Spiders: Best Kept In Fall Haunted Houses

Thursday, October 15, 2009

By NPMA Staff

 

In October, haunted houses across the nation are filled with creepy critters seeking to scare their many visitors. One of the most popular and frightening images of Halloween are spiders. Although ideal for this holiday, spiders, especially brown recluse spiders, are insects that can pose severe health risks to humans.

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), brown recluse spiders can inject poisonous venom with their bite. Symptoms generally appear two to eight hours after the initial contact and include itching, nausea, fever and severe pain around the bite. In rare cases, these bites can lead to death.

"Brown recluse spiders tend to bite humans when defending themselves," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "However, when in close contact with human beings, these spiders feel more threatened, exponentially increasing the potential health risks associated with their presence in homes."

Found predominantly in the Midwest and Southeast of the United States, brown recluse spiders are identified by the dark brown violin shape on their back. These spiders are known to build their webs in warm, dry, dark environments, such as barns, woodpiles, basements and closets, which makes home prevention key.

NPMA offers the following five tips to help prevent contact with brown recluse spiders and other spider species:

  • Avoid keeping clothing and shoes on the floor and consider storing inside plastic containers.
  • Shake out all clothing that has been in a hamper before wearing or washing.
  • Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter free.
  • If a spider bites you, contact your primary care physician for medical advice.
  • If you have an infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.