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Brown recluse infestations can occur where there's drought conditions

8:31 AM, Aug 15, 2012   |    comments
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Brown recluse

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (KJRH) - A mild winter and an unusually long drought appears to have ushered in an unusually high number of brown recluse spiders to parts of Oklahoma, bringing with them a painful bite that can be deadly if not properly treated.

This is due to a combination of factors. We had a very mild winter, followed by the drought. and that is bringing these critters inside to look for water.

They are creepy and they can be dangerous. Brown recluse spiders (aka, "fiddlebacks") are showing up in area homes in larger numbers than exterminators have seen years.

"There was just a mild winter that we had," said David Grady, Mother Nature's Pest Control. "We didn't have a real winter to kill the stuff. And that we've gone into the drought, it's so bad that they are trying to get inside your house now."

Gradyl is spraying Shelia Disler's home. She called in the professionals after she noticed a large number of brown recluse spiders.

"We've seen a lot this summer. Especially in the bathrooms. I had one on my towel the other day. I have a lot behind the toilet," Disler said.

Area homes in larger numbers than exterminators have seen years.

"The porcelain toilet. It's just cold to our touch," Grady said. "But they can actually get a drink off that. So right around the base boards and toilets they can get a drink."

Grady says they like to hide anywhere they can find moister. Check how many he found on these adhesive boards around Shelia's water heater.

"I think they are worse now than I have ever seen them," Disler said.

Sheila Disler has good reason to worry. The venom from these spiders can cause something as minor as a skin irritations, to something as serious a hospital stay, disfigurement, even death in cases where the victim's immune system in compromised.

Dr. Theron Bliss says that's why it's important to have the wound checked by a doctor.

"Someone who is really young or really old, that has health complications, or that has a very, very bad outcome with the venom," Bliss said. "It can be fatal in rare cases. But there is potential. And those are the ones we want to catch early."

There are products you can get at your local hardware store to try and combat the issue. But if you have a serious infestation, it might be best to call in the professionals.

KJRH

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