Shake Out Your Camping Gear, Hudson Valley: It’s Brown Recluse Spider Season
Spiders and I are not friends. I don't run screaming from the room when I see one, but I would prefer they just keep to themselves and I am happy to do the same. It seems that twice a year I notice more spiders in my house, fall and spring.
These spiders are found predominately in the South and Midwest states, but there have been reports of sightings in Pennsylvania and New York
It makes sense that when the weather cools, they want to stay warm so they move indoors and during spring, well, they're ready to stretch their legs a bit, so to speak. It also seems that every spring we hear more about a particular spider, the Brown Recluse Spider and it's dangerous, potentially fatal, bite.
They really love dark, sheltered places, like basements, garages, etc. Since, most of us are getting things out of storage for spring and summer, we may be disturbing these guys in camping equipment, hiking boots, gardening equipment, etc.
While experts say they are shy and rarely bite, tell that to Meghan Linsey, former contestant of The Voice and member of Steel Magnolia, who was bitten in her sleep.
Now, according to Orkin, these spiders are found predominately in the South and Midwest states, but there have been reports of sightings in Pennsylvania and New York.
They can be identified by a dark, distinguishing mark that resembles a violin on its body and legs that are solid in color, there have no markings.
Often, the Yellow Sac spider, native to New York, is mistaken for these and while their bite is uncomfortable, causing itchy, slow to heal sores, it's nothing like that of the brown recluse.
How can you protect yourself?
Turn the light on for a few minutes before you start rummaging around the dark corners of your basement. Shake out any shoes you've had in storage for the winter before you put your foot, or your hand, in. Wear gloves as you get lawn furniture out for the season and open camping equipment up before you crawl in to that sleeping bag.
Even if there aren't brown recluse spiders in your basement, do you want to take that chance?