Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Tis the season: Be on the lookout for brown recluse spiders

Date:
April 24, 2014
Source:
Kansas State University Research and Extension
Summary:
Warmer, spring weather has many of us getting out and becoming more active, and the brown recluse spider is no exception. Scientists shared 10 facts about the somewhat small, shy spider.

Kansas State University scientists recently conducted research to learn more about brown recluse spiders that are prevalent in the Midwest, including Kansas and Missouri. The highly-magnified photo shows what the spider looks like close up.
Credit: Photo courtesy of K-State Research and Extension

'Tis the season -- for creepy, crawly things that seemingly come from nowhere. And one to watch for is the brown recluse spider.

"A number of things are not well known or have been misunderstood about the brown recluse spider," said Holly Davis, research associate and Ph.D. candidate in Kansas State University's Department of Entomology. She, along with associate professor of entomology, Jeff Whitworth, recently completed research in an effort to better understand and manage the brown recluse.

The team shared 10 facts about the much-publicized spider.

1. Brown recluse spiders are mostly only active from March through October, so trying to control them from October through March is generally not necessary or useful.

2. They are found outdoors in Kansas and other Midwestern states, as well as within structures. They tend to thrive in the same environments that humans do. They enter structures either by crawling in from the outside or are brought in on furniture and boxes from other infested structures.

3. They readily feed on prey that is dead, so are attracted to recently killed insects. However, they can and will also attack live prey.

4. Brown recluses build small, irregular webs in out-of-the-way places but do not use these to capture prey. They tend to hide in the dark and move around at night searching for prey.

5. A brown recluse is tiny when it first emerges from the egg case and takes several molts to reach adulthood, 6-12 months. Remember, they are only active from March to October so this may take one to two years. Then they may live 2-3 years as adults. Females can produce 2-5 egg cases during this time (two or three is most common) and each may contain 20-50 spiderlings.

6. Brown recluse spiders are venomous but bites do not always result in large, necrotic lesions where surrounding tissue dies. Often, the bite goes unnoticed and only results in a pimple-like swelling. However, some people develop a necrotic wound (with blood and pus) which is slow to heal, with the potential for a secondary infection. If you know you've been bitten, catch the spider if safely possible, and show it to medical personnel for clear identification.

7. Sticky traps for spiders and other insects, available at most hardware and garden stores, work well to trap brown recluse spiders. They may not significantly reduce the numbers, but definitely help, and are a great way to detect and monitor the spider populations.

8. Insecticides labeled to control brown recluse spiders kill the spiders, but must be sprayed directly on them, or the spider needs to come into direct contact with the treated area while it is still damp. Otherwise, little control is achieved.

9. Brown recluse spiders are better controlled with insecticides on non-carpeted surfaces.

10. Preventative measures like sealing cracks in foundations and walls, clearing clutter in and around the home, moving woodpiles away from the house, placing sticky traps in low traffic areas and spraying pesticides can help eliminate brown recluse populations within the home.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University Research and Extension. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University Research and Extension. "'Tis the season: Be on the lookout for brown recluse spiders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424112750.htm>.
Kansas State University Research and Extension. (2014, April 24). 'Tis the season: Be on the lookout for brown recluse spiders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424112750.htm
Kansas State University Research and Extension. "'Tis the season: Be on the lookout for brown recluse spiders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424112750.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins