Jim is a news junkie and relies on the internet more than I do to stay up on the latest news. He sent me an email today from work with a link to an article in the Knoxville News about a brown recluse spider bite that Anderson County Commission Chair Chuck Fritts had received. It put him in the hospital for 4 days. This made me realize that I have no idea what a brown recluse spider looks like. I better find out.
1. These two photos show the distictive “violin” marking on the back of the brown recluse spider, as well as its size. (NOTE: I’ve learned that other spiders may also have a violin marking — the distinguishing feature for the brown recluse is its eye pattern of 6 eyes in pairs with a space separating the pairs (see photo). Most spiders have 8 eyes in two rows of four.)
2. Below is a video that talks a little about its habits.
3. Below is a very graphic video that shows the horrible damage that the brown recluse’s toxic venom can do to human tissue.
GOOD NEWS SO YOU DON’T PANIC
Even if you have a brown recluse, bites from them are extremely rare, despite all the stories. Many of the really graphic nasty wounds you see on the internet as recluse bites can also be other conditions like necrotizing bacteria and pyoderma gangrenosum. Ninety percent of brown recluse bites are not medically significant, heal very nicely often without medical. intervention and treatment for most brown recluse bites is simple first aid
Be Aware to Be Safe
Here is a great website to learn more about the brown recluse (includes a territory map, and yes, Sharps Chapel appears to be on the fringe of the area).
But at the very least, don’t leave work boots or jackets outside and know where you put your hands and fingers.
Life is an Adventure!