Our last blog, Arkansas’ Tiny Terror I: The Brown Recluse, discussed the identification and habits/habitat of the brown recluse. This time, we give you information on how to identify and handle a brown recluse bite as well as tips on how to handle an infestation.
Bite Symptoms & Effects
It is important to start off here by mentioning that most fiddleback bites usually go unnoticed at the time because their bites are normally painless. However, within an hour you may feel a burning sensation around the site of the bite. Within two to eight hours of the bite, the site will begin to blister and enlarge resembling a bad pimple with a red ring around it until it becomes a larger, hardened lump.
It is possible that if you have been bitten by a brown recluse, you will experience symptoms such as itching around the site, chills, nausea, sweating, and an overall feeling of being sick. The severity of the wound depends on the amount of venom encased in the bite. Since the males of the species are most likely to roam, they are the ones most likely to bite. The male fiddleback only has about half as much venom as a female so their bites are not as severe. As a matter of fact, only approximately ten percent of spider bites are confirmed brown recluse bites and only ten percent of those become necrotic.
If you believe you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider, it is advised that you wash the bite with antibacterial soap and wrap the site with ice for ten minutes, leave it off for ten minutes, and then repeat with the ice for another ten minutes. It is advised that if you know for sure that you have been bitten by a brown recluse, the safest plan of action is to visit your doctor, a quick care clinic, or the emergency room for immediate treatment and antibiotics. And be sure to arrive with the dead spider in a sandwich bag if possible.
Here’s an interesting fact for you: A female brown recluse only needs to mate once to continue producing eggs her entire lifetime, so a single female can be responsible for an entire infestation. Each egg sac can hold up to 50 eggs and a female can produce up to three egg sacs per year. Once an infestation is established, it is really hard to control mainly due to the fact that these recluses are hard to observe due to their preferred hiding places.
To prevent an infestation, the best advice is to deny these spiders a place to nest. Seal cracks and crevices with caulk or expandable foam, seal around fireplaces, vents, doors, window frames, and crawl space and attic doors. Try to seal the areas where cabinets and counters don’t quite reach the walls and eliminate as much clutter as possible like boxes and other storage.
IF an infestation is present in your home, it may take an integrated management plan that utilizes several control methods. Simply trying to fog your home with pesticide typically won’t work because of the hidey-hole that these spiders like to crawl into. You could lay sticky traps down throughout your home to highlight problem areas.
It could take many months to completely clear a large infestation depending on the size of the home and the amount of effort put into finding the offending pests. However, Clark has you covered! If you need any assistance with a brown recluse infestation removal or prevention, contact us online or by phone at any of our locations.
Little Rock: 501-228-0322
North Little Rock: 501-758-0322
Hot Springs: 501-623-2335