Skip to comments.Spray Your Plants Before You Bring Them In (Brown Recluse Spider Bite)
Posted on 01/14/2005 11:25:21 PM PST by Dallas59
My roomate brought in the plants and trees from our patios last Tuesday. That night his leg started to itch. By Thursday it was swollen. This was tonight. He's gone to the doctor but all the doc can do is give him antibiotics. Spray your plants before you bring them in. I emptied a can of Raid on all of them last night.
Background: In the United States, reports of severe envenomations by brown spiders began to appear in the late 1800s, and today, in endemic areas, brown spiders continue to be of significant clinical concern.
Of the 13 species of Loxosceles in the United States, at least 5 have been associated with necrotic arachnidism. Loxosceles reclusus, or the brown recluse spider, is the spider most commonly responsible for this injury.
Dermonecrotic arachnidism refers to the local skin and tissue injury noted with this envenomation. Loxoscelism is the term used to describe the systemic clinical syndrome caused by envenomation from the brown spiders.
Pathophysiology: Brown recluse spider bites can cause significant cutaneous injury with tissue loss and necrosis. Less frequently, more severe reactions develop, including systemic hemolysis, coagulopathy, renal failure, and, rarely, death.
Brown recluse venom, like many of the other brown spider venoms, is cytotoxic and hemolytic. It contains at least 8 components, including enzymes such as hyaluronidase, deoxyribonuclease, ribonuclease, alkaline phosphatase, and lipase. Sphingomyelinase D is thought to be the protein component responsible for most of the tissue destruction and hemolysis caused by brown recluse spider envenomation.
The intense inflammatory response mediated by arachidonic acid, prostaglandins, and chemotactic infiltration of neutrophils is amplified further by an intrinsic vascular cascade involving the mediator C-reactive protein and complement activation. These and other factors contribute to the local and systemic reactions of necrotic arachnidism.
Although numerous cases of cutaneous and viscerocutaneous reactions have been attributed to spiders of the genus Loxosceles, confirming the identity of the envenomating arachnid is difficult and rarely accomplished.
In the US: Although various species of Loxosceles are found throughout the world, the L reclusus is found in the United States from the east to the west coast, with predominance in the south. Recently, reports of persons with "spider bites" presenting to emergency departments have reached near urban legend proportions, prompting many physicians to question the diagnosis of a brown recluse bite in nonendemic areas.
The list of conditions that can present in a similar fashion to that of a brown recluse spider envenomation is extensive. A more likely explanation for this epidemic of spider bites is in fact community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infections.
Data regarding mortality rates are not reliable because diagnostic tests to detect brown recluse venom in tissue are not readily available. Although deaths have been attributed to presumed brown recluse envenomation, severe outcomes are rare.
Typical cases involve only local soft tissue destruction. In South America, the more potent venom of the species Loxosceles laeta is responsible for several deaths each year.
The brown recluse, living up to its name, is naturally nonaggressive toward humans and prefers to live in undisturbed attics, woodpiles, and storage sheds. Brown recluses vary in size, and can be up to 2-3 cm in total length. They are most active at night from spring to fall.
Characteristic violin-shaped markings on their backs have led brown recluses to also be known as fiddleback spiders. Envenomation from the brown recluse elicits minimal initial sensation and frequently goes unnoticed until several hours later when the pain intensifies. An initial stinging sensation is replaced over 6-8 hours by severe pain and pruritus as local vasospasm causes the tissue to become ischemic.
Symptoms of systemic loxoscelism are not related to the extent of local tissue reaction and include the following:
Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
Edema around the ischemic bite site produces the appearance of an erythematous halo around the lesion. The erythematous margin around the site continues to enlarge peripherally, secondary to gravitational spread of the venom into the tissues.
Typically, at 24-72 hours, a single clear or hemorrhagic vesicle develops at the site, which later forms a dark eschar (see Picture 1).
Necrosis is more significant in the fatty areas of the buttocks, thighs, and abdominal wall. Causes: Dermonecrotic arachnidism has been described in association with several species of Loxosceles spiders, but, in the United States, L reclusus venom is the most potent and the most commonly involved.
Thanks for the post. I live in Caleeforniea (Schwartzenegger) and my gal was bit by a spider. So I checked and checked and found out we did not have them ol' brown nasty spiders.
But, it is good to know they are nasty and prevalent!
So, again, thanks for the post!
I just moved to the north after being in Dallas 10 years. I never EVER killed a spider in the house before I identified it! Used to get out my magnifying glass which I kept right in the kitchen drawer. Totally paranoid. Had a friend who had them in her house and couldn't get rid of them. Our local jail had to evacuate for MONTHS because of BR's and still couldn't be rid of them.
I feel for your room-mate.
My exterminator told me they are hard to identify. THeir markings aren't pronounced and they are usually so small it's hard to tell.
Put a "For Sale" sign out tomorrow!
That is true. I killed a large brown spider in Dec in the back of my gal's pickup bed. I checked all the spiderology and could not locate a comparison.
My thinking is this, if it has legs, is tiny and is uninvited, kill it!
Sanitize everything around the damn thing!
We do to. They don't come around here no more.
I hope your friend has a good doctor. If he has any doubts get him to a university hospital, where they will probably have more experience with those bites. It can move very fast so really keep an eye on it. I'll pray for him. He's going to need it.
You're welcome. :) I forgot to tell you that it's probably going to look a lot worse, so don't be too alarmed when you see it. That's just the way those bites are. First prayers have been sent. Keep us posted!
This was a great thread with lots of info from a few years back.
Yikes. Tell him we're praying and wishing him the best and to hang in there.
A few year ago, a black widow was discovered at my 20ac Penna garden center & nursery, on some stock shipped in from Oregon/California. We caught it and the babies, and put them in a jar of alcohol. Nothing since. Winter would have killed it anyway, unless it got into one of the buildings.
He never thought about it nor did I. You don't think of anything dangerous in your apartment.
What anti-biotic is your room mate on? There is an antibiotic which though it cures the bite problem,can cause almost as many problems as that bite. If you want to talk about this,please FREEPmail me.
south central US is the center of these innocent looking, but very nasty spiders, from Texas to Florida.
I've been bitten by both a Pygmy Rattlesnake and a Brown Recluse. If I had to do one over again, I'd chose the snake.
Because of their small size, the easiest way to identify them is by looking at their legs.
The Brown recluse's front and rear sets of legs are extraordinarily long when compared to the middle sets.
Just about every member of our household has had a brown recluse bite at one time or another, although thankfully no one had a reaction as severe as the one shown above.
Many years ago we built a house in Brazoria county Texas. The next year I looked behind one of the outside window shutters and found a Black Widow spider nest. I checked the rest of the shutters and found almost every one had a similar nest ready to hatch out babies. I killed them all and never saw another Black Widow the enitre 16 years we lived there. I always wondered did the spiders come with the building supplies?
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