Skip to comments.Brown Recluse Spider in Northern Virginia? (vanity)
Posted on 06/01/2005 7:17:47 AM PDT by Pyro7480
I share a duplex house with two other people. My room is the basement, while the other two live in rooms on the second floor. We share the living room, dining room, and kitchen on the first floor. Our house is just outside the DC Beltway in northern Virginia, south of Alexandria.
On Sunday, one of my roommates was apparently bitten by a brown recluse spider. She didn't get it looked at immediately, since she thought it was just a really bad pimple. By yesterday, however, it was quite apparent that something was wrong. She went to a doctor, and the diagnosis was confirmed, that she was bitten by a brown recluse. The doctor told her that they get a bunch of these in the summer months in the area.
I was under the impression that the brown recluse was only found in the south central region of the United States. Are they now prevalent enough in Virginia to cause the doctor to say such a thing? It doesn't make sense to me that she was bitten, most likely in her room on the second floor, while I haven't even seen anything that looks like a brown recluse spider in my basement room. You would think that something like that would more likely get into a basement than into a second floor room.
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That's what I always did prior to my hubbys bites. I kill all spiders now except Daddy Longlegs. I still pick them up and put them outside.
I have them upstairs much more than downstairs myself, I'd say about 5-1. The best non-posionous solution I have found is to take 2 inch masking tape, tear off about 8 inches or so, and leave it on the floor in the areas where you see them WITH THE STICKY SIDE UP. They prowl around at night, they don't get in a web. If you picked the right places you should catch several on each piece of tape in a few weeks.
I've seen these spiders.
I tape up the outside door to my basement room. More often than not, it's pillbugs that get stuck on it.
Just cover your furniture with plastic or sheets or there will be a film left behind.
I got bitten by a recluse on the ear lobe a couple of years ago. We were staying with relatives in a guest bedroom that's seldom used.
The spider had taken up residence in the bed.
A friend of a friend of mine was apparently bitten by a Brown Recluse spider on a visit to Maine about 7 or 8 years ago (Islesboro, in Penobscot Bay). He was bitten on the thumb while picking wildflowers. It became infected and the doctors had to amputate the top joint.
I think these things are fairly rare, but it's always possible that one of them may get into that proverbial shipment of bananas or otherwise hitch a ride into new territory.
Delmont Jr was bitten in Washington State. I don't care if you call them Brown Recluse,Black Recluse (how about Colored Recluse) Hobo, Velveeta's Revenge or what, they are nasty little buggers.
When they opened the wound in the ER, they almost had to call a hazardess materials team to ventilate the whole floor of the hospital it smelled so bad. The patient was then on a morphine-dilaudid drip with the strongest anti-biotics out there.
Another thing, 6 ,months after the wound was somewhat healed, it flared up again, almost as bad as the first time. I guess if they don't irrigate it well enough, it comes back, just like cancer.
OMG!!....why did this man wait so long to get treatment!
i would question that she was bit at night...by a brown recluse. it still could have been a spider that she rolled over on. The Brown recluse wound becomes necrotic whereas other spider bites tend to look mean but no necrosis.
it's not uncommon to wake up in the morning and see a huge red area that looks like an infection with no pain. they run their course over several days.
Alot of people,including my wife,confuse wolf spiders with brown recluse.Wolf spiders will turn and run when you put anything in front of them,a brown recluse will not.The larger,brown spiders are usually just wolf spiders.A brown recluse doesn't get as large.Just something to keep in mind:D
Do a search on wolf spider to see the difference.
yeah, i love the range maps of both the brown recluse and the hobo that show no activity near MI, and we have both.
wood piles can be a great source for finding things that scientists say don't exist in MI.
I'm an occasional listener of George Noory on Coast To Coast when I'm up late and he's lately talked about a friend of his who waited too long to get a Brown Recluse bite looked at and may end up getting his leg amputated. These bites are nothing to fool with.
Is that you, grandpa?
I have a great deal of experience with brown recluse spiders. It is possible to find them in any part of the country. In areas where they were not naturally found, they can show up in boxes that are shipped. They can also live for extended periods without food. There are several members of the recluse family and it is thought that they all possess some degree of toxicity. My suggestion is that you look at a few pictures of the spiders online. Brown recluses are generally small and very inconspicuous. They can also have considerable variation in color depending on locale. The ones that I see usually have golden tan legs and more reddish brown on the body and where the legs attach to the body. Contrary to the "legendary" description, the body is not fiddle shaped, there is a VERY TINY fiddle marking on the head of SOME, not all, recluses.
There are tons of these spiders on my farm, usually in the animal pens or barn, frequently under animal bedding. I've been bitten at least a dozen times. After the first few times, I learned that you almost never see the spider bite you and that the first sign is very similar to a red ant bite (a small pimple-like raised area). I have found that the "pimple" does not get pus in it like a red ant bite. Also, red ants hurt when they bite so you usually know immediately. In brown recluses the bite itself is painless (possibly because the substances they inject have pain-killing properties). In my experience, if it is a brown recluse bite, and you pop it, not much liquid comes out. My "treatment", as soon as I have a "pimple" that I am pretty sure is a recluse bite, I take a fine needle (26 or 27 ga.) amd make a small hole in the top of the pimple. Then I take a large syringe (35 or 60 ml without a needle on it) and I put the tip of the syringe firmly over the pimple. I draw back on the syringe until I get some fluid going in the syringe. I do this several times over a 10-15 minute period and try to get out at least 0.1 ml of fluid (more is better). This technique seems to get out enough of the toxin so that the toxin-related reaction and necrosis are minimal.
The only time that I had a really bad problem with a bite was the first bite. It was on my shin and got pretty nasty. At it's worst point, my entire lower leg from ankle to knee was varying shades of black, brown and blue. Fortunately, there was not a huge amount of tissue loss, just about 1" x 3" and down to the bone in the area that was the center of the bite.
If I have time this afternoon, I'll round up a couple of brown recluses and take pictures to post.
We got a Black Widow in with some grapes and didn't notice until we got to Shea Stadium ,LOL!! FReep mail me if you wanna hear the complete tale , BTW , I know spiders,my sister was petrified and we had lots of spider books,this wasn't the false Black Widow
"The only time that I had a really bad problem with a bite was the first bite."
I must really be losing it! I forgot about the time when I was bitten on my hand. It got infected, "healed" but the infection remained, got down to the bone, infection turned to sepsis. Required over a year of several antibiotics.
Cool , I'd like that , as I said , we had lots of spider books
Just leave the Jumping Spiders and the Golden Garden Spiders.
If you leave the Mud Dappers alone, the will take care of the spiders. That is all they do, catch spiders to fill their nest.
That's worked well here in New Mexico this year. It didn't work for the last five years though.
You killed 'em there & made it rain here.
I've lived in TX for 30 years off and on (going to be on again, be forewarned); I never had enough spider left to use a magnifier on.
To be fair; if it's in the house, it's dead. If it's in the yard, I just give it some room. Of course, everywhere in the world is within 5 feet of a spider.
Yes - they're definitely in Illinois/Wisconsin area. My sister is a doctor, and used to live in Oak Brook. She treated a few bites every year, and always warned me about them. A few of the bites that she saw came from people who were bitten while sitting on portable toilets. The spider was under the seat, and didn't like being sat on.
I had to refrain from smashing the CRAP out of them before I identified. I was a nervous wreck about recluse spiders! I probably had them, but never knew!
I was bitten by one in 1985, but didn't suffer as much as some people I have heard of. I didn't feel the bite when it happened, but assumed it happened on Friday while I was at a flower nursery. That evening my left arm began to hurt, and I tho't I had unknowingly bumped my elbow, but I began to feel sick. The next morning I nearly fainted twice, but did not associate it with my arm hurting. On Monday, the arm was swollen and red, so I went to the doctor and told him I must be losing my mind that I had bumped my elbow and didn't remember doing it. He said I had been bitten my a brown recluse spider, and had me look at my elbow in a large mirror. You could see the puncture mark, but there was a white ring the size of a dime around the bite, which is characteristic of the brown recluse bite. My arm was swollen and red from the elbow to my shoulder and the pain was terrible. I don't remember what the doctor prescribed, but he would not allow me to go on a planned trip. I made several visits to his office that week, and on Friday he lanced it, and I took antibiotics until the infection was cleared up. Maybe the skin on the elbow is tougher than the skin on other parts of the body and that kept me from having a worse experience and a bad scar. It was bad enough and I wouldn't want to repeat it.
A buddy of mine was bitten in South Jersey.
Eliminate the cockroaches that the brown recluse lives on..
I have seen coyotes, (lots) bald eagles (twice) Wolves, (twice) BEARS, black widow spiders, wild turkeys, golden eagles, and rattlesnakes. All of this in the Lower Peninsula, west of Ann Arbor.
Michigan has all sorts of things, some more pleasant thaan others.
Actually, I have friends who were bitten here in New Jersey. And, yes, it is nasty!!
Thanks for sharing those wonderfully disgusting photos.
Set up a monthly service to treat for all pests. Once the food source is gone, the spiders will leave also.
yep. gotta love the various wildlife around here. i've seen all of those but the bears and wolves just south west of lansing, and i've seen wolves and bears further north. my favourite was one species of snake which is supposedly endangered, that we found.
What kind of snake was it?
I saw your reply about the time it healed and then went down to the bone. What was scariest about my sons bite was that 6 months after we thought the worst was over, it came back again, full blown, kinda like when someone thinks they are cured from cancer. I see we DON'T have them in Washington State but the ER docs sure thought we did. I can't see how you got rid of the bite by a home cure similar to popping a boil, you must be lucky.
Wonder if chlorine might do the same to spider venom (or others) if the bite was opened up sufficiently? Chlorine bleach screws-up just about anything it comes in contact with (take my word, I work with swimming pools).
Never been bitten by one, but I've seen a few.
When I was in Australia in 1987, I've seen a spider that is even nastier, the funnelweb spider. They're almost as big as my hand, and if they bite your fingers, their fangs can reach down in the bone.
"I can't see how you got rid of the bite by a home cure"
If you do this relatively soon after the bite, you may be able to remove enough of the toxins so that the bite is not as bad. When you draw out fluids from the center of the injection, fluids from adjacent areas move into the spot where you drew fluids from. Pulling fluids several times as I mentioned, helps to move the toxins back closer to the injection site where you may be able to remove some of them. It doesn't get rid of the bite toxins entirely. The toxins shut down circulation around the bite and they necrotize the flesh. The toxins do not spread fast (like in some snake bites) so they tend to stay very near the point of injection, making it possible to remove some of the toxins, some of the time.
One time, I had three separate bites on my hand. It looked to me like the spider must have walked across my hand because the bites were line up in a row. I used the syringe on all three bites. Only one of them got really ugly but the bite area remained small. The other two bites just made a small raised area that was red with a blackish "crater" in the center. Invariably, even if it appears that I have been able to remove some toxin (or it could be that not much was initially injected) these bites seem to take a long time to heal completely.
One thing that I found about spiders that was rather interesting: Some entomolgists believe that ALL spiders are "poisonous" it is just that they may not have a delivery system for the poison that is capable of injecting any (or enough) toxin to elicit a reaction in a human. But, there certainly must be some form of their natural prey that are susceptible.
I hope your housemate is ok. This thread makes me want to move to Maine where the bug population is considerably lower.
I read that Daddy Long Legs will kill the bad spiders, so I just leave them be.
sounds like you need a bugectomy. and call an exterminator for your house also. :)
eastern fox snake. jist rechecked my research on it, and its actually only threatened in canada. makes it seem a lot less nifty now.
Still very cool!