Posted June 27, 2012 - 10:35am by Jenise Celestin
I'm not a morning person. Typically I snooze the alarm a few times, then stumble around trying to get myself up and running. Thankfully, my husband and daughter are usually still asleep for a while, so I'm able to start the day quietly without being bothered. Well a few days ago, I was bothered. By this:
This spider was sauntering into my bathroom. He was about an inch long, with pretty menacing pinchers up in front. I've killed a lot of spiders but honestly I had never seen one like this before.
Does anyone care? Well, I posted to my Facebook page and the conversation really lit up. People were telling me what they thought it was, whether or not it was poisonous, how likely it was that there were more of them...everyone had something to add. To tell you the truth, I think I was even more freaked out after reading their suspicions than I was that morning. So, I thought I'd let one of our doctors weigh in on the issue.
Turns out, spider bites are usually benign according to Dr. Anna Kulik-Carlos, a family medicine physician at Swedish Covenant Hospital. She said typically a bite only requires supportive care like cleaning with soap and water, local wound care, icing and possibly a tetanus shot. Dr. Kulik-Carlos warns, however, that there are some spiders that cause more of a reaction and need further treatment or even epinephrine for an anaphylactic reaction.
She thought my spider-friend may have been a recluse spider, but she wasn't sure. Well I took a look at some photos online, and I'm pretty certain that what I saw was indeed a brown recluse spider (cue shivers down spine).
These are some of the most dangerous spiders in the US, and if a person is bitten by one they might require other treatment to make sure there aren't more severe reactions in the body.
Thankfully, I wasn't bitten - and after reading up a little more on these spiders I learned that they are actually quite common in the Midwest. They also tend to keep to themselves and stay in corners, under cardboard flaps of boxes, etc. As long as I keep an eye out, here's hoping I can avoid any others that might be lurking!
Oh and PS-don't do a search for these spiders on the web unless you are prepared to be really grossed out. I saw pictures of what I can only assume are rare bite cases, but let me give you the warning that they are SICK. Really, really, make-you-wish-you-could-forget, sick.