Even being one of the notorious spiders in the Kansas City area, the Brown Recluse is still not readily recognizable to many. It is also not uncommon to cross paths with one of these spiders, knowingly or unknowingly. Many see the Brown Recluse as a deadly spider, but that is not as true a story as many believe.
The Brown recluse goes by the nickname of Violin Spider this is due to its unique markings resembling a violin that stretches from the front of the spider to around the thorax. Looking at the head of the spider, you will see a slightly darker shade of brown that will resemble the body and neck of a violin. This mark is typically the best way to identify a Brown Recluse if you happen to come across one. As for size, The Brown Recluse is not a giant spider growing up to around a half-inch. Another way the Brown Recluse will differ is in their eyes; most spiders have eight eyes, but the Brown Recluse only has six bunched up in pairs. Two are in the middle, two right of center, and two left of center. These are located in the dark violin shape marking on their body.
The Brown Recluse is native to the south-central Midwest from Texas and Georgia up through Kansas and Nebraska, finishing in Iowa and Ohio. There are 15 different states where the Brown Recluse species is found, with Kansas City being right in the hot zone. As expert hiders, it’s possible to have an infestation without knowing it. Basements, attics, and storage spaces are some of the top places where Brown Recluse hide; they are secluded spaces that will get limited traffic from anyone. Other places they hide are; in clothing, shoes, hats, and garages. Hiding in clothing can be dangerous for you as if they get spooked a bite is at risk.
A Brown Recluse is what its name says, a recluse. These spiders stay away from any heavy traffic areas where they make their home. Basements, attics, closets, and garages are the top spots to find them. They don’t typically go out in open spaces; they will go along walls. Making glue traps along the walls is a great way to monitor their activity. A bite is typically only at risk if the spider feels threatened, as most bites happen at night when someone rolls over on them.
A death case from a Brown Recluse Spider is incredibly rare. Any death isn’t directly from the bite but from an infection that could set in. 90% of the Brown Recluse bites heal without requiring any treatment. On the high end, only 3% end in a skin graft. One researcher even believes that the Brown Recluse is not deadly at all acknowledging that there are reported Brown Recluse deaths, but none of those being proven, chalking it up to misdiagnosis. The fangs of a Brown Recluse are small and lack power; they usually need something to push off of to bite. This is usually why most bites happen at night while you sleep. You may roll over onto one which gives them something to push off or to bite, along with being frightened enough to want to bite. With most bites occurring at night while sleeping, what are some symptoms you may experience after a bite from a Brown Recluse?
A lot of spider bites may resemble a typical bug bite, with redness, soreness, and some itchiness. This all can be the case with a Brown Recluse bite on the low-end side. On the more severe side, you can have increasing pain over the first eight hours post-bite, fever, chills, or body aches; a wound with a pale center that goes dark blue surrounded by a red ring, or even a wound with an open sore and necrosis (dying skin). The Mayo Clinic recommends you see a doctor if you were bitten by a dangerous spider such as a Brown Recluse, unsure if a bite you have noticed is from a dangerous spider or not, or showing any of the above symptoms.