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Jodo Kast Sep 12, 2008

I was thinking that the worst possible thing can not happen to me. I have read about people getting hands, legs and feet amputated, but never heads. I felt a strange pain on the outside of my ear today, above the lobe, on the piece that is more anterior.

A few days ago I went to the ear doctor to get impacted ear wax removed, which tends to rest against my eardrum and messes with my hearing. The doctor told me that my left ear was in worse condition and had some inflammation. So I thought the strange pain I felt today was somehow related to my earwax removal. I got out of the shower and pulled the anterior piece forward to take a look. It exploded like a zit and scared the hell out of me. I quickly cleaned it up and then, purposely squeezed. Blood came out from two holes, very near each other. About the distance I often see in the spacing of spider fangs. There is very little doubt as to whom the perpetrator is. I really doubt, however, that it was a brown recluse because the skin is not necrotic (it was bleeding profusely). But that doesn't mean it wasn't - the venom can circulate through the blood rather than remain at the wound site.

My first thought was that a brown recluse got me and how lucky it was I got bit on my head. They're not going to amputate my head. Of that I am quite certain. I eventually calmed down and realized that brown recluses aren't my only cohabitants; I have some wolf spiders and the one with long fangs. I did a search of my condo and nothing turned up, not even anything in the 30 traps I have lying around.

Zorbfish Sep 12, 2008

I woke up today this evening and the tv was on. It was set to the Discovery Channel and there was a show airing about Animal Toxins. They were talking about a guy who got bit by a brown recluse on the thigh and it made me think of your thread here. After seeing footage of the necrosis their venom causes I can't imagine having to live with those walking about the house.

Maybe they'd remove your ear?

Carl Sep 12, 2008

No wonder your condo is so cheap, not many people are willing to put up with all those spiders every day.

and uh, hopefully you're HEADing over to a doctor soon.

Alcahest Sep 12, 2008

Again you must be a yogi master or something.
How can you possibly sleep in this place, aware of those monsters around you?
That's the real mystery.
See you,

Alcahest

Idolores Sep 12, 2008

Carl wrote:

No wonder your condo is so cheap, not many people are willing to put up with all those spiders every day.

and uh, hopefully you're HEADing over to a doctor soon.

What, are you trying to save FACE or something?

Jodo Kast Sep 13, 2008

Alcahest wrote:

Again you must be a yogi master or something.
How can you possibly sleep in this place, aware of those monsters around you?
That's the real mystery.
See you,

Alcahest

The old adage ignorance is bliss certainly helped me out for the first 2 years. Standard procedure is to simply kill spiders when they are spotted and I had been smashing brown recluses for 2 years without having any idea they were deadly. It wasn't until an exterminator gave me some sticky traps that I managed to get a good look at one. I had always heard of brown recluses, but like most people, I tend to be affected by the that only happens to other people syndrome. I would imagine that many of them crawled over me while I was sleeping because no parts of my condo were sealed, which gave them free reign. It's truly amazing I was never bitten, but in all honesty, I could have been bitten many times. They don't always release a full load of venom, and in some instances, just use the fangs to impale. It's not efficient for them to use all their venom if their life is not actually threatened. They need the venom primarily for immobilizing prey.

Although I did see what looked like fang marks on my ear, I have never seen fang marks before. In other words, I have never been nice enough to let a spider bite me and then observe the marks it leaves. I can only guess what actual fang impressions look like. It is more likely a coincidence that the marks were close enough to resemble the proximity of spider fangs. I am not displaying any symptoms of a brown recluse bite. But then again, it could have been a dry bite. It also could've been related to my ear doctor visit. He did stick something in my ear and I may have got some strange infection.

In order to resolve the mystery I found the ability to sleep by sealing the area where I had seen a brown recluse. This was done over the course of 2 months, using duct tape and sealing foam. I would stay up so late checking and rechecking that I was exhausted. Plus, I slept on top of my covers and left the lights on. They tend to avoid the light. By sleeping on top, I reduced the chance of trapping one under the covers. Brown recluses bite if they get trapped between some material and your skin. In fact, the first thing they do when trapped is bite. I observed them sticking their fangs into the glue on the sticky traps. Unlike their legs, the fangs did not get stuck. They could remove them from the glue at their leisure.

avatar! Sep 13, 2008 (edited Sep 13, 2008)

Honestly, I can't imagine living in a place that's infested with brown recluse spider. If I were you, I would spend time finding a new place to live. Also, I would sue whoever you purchased this place from. I'm sure they knew about the brown recluse and never mentioned it. It's a health hazard and the fact that they got away with it is unlawful as well as immoral in my opinion.

-avatar!

http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef631.asp

edit: also, I must say that the brown recluse shells really look like the Shadow ships from Babylon 5!

Jodo Kast Sep 19, 2008

avatar! wrote:

Honestly, I can't imagine living in a place that's infested with brown recluse spider. If I were you, I would spend time finding a new place to live. Also, I would sue whoever you purchased this place from. I'm sure they knew about the brown recluse and never mentioned it. It's a health hazard and the fact that they got away with it is unlawful as well as immoral in my opinion.

-avatar!

http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef631.asp

edit: also, I must say that the brown recluse shells really look like the Shadow ships from Babylon 5!

That's a good link about brown recluses. I really don't think the previous owner was aware of the brown recluse problem. As I said, I was here for 2 years before it got bad. Their population exploded this year and it coincides with the termination of the exterminator. So I have to spray my own poison, called Suspend, which was recommended to me by the exterminator that attends to my workplace.

I also don't think it's right to sue someone over an incident involving arthropods. They are a very successful group of creatures and you can hardly blame a human if they get out of hand. I have already pointed out that asteroid impacts did not eliminate them, so it's foolhardy to think you really have a chance.

Ramza Oct 12, 2014

SIX YEAR THREAD RESURRECTION! AMAZING!!

Considering the story, though, totally worth it. Nicely done avatar!

And yes, JK, I hope you're safe from the devilish critters now.

Jodo Kast Oct 13, 2014

One of my co-workers lives near that house and told me about the story. I could drive there in about 20 minutes, so it's close to me as well.

I've used limited amounts of poison (primarily deltamethrin and mixed it myself with water), because any poison that kills spiders does affect humans and I don't think spraying poison is that effective unless you're really sure where they are. I wasn't and I'm still not. I've found that spraying Great Stuff foam into cracks in the kitchen and laundry room is the most effective solution. I sealed up pretty much everything around the furnace, hot water heater, underneath the counters in the kitchen, behind the refrigerator, behind the stove, and behind the dishwasher.

They currently have a great big hideyhole above my shower because part of the drywall is removed due to water damage from above. I've found some whoppers in my condo recently and they are coming from there. As an example, there are two traps behind my bedroom door. They have been empty for about 4 years and within the past few months, within one day of each other, two spiders were caught. Both brown recluses. One was the biggest I've ever seen and the other was slightly smaller.

I also found a wolf spider caught in another spider's web. The resident spider was gone. Not eaten, but simply gone. I would've left too because that wolf spider is about 500 times bigger than the spider that built the web. I took pictures of it and plan to make a larger post about this sometime in my blog.

Jodo Kast Aug 1, 2015

avatar! wrote:

Jodo, this reminded me of your situation

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/07/31/pe … -3rd-time/

How's the spider situation with you?

Brown recluses are very easy spiders to coexist with, since they are terrified of us. Speaking of my situation, I found one in my bedroom closet yesterday. It felt me through vibrations in the carpet and tucked into a corner. I left, grabbed a paper towel, and picked it up. It died in the process, as they always do (mainly because their death is my objective). I have a very casual attitude towards them because I've been living with them for 10 years and I understand some of their limitations. I've gotten to the point where I'm comfortable picking up random spiders I find at work and letting them go outside.

I find them in my condo at the rate of 5-6 per year now. The sealing I've done with foam has helped tremendously. It's a lot better for the environment and the health of people to let the unseen spiders live and seal all the cracks, rather than using bombs and spray. It's not realistic or really affordable to actually try and kill all of the hidden spiders, which is I why I strongly recommend sealing. I'll never forget what the exterminator said at my old job about brown recluses: "If you have an infestation, then don't call an exterminator." (He explained the cost of getting rid of them is beyond what most people can afford.)

avatar! Aug 1, 2015

Yeah, I would agree that sealing them seems to be the best thing you can do. Don't you have a puppy or cat? I know that cats, maybe dogs too, often find spiders as fun playthings (and snacks smile

Ashley Winchester Aug 1, 2015

avatar! wrote:

and snacks smile

Why does this remind me of certain boxes at work? Some of the food comes in boxes plainly labeled "snacks" and I'm always like "what kind of snacks?" in my mind. Everybody likes a snack now and then...

Awesome sounding word... snack.

avatar! Aug 1, 2015 (edited Aug 1, 2015)

Ashley Winchester wrote:
avatar! wrote:

and snacks smile

Why does this remind me of certain boxes at work? Some of the food comes in boxes plainly labeled "snacks" and I'm always like "what kind of snacks?" in my mind. Everybody likes a snack now and then...

Awesome sounding word... snack.

Hmmmm

http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles … words.html

Notice how many times "cat" shows up! It's almost tintinnabulating.

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