A studio apartment is typically suited for one occupant. But Dylan Baumann has been forced to coexist with about 40 lodgers in his small living space in Omaha, Nebraska. Even worse, the new tenants are potentially deadly recluse spiders.
“I saw them crawling across my walls, crawling along my floorboards and saw it crawling by my foot,” Baumann told KETV.
The brown recluse spiders are rare in Omaha but have been spotted with more regularity, particularly since the area experienced an unusually short winter, according to Dennis Ferraro, of the Douglas County Extension Office.
‘We virtually did not have a cold winter this winter, and the hotter temperatures that we’re having would probably allow for more reproduction,’ Ferraro told KETV.
Yesterday, it was reported that while there are more than 40,000 known species of spiders, that number may be less than half of all the different types of spiders currently living around the world.
Still, even with the near-constant threat of venomous spider bites, Baumann has decided to stay in his apartment until his lease is up in September.
“It’s mainly just learning to cope with them,” he said. “Pushing your bed away from the wall, pulling out your bed skirt, making sure nothing is touching the walls, shaking off your clothes before you put them on, after you get out of the shower, shake out your towel, knock out your shoes at night. It’s just kind of learning to not get bit.”
The brown recluse spider is part of the genus Loxosceles and is sometimes known as “fiddleback” spiders or “violin” spiders because of the violin-shaped marking on the top of the cephalothorax, which are the head and the thorax. The brown recluse spider has six eyes, which are all arranged in three pairs (sometimes a pair may be so close that they look like one eye rather than two). Their eyes are also their most noticeable feature which makes it easy to identify a brown recluse spider.
IDENTIFY THE BROWN RECLUSE
The violin-shaped marking is typically found only on more mature brown recluse spider. The brown recluse is range from a light tan to a darker brown color with their entire body being covered with thin hairs. The brown recluse spider is about 3/8 inches long and about 3/16 inches wide. Although the male spider are somewhat smaller in body length than females, their leg span is usually the same length.
If there is more than one color on the legs, or if the legs are dark brown, or if there is more than one pigment on the abdomen, it is NOT a recluse. Note: spitting spiders (genus Scytodes) have a similar eye pattern but do not have the violin mark.
The brown recluse spider is found throughout the Midwest and the southern central part of the United States. It is very rare to find a brown recluse spider outside of those particular areas. Brown recluse spiders are typically found outside in many different areas such as under rocks or logs, woodpiles, dirt, or debris. However, during the cooler months it is not uncommon to find brown recluse spiders within the house, especially basements, attics, closets, or anywhere else that is dry and warm.
Many times during those months the brown recluse will go without any food or water. It is nearly impossible to fully get rid of brown recluse spiders once they have become established in these areas of the home. The brown recluse does not spin a web either to catch their food; instead they hunt their prey which usually consists of insects, either dead or alive.
The brown recluse is actually somewhat nocturnal, as they spend most of the daylight hours hidden within rocks or logs. They line these homes with webbing, which is later used for holding their egg sacs. If a brown recluse spider is seen during daylight hours it usually has to do with the fact that they are hungry, otherwise they stay hidden.
INFORMATION TAKEN FROM BADSPIDERBITES.COM