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Brown Recluse Spider belongs to a group of spiders commonly known as the â€śfiddlebackâ€ť spiders because of the violin-shaped marking they have on their cephalothorax.
Brown Recluse Spider
The adults are about 1/4-1/2 inch in length. The â€śneckâ€ť of the fiddle points toward the rear of the body. However, there are several species of brown-colored spiders that have markings that can easily be confused. The key characteristics of the recluse is the arrangement of its six eyes into three pairs.
Brown recluse spiders live outdoors under rocks, logs, woodpiles and debris. The spider is also well adapted to living indoors with humans. They are resilient enough to withstand winters in unheated basements and stifling summer temperatures in attics, persisting many months without food or water. The brown recluse hunts at night seeking insect prey, either alive or dead. It does not employ a web to capture food webs strung along walls, ceilings, outdoor vegetation, and in other exposed areas are nearly always associated with other types of spiders.
The brown recluse spider is not aggressive, and it normally bites only when crushed, handled or disturbed. Some people have been bitten in bed after inadvertently rolling over onto the spider. Others have been bitten after accidentally touching the spider when cleaning storage areas. Some bites occur when people put on seldom used clothing or shoes inhabited by a brown recluse.
Brown Recluse Spider
Life Cycle : Egg laying primarily occurs from May through July. The female lays about 50 eggs that are encased in an off-white silken sac that is about 2/3-inch diameter. Each female may produce several egg sacs over a period of several months. Spiderlings emerge from the egg sac in about a month or less. Their development is slow and is influenced by weather conditions and food availability. It takes an average of one year to reach the adult stage from time of egg deposit. Adult brown recluse spiders often live about one to two years. They can survive long periods of time (about 6 months) without food or water.
The brown recluse spider spins a loose, irregular web of very sticky, off-white to grayish threads. This web serves as the spiderâ€™s daytime retreat, and it often is constructed in an undisturbed corner. This spider roams at night searching for insect prey. Recent research at the University of Kansas indicates that the brown recluse spider is largely a scavenger, preferring dead insects. Mature males also roam in search of females.
Bite:Brown recluse spiders usually bite only when they become trapped next to the victimâ€™s skin. Bites occur either when sleeping humans roll onto the spider or put on clothes into which the spider has crawled. Typically bites occur under clothing, mostly on the thigh, upper arm, or lateral torso, less often on the neck.
Brown Recluse Spider Bite
Symptoms: Symptoms start two to six hours after the bite. Blisters frequently appear at the bite site, accompanied by severe pain and pronounced swelling. A common expression is the formation of a reddish blister, surrounded by a bluish area, with a narrow whitish separation between the red and blue pattern. By 12 to 24 hours, it is usually apparent if a Loxosceles wound is going to become necrotic because it turns purple in color; if necrotic symptoms do not express by 48 to 96 hours, then they will not develop. If the skin turns purple, it will then turn black as cells die. Eventually the necrotic core falls away, leaving a deep pit that gradually fills with scar tissue.
Treatment: Clean the bite area with soap and water. Apply ice to the bite area to slow absorption of the venom. Elevate and immobilize the bitten extremity. Capture the spider, if at all possible, for identification purposes. Seek medical attention.
Control: Sanitation is important in the control of venomous spiders. The removal of piles of boxes, loose brick, wood, trash, clothing, or junk eliminates many favored hiding places. Caulking or otherwise tightening foundations helps prevent the entry of spiders into buildings
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