|photo courtesy of the Public Health Image Library; www.cdc.gov|
Of all the spiders that you may encounter in the United States, only a few are considered poisonous. The Brown Recluse is one of them. Most bites actually result in a mild lesion that heals on its own. Bites may even go unnoticed initially because it is painless when it occurs. Symptoms will typically develop within the two to eight hours following the bite. Some symptoms include itching, nausea, vomiting, fever, and muscle/joint pain. In some cases, the bite becomes necrotic, destroying soft tissue. Although most of these lesions heal without complication, it can sometimes take months to heal and may leave a permanent scar. In extreme cases, the bite can become systemic, resulting in organ damage and even death. Those most susceptible to systemic reactions are children, elderly, and debilitatingly ill individuals.
To help prevent being bitten by a brown recluse spider:
- Perform routine, thorough house cleaning.
- Reduce clutter in garages, basements, and attics.
- Move all firewood, building material, and debris away from the foundation of the home.
- Clean behind outside home shutters.
Our thoughts go out to the Bockhorn family and the nightmare they are in.