I have a friend who lives in Huntington Beach, CA with her husband and adorable twin boys, and she recently asked me if I knew of a way to get rid of Spiders. It seems that for whatever reason, Huntington Beach (and several other parts of southern California) have been having a particularly bad problem with Brown Recluse Spiders. She was really afraid as her boys liked to play outside in the back yard. The venom from these spiders is really dangerous- I actually have two close friends who have had experience with their bites in the past: One who ended up in the hospital for weeks on all kinds of drugs to fight the venom and allow him to slowly recover his health (and he STILL takes some residual medication), and another friend who's girlfriend was smart enough to administer a home remedy that sucked out the poison and left with no more than a tiny scar, about the size of a cigarette burn. I will tell you how to Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders, and also in the next blog entry, will tell you how to effectively administer first aid to treat a brown recluse bite naturally.
OK, first I will start by giving you some information on this type of Spider. Honestly, though- I'm just giving you an overview, because researching this creature is giving me the heebie-jeebies. I'm not exactly arachnophobic, but I HATE spiders! I know that they are good for us, and that they help control the insect population, blah blah blah... but I can't stand them. I read a fact once that stated that at any given time, we are never more than three feet away from a spider. This tidbit of trivia keeps me awake at night.
This spider is sometimes called the "Fiddleback Spider", as they have violin shaped markings on the back. Because this type of marking can also be found on other types of spiders, this cannot alone be diagnostic to determine if you have a brown recluse. The article I was reading advised that you therefor must examine the eyes (while most spiders have 8 eyes, the Brown Recluse have six, arranged in pairs), and look for soft fur on the abdomen.
Listen Carefully: I don't know what kind of person wrote that advice, but I'm telling you that anyone close enough to count a spider's eyes and check for fur on it's belly is probably going to then either eat it or try to commune with it telepathically, because they are clearly insane. Besides, what are you going to do if you determine that the spider is NOT a brown recluse... shake hands with it and invite it to dinner??!! I generally believe that most people, like myself, squash or run away from spiders first, and ask questions later. I will post one and only one picture here to help you identify the Brown Recluse, but the rest you can look up on your own- spending a Friday night trying to find non-copyritten pictures of giant evil spiders online is NOT my preferred way to pass time. I am usually creeped-out beyond recovery by the second page. (Ditto for what the bite looks like... Google at your own risk...some things you cannot unsee).
So, now lets discuss where they hide. As the name implies, these are not the most social of spiders. The want to be left the #@!! alone! They hide all over the place, which is unfortunate. They like dark enclosed spaces, and are known to frequent shoes, dressers, behind pictures, underneath beds, in cardboard boxes, attics, closets... you get the idea. They also like woodpiles and rotting bark a lot, so they can be encountered inside or out. As they are nocturnal, artificial lights frok people attract them because of the way insects congregate around the lights at night. They can sometimes get stuck in sinks or bathtubs, because of the smooth surface. So take a look at the tub or shower floor before stepping in. SUPPOSEDLY, these spiders have no interest in feeding on humans, and only bite if they are attacked or disturbed. I'm not sure I entirely believe this about spiders in general, as I am quite certain that I have been CHASED by a spider before. The Brown Recluse Spider's web is strictly for nesting, and is not intended to trap prey. The female spider lays between 40-5o eggs and can keep 'em coming. The webs are weird looking and not typical, and the eggs are maybe the grossest thing I've ever seen. (Why do I keep Googling this stuff?!) They are giant white balls which apparently contain tiny little baby spiderlings waiting to hatch and live in your home... YUCK!!!
The bite can be very dangerous, and is one of only 2 types of potentially fatal spiders bites in the US. Some people, although likely to end up with an awful scar, will be OK on their own in a few days, whilst for others especially children and the elderly, the bite is life-threatening. The bites kill the surrounding skin, and they are truly hideous to behold. It looks like flesh-eating disease: an open, ulcerous DEEP wound that keeps eating/ killing the flesh around it. Sometimes surgery is required to extract the necrotic (dead) tissue (as happened to my friend, Michael). The brown recluse spiders' venom is so poisonous that it is used to kill other insects. If bitten, you aren't likely to notice right at first, but soon it begins to become evident after a few hours with a host of symptoms. Everyone reacts to a different degree, though most victims show at least some signs of being poisoned. The site of the bite will begin to resonate deep pain and show redness, inflammation and often extreme swelling. The secondary, more serious symptoms include fever, nausea, diarrhea, and disorientation. This spider is no joke.
HOW TO GET RID OF AND PREVENT BROWN RECLUSE SPIDERS NATURALLY:
Now, here is some advice on what you can do to avoid these beasties. Aunt Norma's has developed a spider spray and a spider powder with natural and food-based ingredients. Our Go away! Spider Spray kills and deters spiders, prevents nests and webs, and is safe and non-toxic (don't spray it near your birds as essential oils can damage their delicate respiratory systems). The spray can be used on shoes, drawers, under your bed...anywhere you don't want spiders! It works without harsh chemicals, and has a fresh herbal scent. Aunt Norma uses essential oils that are know to repel spiders, so they will find someplace else to go. Aunt Norma's Go away! Spider Powder, on the other hand, is not so friendly, This powder will kill any crawling spider that comes into contact with it within 24-48 hours, and works as long as the residue remains. It is deadly to spiders, but safe enough to drink it in water (DON'T DRINK IT THOUGH... I'm just making a point. The powder is NOT labeled for human consumption....) You can use this powder along windowsills and doorways- along the spiders' point of entry. Also- it can be used along baseboards, under beds, in shoes and sweater drawers, bookshelves, etc. For spider problems outside- you can sprinkle it there, too. The powder will be effective as long as it is dry- and it will dry out again even if it gets wet. I recommend sprinkling the powder along the baseline of your home outside, and around any basement windows. The best way to deal with spiders in the house is to prevent them from getting IN the house. You can read more about Aunt Norma's Go away! Spider Spray and Go away! Spider Powder on my website, www.auntnormas.com, or post a comment here to ask questions or get some advice.
Look for the next post about how to treat a Brown Recluse Spider bite naturally!