Spiders come in an assortment of colors, sizes and shapes and are found throughout the world. Although each has its own life story and special habits, all spiders have certain things in common. Each spider has eight legs, two distinct body parts and special glands that can produce silk, even though the silk may not be used to spin a web.
The brown recluse territory has expanded, however, and today it can be found in many in other areas. Being able to live for quite some time without food or water, perhaps in 1 shipping crates or boxes, makes the brown recluse a good hitchhiker , and probably accounts for the brown recluse traveling to new locations.
Outdoors this secretive brown recluse spider tends to hide beneath stones and other out-of-the way places. Indoors brown recluse spiders generally conceal themselves in dark, dry places in the basement or in undisturbed closets, drawers or under furniture.
As secretive as the brown recluse is, you probably would not pay it any special attention if you did see it. Not nearly as showy as the shiny black widow, whose red hourglass tells you who she is, the brown recluse also has a special mark.
On its back, just behind its head, is a darker patch shaped like a violin. The body of the brown recluse measures about three eighths of an inch. The brown recluse’s long, spindly legs span about an inch. The web a brown recluse spins to catch the insects it preys on is not a nice, neat, ordinary web, but an irregular jumble of sticky threads that run this way and that without much planning.
Some scientists tell us that the brown recluse is more apt to bite than most spiders, but others say that it is not all that ferocious. Whatever the case, it is best to leave it alone if you do see it because its bite can produce a very nasty wound.
Unlike the venom of the black widow that affects the body as a whole, the venom of the brown recluse affects only the area around the bite. A few hours after a person has been bitten by a brown recluse, the skin begins to swell and turn red.
In time the tissue bitten by a brown recluse dies and leaves a sore that may be two inches across and take months or even a year to heal. Sad to say, some people have died as the result of a brown recluse bite. Although there are a few spiders in North America whose bites harm man such as the brown recluse, a vast majority of spiders are helpful. They eat harmful insects that destroy crops and other, insects that carry diseases.