Author Topic: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)  (Read 36845 times)

Tommy Jefferson

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Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« on: February 15, 2009, 06:22:19 AM »
This time of year many people go rummaging around in attics and storage buildings that have sat undisturbed all winter.

I wanted to warn you guys about this spider that cost me a lot of pain and money.  This is a Brown Recluse Spider...



Insecticide won't kill them.  Traps don't catch them.  The only preventative is to reduce clutter, tape storage boxes shut, and wear gloves when working in storage areas.

I've been bitten three times by them.  The first time was on my cheek under my left ear  I must have been asleep when it happened because I don't remember being bitten.  That cost $700 in medical bills and now I have a bad scar there.

The second time was on my chin when I put on a motorcycle helmet that had been hanging on a hook in my garage all winter.  That cost $700 and now I have a scar there.

The third time was when I sat in an old metal chair that had been sitting beside the house for months.  It bit me through my jeans.  It felt like an ant sting.

Here's what it looked like when I got back from the doctor.  You can't see it, but there are sixteen inches of medicated gauze packed in the cavity under my skin.  This one cost $900.


Here's where he barely tagged my finger when I swatted him off my leg...


After all that money and pain, I finally learned my lesson.  I shake out stuff that has been sitting around before using it.  I wear gloves when working in dusty old storage areas.

For more information, see:  http://www.brownreclusespider.org

Offline Dirt Rider 3006

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2009, 06:43:31 AM »
WOW...not good...not good...

Tommy, what part of the country are you in and what other parts of the country does this demon inhabit?

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2009, 07:58:02 AM »
ouch, ouch, ouch  :o    Damn that looks painful

Tommy Jefferson

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2009, 08:42:29 AM »
I'm in east Texas.

Here's the range...


Offline gpd240

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 10:06:08 PM »
My dad got nipped by one of those a couple of years ago, He thinks he sat on it on the lawnmower. He had a bite that looked like your finger. He went all loopy and passed out, for a bit.

Offline Alan Halcon

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 10:19:29 PM »
I got nailed twice, in the foothills of california.

I had a real bad experience the first time. it hit me right at the waist line I couldn't wear anything for two days. just the slight brush of a shirt against it dropped me to my knees. I got so bad I almost passed out at work.

...not fun. I still have that scar to remind me of the beast.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 10:27:22 PM »
I had a real bad experience the first time. it hit me right at the waist line I couldn't wear anything for two days. just the slight brush of a shirt against it dropped me to my knees. I got so bad I almost passed out at work.

.... you were at work with no clothes on? ....  :-\

Offline Alan Halcon

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 10:31:50 PM »
no, lol! I knew someone would read it that way.

the first two days i tried to suck it up. at work the second day I told the producer you better get someone here to replace me, I need to go to the hospital.

on the third and fourth day is when I had to stay home without anything touching it.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2009, 10:39:56 PM »
no, lol! I knew someone would read it that way.

I knooooow.  Just teasing you.   :D  Thank you for sharing your experience.  I'm glad it turned out well for you.  And (good god *shivers*) I'm glad it turned out okay for Tommy too.  Those pictures HURT to look at.

Offline SteveInTx

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2009, 10:57:41 PM »
I guess sucking out the venom doesn't work either eh? :P

Sheesh...I hate spiders.........

Tommy Jefferson

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2009, 04:33:50 AM »
I guess sucking out the venom doesn't work either eh?

Ha!  No.  The venom is a necrotoxin.  It immediately kills the tissue it comes in contact with.  This forms a big spot of dead tissue under your skin that has to be excised.  The doctor has to cut out all the dead tissue and squeeze out the bad fluids. 

The first time I got bit I thought it was just a pimple that had become infected.  It never formed a pustule like pimples do, so I waited four days before going to the doctor.   This allowed the necrotic tissue inside my skin near my jaw hinge to rot and poison my body.  That's called sepsis.  I was sick in bed for two days from it.

I was shocked when the doctor immediately identified it as a spider bite.  He did the mini-surgery right there in his office and  put me on a course of steroids.

I'm pretty proud of my self-surgery skills.  I've cut BIG fish hooks out of my leg and given myself stitches after bad cuts.  I could not have done this surgery on myself.  There was too much digging.  My wife is a saint, but she's not good at surgeries.


frithar

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2009, 05:41:38 AM »
I'm here to say that the map isn't entirely accurate.  I was bitten by one in the summer of '90 here in the Pittsburgh area.  I was working at a local produce market at the time so there's a chance it came in on some fruit somehow.  But your bite is EXCATLY what mine looked like-- on my leg, though, thank goodness.  Yup, there's a scar.

I was dating a doctor's son at the time, so I got a lot of free medical advice that went like this: "We have no idea what bit you."

They tested me for lime disease-- very popular up here-- Negative.
I saw a friend of the doctor whose best guess was, "Hmmm...looks like some sort of spider bit you."

(Thanks doc.)

Some years later, I happened onto a site that detailed what a brown-recluse bite looks like, what the symptoms are.... everything matched perfectly.

Dang, was it ever a nasty nasty disgusting bite.

Laura

millerized1

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2009, 10:19:41 AM »
Pretty common up here in WV.  Spiders don't last long at the millerized household.  Either the cats eat them or they get eaten by the myriad of other attack spiders I have crawling around the basement.  (of course, nothing stays put here for more than a few days :D )

Offline archer

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2009, 09:41:01 AM »
And they are in California as Alan mentioned. I've seen them.

Offline Ultio1

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2009, 11:47:29 AM »
When I was in high school I man I knew was bit on the back and it was horrible. He nearly died. It took almost two years for him to return to work. He was never the same. A healthy guy in his mid 30s.  It still freaks me out a little that something so small can completely wipe some one out like that.  I hope your bites heal completely. That looks like it is really painful. (grimacing as I look about for spiders)

Offline ejsandstrom

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2009, 02:30:51 PM »
Reason number 389 why I love MN. It is so cold that everything evil dies.

Offline flagtag

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2009, 08:51:29 PM »
They're in IL also. 

andymedic

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2009, 06:27:38 PM »
All across the US thanks to modern transport and "cold" storage.

Best advice don't stick your hands where you cant see and clean the webs away with a broom.

Very painful bite and the small black spot is necrotic tissue, this can get infected if not treated immediately.  :'(

zumatx

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2009, 11:25:53 PM »
God, I hate spiders...

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2009, 12:24:51 AM »
Reason #2 why I live in Alaska!  I spent 4+ years in Panama and it seemed like everything there either killed you or made you crazy sick!  I was even burned by an electric catapillar.  Nope, not going south ever!  Saw some bad ass camel spider bites in SWA too. 

BP


Offline Aspiring Homesteader

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2009, 10:11:43 AM »
We have them here in middle TN bad. Our house is located in one of the only wooded areas in town and they seem to be attracted to our home. One thing you can do to keep them out is use a lemon/citrus based oil on the areas you expect they are coming in and that will help run them off.

As weird as it sounds, we bought some of those Black & Decker "Ultrasonic" things you plug into the wall and they're supposed to put off sound waves that detract insects. We didn't really think they would work but they did. Not only did we see a drop in the number of spiders, the ones we did see were acting "funny". We'd walk in to our bedroom where we had one of those things and find a BR spider hanging from the ceiling with all eight legs sticking straight out... just hanging there spinning in the breeze. I think we found two like that.

Offline theaccidentalsurvivor

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2009, 10:32:16 AM »
So those things really work? How long have you had them?

MightyRunt

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2009, 12:03:55 PM »
One more story to reinforce about not delaying medical treatment if you suspect a brown recluse bite. DH had surgery last year and had to go to a rehab center for a while afterwards. A fellow there had had his lower leg amputated due to a BR bite that he didn't deal with promptly. I'm not sure if the bite occurred here in Colorado or elsewhere, but as andymedic mentioned, ease of travel probably means you can't say that any location absolutely doesn't have them.

Offline Aspiring Homesteader

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2009, 01:02:41 PM »
So those things really work? How long have you had them?

We've had them for about 5 or 6 years now. The first couple of years we were in our house we saw them all the time. We don't see them as much any more. Especially in rooms w/ these things.

Offline theaccidentalsurvivor

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2009, 02:05:53 PM »
You see those things on infomercials and I've never know anyone who used them..... good to know! might give them a try out at the inlaws lake place.

Offline Aspiring Homesteader

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2009, 03:01:57 PM »
We've heard of people getting them and they don't work for them. The only thing we can figure out is it's the Black & Decker brand. Dunno, maybe they are on the right frequency... maybe their not just night lights sold as bug repellents... YMMV

Offline sneauxball

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2009, 03:43:20 PM »
eeeeeewwwwww.

the rid ex brand works.  I have both rid ex and black & decker in my house, my mom only uses rid ex.  They keep the spiders & palmetto bugs (eeek) out the house.  Wish we'd had them in Birmingham where we shared our apartment with a million spiders.

my MIL got a brown recluse bite last fall, my neighbor too.  The neighbor took longer to heal, my mom changed her bandages every day for nearly two months.

Recently, brown widows have been making themselves well known around here.  They aren't as agressive as black widows and have webs in open areas as well as "hidden" ones, but it's still something I watch out for.

Offline theaccidentalsurvivor

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2009, 08:46:42 AM »
any idea what would happen if you put them on the outside of the house? like on an outside plug

Offline Klonus

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2009, 10:43:03 PM »
Just wanted to confirm that the map is inaccurate.  When I was stationed in Camp Pendleton, CA, we had them everywhere.  I saw some nasty bites, luckily none on me. 

GUNN1313

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Re: Beware the Brown Recluse Spider (nasty pic warning)
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2009, 12:45:12 PM »
I got tagged when I lived in AZ and have seen the little buggers in Oregon where I now reside.