Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Here Comes the Brown Recluse!

"One of the most feared spiders in North America ... [is] potentially invading previously unaffected regions. Newly influenced areas may include parts of Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania."

Welcome! It's always good to keep these things mixed up.

35 Comments / Post A Comment

Caitlin Podiak



@Caitlin Podiak I'm going to have to dodge that picture until, at least, 2:00 unless Edith has a zillion posts stored up.


That picture...oh here go hell come.


A guy I know got bit by one of these in his apartment in the east village. (But he had been out of town.) I guess it hitched a ride, which is AWESOME. Maybe the bedbugs will eat them?


these are the worst. one bit my dog a few years ago, and she got a HUGE abscess. ugh.

Hot mayonnaise

@teenie: and they don't fully heal for like a year.


We had swarms of them out in the sticks of Arkansas. The Terminix man would come and lay out glue traps all over the house because once one brown recluse found death inside one, the others would flock to its carcass to eat it. After a week or two, you'd have piles of 'em.


@landogoshen OH GOD THAT'S DISGUSTING. Someone could make a really obvious-metaphor-y short story out of that.


@landogoshen: GLUE TRAPS ARE SOOO INHUMANE OMG....oh wait, wrong post. They're only inhumane if the pest in question has a cute face and won't kill you to death.


@SuperGogo Well, yeah. Even with insects/bugs, spiders can suffer and die but poor little roly pollies should be smushed quickly.

Actually that only applies in the bug world. I don't think snakes, armadillos, raccoons, bears or kittens, et cetera, should suffer.


@SuperGogo um yes that little "kill you to death" issue is a pretty convincing motivator to terminate at all costs, bro; brown recluses are hardly comparable to mice


Eh, whatever. Those fuckers are all over the place here. They think they're tough but they're no match for the soles of my shoes.

Hero of the Beach

My mom got bit by one of these at a wedding and it laid its little spider eggs in the abscess and we had little spider babies all over the house for a few days.



@Hero of the Beach PLEASE TAKE THIS BACK

Quick Brown Fox

@Hero of the Beach ZOMG, I think I just passed out for a few moments. Now I'm going to be feeling phantom bugs on me all day!


@Hero of the Beach So that means the babies hatched and crawled out of her skin? And then crawled on her skin and down her body? And somehow she didn't notice and they were able to leave her body (with her RIGHT THERE and somehow not noticing!!) and then crawl all over your house?! Your mom was the SOURCE. It's like in a movie.


@Hero of the Beach That emoticon is genius

Hero of the Beach

I should come clean here and say that except for my mom getting bit by a brown recluse at a wedding and developing an abscess (she didn't even know it had happened until later), I made that story up.

Sorry people who probably aren't coming back to check!

Hero of the Beach

Actually, I was just talking with a friend about how the spiders are everywhere, hiding in the shadows and recesses and waiting for when they can build a giant web that will catch all the birds and blot out the sun, and the world will become dark and all the spiders will come out of hiding, and you'll call your elevator to your apartment, and it'll be full of spiders, and how when you hit 4, they'll all swarm up your arm and inside your clothes and you'll say "I should have taken the stairs."


@ Hero of the Beach as somebody who has, like, a million spiders in her house you have literally just described what I feel like I am going walk into one day, after work. Except my sweet little cat will be wrapped up in the web, looking at me all sad.
Oh my god. I just got teary for a second.

Hana Maru

@Hero of the Beach That is actually happening:


This is one of the reasons I don't wear a beehive hairdo.



yeah, these are actually not uncommon. they just enjoy places where we don't frequent. however, in this unpleasant moments when our paths instersect, things can get bad. i have met two people bitten by a violin spider. it really didn't bother one them- a small divot in his forearm. the other was not lucky. looked like a shark had taken a bite out of his calf.


If it helps anyone to know this: most people who are bitten by brown recluse spiders do not get the horrible abscess reaction. Also, for anyone who has never gone down this path, may I suggest never google image searching "brown recluse spider bite."


@kellyannecat OH GOD WHY DID I NOT LISTEN TO YOU!!!!


One of my former coworkers was bit by a brown recluse and the bite site was still the grosses thing I'd ever seen 4 months post-bite. Even almost a year and half after the bite, she has recurring issues around the site. Avoid brown recluse monsters.


The fact that the range of "one of the most feared spiders in North America" is not really known suggests that we are basically ok, North-American-scary-spider-wise.

Hero of the Beach

@Kneetoe This is so true. The spiders in Australia are even more venomous AND THEY FUCKING SWIM.


@Hero of the Beach You and your terrifying spider stories.


@Hero of the Beach Australia has the most venomous/dangerous everything, and the few that don't swim can fly or live without any water.


A brown recluse bit me when I was in middle school; it was a disgusting experience. I've convinced people that the nearly perfect circle of a scar on my leg as a gunshot wound a number of times.


@wb Now, this is the kind of spider story I like. One with a happy ending!


I was bitten on my left ankle by a brown recluse when I was 9-years-old. I didn't develop an abscess or any scarring, but I couldn't put any pressure on that ankle for a month without excruciating pain. The crutches sucked because I was too short for the ones I was given. Although at school, my teacher would push me around in her rolling chair to get to the cafeteria. I believe I got incredibly lucky.

Girl Wonder

My grandfather died as the result of a brown recluse spider bite. I don't think it was a direct link, but he went to the hospital because of the bite that wouldn't heal and he left it dead. It took a long and horrific time for him to die by degrees in that hospital.


I've been bitten twice, *twice*, by these little bastards. My fear of spiders is fully rational. First time was on my shin, and when I went to the student health center to get the big swollen lump checked, the doctor went through things it could be, and included, "and if it's a brown recluse bite, your skin will turn black and a a hole will develop," and then just kinda went on talking. I was like, "Hold on, back up to the part about my skin turning black." And hey, it totally did! Necrosis, really gross and pus-filled! And it hurt like a mother. Second time I got bitten behind my knee. Both times I heard lots of horror stories about much worse bites.

Oh, and if you do have the misfortune to get bitten, tell your doctor to STFU if s/he says you need a tetanus shot. You don't, as my epidemiologist dad told me after they'd given me one. Between the pain of the bite and the pain from the shot, I wanted to die.

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