphy

    Recluses only come out when their territory is disturbed or their food source dries up. The dry weather here in the Ozarks is causing a decrease in the amount of some insects (such as ants) that recluses tend to prey on. We've noticed a lot of recluses coming out of the woodwork here, at home and at work, at unusual times of the day (like during daylight or when the house lights are on). And their abdomens are very small. They're starving. That's why they're coming out.

    August 8, 2012 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Lizzy10

    Ewwwwwww. Ron Weasley and I can agree on this, spiders-ewwwww.

    August 8, 2012 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. busybeans

    I too got bit by a brown recluse about a month and a half ago on my collarbone, and it took a few weeks to heal. luckily my lesion was only about the size of a dime, but it turned necrotic and had to be treated with antibiotics. i never had much pain with the bite, although after three days it hardened and was sore to the touch, but the whole affair was nasty and one of the grossest things i've seen. it really does form a small (or large, depending on your reaction) hole in your skin and needs to be treated carefully. avoid these guys at all costs (although i never saw the spider that bit me, so sometimes it's unavoidable)!

    August 8, 2012 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. JLS639

    Here in eastern Texas we had a cricket population explosion. Crickets like cooler, drier air, so they crawled in the air vents of every building and were air-dropping out of ceiling vents into our workspace.

    One summer in Wisconsin, the spiders, many of which do not stop growing up there – they just grow until winter and die, got so big they began to have nerve problems (nervous system designed for a smaller body) and would do things like crawl out of hidey-holes and up your leg. Let me tell you, a lot of people get freaked out by big mucking spiders crawling onto you during broad daylight.

    August 8, 2012 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Kati

    Discovered a whole lot of black widow spiders in my front and back yard...they have since been annihilated. I hate spiders!

    August 8, 2012 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. JJ

    I KNOW spiders are good...but they REALLY CREEP ME OUT!! Snakes and other bugs I am a.o.k. with but spiders just aren't right.

    August 8, 2012 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Richard

    Environmentalists like spiders, owing to the kinship they feel for them.

    August 9, 2012 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. TomB

    I also have to agree with other's disbelief in the stated 95% have only minor symptoms.
    I was bitten on my backside while in bed around 35 years ago. Felt sort of like a bee sting at first, but within about five or six hours I could barely stand up. The bite itself wasn't that painful, and I thought I had been working too hard and that was the cause of the fatigue. I did develop what looked like a pimple which continued to grow over several days and when I mentioned the symptoms to a friend and he panicked. First visit to the ER was mainly antibiotics but there wasn't much else they could do, or so I was told. Laid sideways on the floor for most of the next week until my butt was the size of a watermelon, and now the pimple was larger in diameter than a silver dollar. When it finally ruptured I leaked all the nasty stuff that was causing the swelling, then nearly bled to death. Next visit to the ER was to have the dead tissue scraped out. The hole was almost 2" in diameter and about as deep. Couldn't walk for more than a few feet for over six weeks when the poisons lodged in my lymph glands, and all my glands swelled up to the size of oranges. Was convinced I was going to die. The doc wanted to cut open every last one of my lymph glands and inset drains and leave me that way.
    But I obviously didn't die, and now I kill every spider I see. And I don't believe that 5% bull, either.

    August 9, 2012 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thinker...

      The 95% could be correct (I am no Entomologist) simply because if you don't develop the necrotizing lesions you wouldn't ever know you were bit by a recluse (unless you actually watched it bite you). The bites would be similar to mosquito or chigger bites; ichy, annoying, and unmemorable.

      I have had several spider bites that never got any worse than mosquito bites (you can tell by the two punctures as opposed to only one), though I have no idea what spiders they came from. I have seen a couple of recluses in some of the places I've lived so it is entirely possible that I have been bitten by one and was lucky enough to not be in the 5%.

      August 9, 2012 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
  35. maggotfist

    Moronic article.
    There are more spiders because there are more insects (food-source) owing to increased temps.
    Did he forget BIO 101?

    August 9, 2012 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jmurphy

      Increased temps in my neck of the woods (SW MO) seem to be leading to lower levels of insects except grasshoppers. The recluses are coming out because they don't have their normal sources of food, such as ants. BIO 101 doesn't teach you what you learn in the sticks. Pretty soon the rattle-headed copper moccasins will be coming out.

      August 9, 2012 at 01:32 | Report abuse |
  36. Chicken ittle

    So there's a lot of these brown recluses out there just waiting in the dark corners, closets, and boxes in our homes to cause us harm and possibly even kill us? I need to write my elected officials right now so they can do something about this problem. These spiders should be banned. while were at it we might as well just ban all spiders not just the recluses.

    August 9, 2012 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Just sayin'

    Charlie like spiders.

    August 9, 2012 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. bill

    To those who think it makes no difference that spiders aren't insects, I'm sorry to pop your bubble. (I'm really not.) But, if you're going to write about spiders, don't start the article off by referencing insects. It makes you look like an ignoramus, and your supporters even more so.

    August 9, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Robert

    I also hear that the freaks go out a night. Has anyone else experienced this?

    August 9, 2012 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. smb04d

    I think I got bit by a spider last night. Idk...it was either a bee sting, mosquito bite, or spider bite. I didn't feel the "sting", but I def felt a burning sensation on my neck.

    August 9, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. richardbrody

    these spiders all come from iran

    August 9, 2012 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Doug

    Really? Even a mildly interesting article about spiders can degenerate into a hateful and insult-filled conversation? What is wrong with our society?

    August 9, 2012 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Seriously?

      I agree. I've been reading through the comments because I'm interested and, OK, I admit, a little freaked out by spiders, but I'm shocked and disgusted by the number of vicious, racist remarks and other aggressive nonsense that seem to have made their way into this conversation. Apparently the hot, dry weather has brought out an unusual number of internet bigots and nut-jobs in addition to the insects and spiders. I've reported the three racist remarks I saw in the comments above as "abusive" and hope that others are doing the same and that the people maintaining this site will take notice!

      August 12, 2012 at 15:23 | Report abuse |
  43. yolo

    My friend's house was infested with those things! I guess it makes better sense now. I imagine it would be kinda scary with a bunch of spiders who's venom can hurt you in the house!

    August 9, 2012 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Bob B

    Sounds like the dust bowl days are coming back, but with the changing weather who knows, we could have to much rain next year. The best thing I can say is, be prepared for anything.

    August 10, 2012 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Blackcurry

    The only good spider is a DEAD spider. Don't tell me how good they are at eating the other creepy crawlies. ALL creepy crawlies should be dead. Yuck!!!!!

    August 10, 2012 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. JGN

    My my, all these testy males slinging their swear words around JUST over an article about spiders...leads one to conclude that they are all severely afraid of being bit by said spiders and must vent their fear in the usual way; through threats, posturing and anger. So attractive.

    August 10, 2012 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • penguins42

      I don't know what you're talking about. I just read all 90something comments (I wish I didn't – I hate spiders!) and I don't even think I saw someone swear. I did see two posts though about how the spiders were from Iran.

      August 10, 2012 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
  47. hillbillie

    i live in an 1819 log cabin in Indiana. I have an infestation of brown recluse spiders. I have tried spraying monthly, glue traps for two years and I still have activity. My bug man told me yesterday there is still activity in all stories of the house. I have caught hundreds mostly on glue traps. I try to be careful and shake out things and check shoes........I have been lucky. I fear they will never leave......I have all the factors for a good breeding ground.....the activity has slowed a lot since I realized they were living here. My friend got severely bitten. Obviously I don't have much company. A recluse living with a bunch of brown recluses......crazy but hoping they get less and less

    August 11, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Seriously?

    CNN, please get the racism under control. In the above comments, there are at least two stating that the spiders must be "Muslim" or "from Iran" and one that says "Personally, I think our dusky Americans are far more dangerous than spiders."

    I understand that you can't pre-screen all the comments that are posted, but I have reported those I mentioned as "abusive" and hope that you will at least remove them and ban those users from future participation if you expect your content to be taken seriously. Their presence does not reflect well on CNN, even if they are supposedly under the radar.

    August 12, 2012 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. IO

    Would it help to get some geckos and let them roam the house eating bugs?

    August 12, 2012 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. AK

    I live in Colorado. My daughter was cleaning out her bedroom closet and in a corner, saw what looked like a shiny nail head against the wall in a corner. Thought nothing of it...until she reached for it to see what it was and...it moved....showed it's little curled-up pointy legs....The black widow's egg sac was enormous and starting to hatch.

    Soon after that my son was taking a shower and laid his shorts on a heating grate. When he picked them up, a black widow fell out. I am not making this up.

    We went on the warpath. Everything in the basement got donated, thrown out, or ebay'ed. Nothing against walls anymore. Old furniture got tossed. Chemical death was dealt to any moving spot. The problem is pretty much gone.

    No recluses in CO....just black widows, and they're bad enuf....

    August 12, 2012 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.