Monday, August 5, 2013

Miss Muffett Monday

I hate uninvited dinner guests!
While this isn't one of my favorite topics, I think it's noteworthy to bring to the table today.  I recently got my re-certification in first aid, AED/CPR and blood borne pathogens, and during the information in the first aid portion one thing we talked about were insect bites.  I'm not totally creeped out by most bugs, and while spiders are on my top ten list of things I don't like, unless they are bigger than a quarter, I'm willing to walk away if they're outside.  If they are inside my turf, fahgettabodit, then they are smoosh-fodder.  Sorry, PETA fans, but spiders are spiders and if they invade my territory, they pay the price.

That being said, I recently learned about the brown recluse spider and the unbelievable damage (up to and including death) they can cause.  I am not going to show a lot of gross pictures, but please trust me when I say they can cause flesh-eating damage down to your bones.  We're talking craters in your body damage.
Brown Recluse Spider Main Stompin' Grounds

While this map shows the basic area of the brown recluse, I have friends in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who have seen them... just saying!

I do have a picture of one of these nasty little critters below, but I put it there in case you get completely crazy afraid of even a picture of a spider, so here's the spoiler report... don't scroll down!!!!  I've also provided several links for your info.  These bad boys hide but will crawl into shoes/slippers (even beds, yuck), and all those nasty dark places like basements, attic corners, etc.  Good news - they can't bite through heavy clothing, so be sure when you're cleaning out garages, basements and the like, that you wear longs sleeves, long pants and heavy work gloves.

I know this won't be my most popular post ever, but like I said, I didn't know much about these spiders, and since they are so harmful, I wanted to be sure to pass the info along as forewarned is forearmed and I want all my wild woman readers to be protected!  Consider this a very serious health and fitness tip today!

Blessings (and no bug bites),

Coach Linda Bush



Control of indoor infestations of the brown recluse spider can take a long time (6 months or more) and can be difficult because humans have a very low tolerance for this pest, it tends to be widely dispersed within infested buildings, and it seeks secluded sites. Control of spiders, including the brown recluse, is best achieved by following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. IPM involves using multiple approaches such as preventive measures, exclusion, sanitation, trapping, and chemical treatment when necessary.

Preventing spider bites

  • Shake out clothing and shoes before getting dressed.
  • Inspect bedding and towels before use.
  • Wear gloves when handling firewood, lumber, and rocks (be sure to inspect the gloves for spiders before putting them on).
  • Remove bedskirts and storage boxes from underneath beds. Move the bed away from the wall.
  • Exercise care when handling cardboard boxes (recluse spiders often are found in the space under folded cardboard flaps).


  • Install tight-fitting screens on windows and doors; also install door sweeps.
  • Seal or caulk cracks and crevices where spiders can enter the house.
  • Install yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs outdoors since these attract fewer insects for spiders to feed upon.
  • Tape the edges of cardboard boxes to prevent spider entry.
  • Use plastic bags (sealed) to store loose items in the garage, basement, and attic.


  • Remove trash, old boxes, old clothing, wood piles, rock piles, and other unwanted items.
  • Eliminate clutter in closets, basements, attics, garages, and outbuildings.
  • Do not stack wood against the house.
  • Clean up dead insects that the brown recluse spider can feed on.

Non-chemical control

  • Use sticky traps or glueboards to capture spiders.
  • Dust and vacuum thoroughly to remove spiders, webs, and egg sacs (dispose of the vacuum bag in a container outdoors).
  • Use a rolled up newspaper or fly swatter to kill individual spiders.


There are many labeled pesticides for spider control. Some are labeled for homeowner use, while others are labeled only for the licensed, certified pesticide applicator. It would be prudent to enlist the services of a professional pest management company when dealing with an indoor infestation of the brown recluse spider.


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