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Living with the Brown Recluse


Living with brown recluse (a letter from someone in the thick of brown recluse habitat)

Rick, I've corresponded with you in the past, and had a rather large collection of them (brown recluses) in alcohol, but it was thrown away by accident, (so she claims). I guess I had over 50 in that little jar. Anyway, I'm sorry I couldn't send them to you. If anyone has a problem with a B-R infestation in their home, I can strongly recommend getting a cat or two, as cats are often nocturnal hunters, and they love, (at least mine do), to kill any kind of tiny creatures. I was actually having a difficult time snapping these pictures, and keeping the cat at bay long enough to do it. We have lived here now for about three years now, and no one in our family, with the possible exception of my wife two years ago, (can't be sure of that one though), has EVER been bitten. Thank God these little critters aren't aggressive, or we'd have all been devoured by now. I've found them in our bed, our clothes drawers, our closet, our bathtub, (they seem to be attracted to the bathtub), and especially in our shoes. We always check our clothes before getting dressed, and check our beds before getting in them. I've had them crawl across me while sitting on the couch, and crawl up my leg occasionally while working at my computer, and have yet to be bitten. But I must confess, I wish I didn't have to contend with them. One question, We are moving soon, and I was wondering what the probability of accidentally packing a few up and taking them with us would be. Oh, in case you don't remember me, ( I'm sure you probably don't), My name is Steve G*****, I'm the father of three kids, and we live in Snead Alabama. A tiny little community about fifty miles north of Birmingham. Approx. two hours west of Atlanta. Thanks, Steve

A second email from Steve G. (4 June 2003)

I just read your "Brown Recluse Myth" page again, and got to thinking about the hysteria you talk about that the good people of California have over the brown recluse. I have to confess, I am laughing about it. Honestly. My wife just shot me a look like she thinks I've lost my mind, I'll have to show her this article. I admit, I was very apprehensive and a little uptight when we first moved into "spider central", but You were right about the Brown Recluse, they live communally, and they're harmless if a little common sense and awareness is used. I had a huge collection that I was going to send you, but after I got my new digital camera, I decided that it's just easier to send pictures. I had about fifty in a small jar with alcohol. Here's an interesting fact I've learned about people who live with Brown Recluse spiders in my area, whenever I mention that I have them in my house, most people are horrified, then when I show them a picture, or bring a specimen so they can see what a Brown Recluse really looks like, they are amazed, and almost always tell me they kill those kind of spiders in their house all the time, but I only know, (personally), of three people who've ever been bitten, one was my mother, who taught me at very early age what they look like and to be aware of them, and the other two were friends of my wife. However, we think my wife might have been bitten, I say this because she had a bite of some kind on her hand, and I found a dead one in the bed where she'd been sleeping, but the bite never became necrotic, it just formed a small blister and healed leaving a tiny scar. Any way, I just though I'd drop you a line and tell you I really enjoy reading your web page from time to time. I've killed three large ones in the last few days. Two of these were in my daughters room, and one was found in a boiler, (or is it a saucepan?), under the counter. I guess my point is that we, (and all my neighbors), live with these creepy little critters in our home, every day, and ain't nobody getting bitten, attacked, or dying a horrible agonizing death around here. Anyway, please keep up the excellent work you are doing, and know that there are people out here who appreciate what you do, and can verify what you say about Brown Recluse spiders being non-aggressive and mostly harmless. Thanks, Steve P.S. that being said, I'll probably get bitten tonight - go figure  


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