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A friend of mine recently had a rather interesting encounter with a brown recluse spider:

I was just about to put my toothbrush into my mouth, but luckily, I always run it under the water before I apply the toothpaste. A BROWN RECLUSE CRAWLED OUT OF THE BRISTLES!!!

I can imagine this in high-budget, arthouse horror cinematic detail. I even heard a creepy violin score while I read it. I don't hate spiders at all, in fact, I think they are really quite beautiful, but wishing to avoid a brown recluse is downright reasonable. Venom from their bites cause can necrosis, which is the death of body tissue. This doesn't happen from every or even most brown recluse bites, but again, I am empathetic to the fear of it.

The bad news is that Lubbock is situated well within the geographic range in which brown recluse spiders reside. It would be impossible to completely brown recluse- proof your house. These spiders love dark, secluded places like, "the back of cabinets, storage closets, crevices, and basements." However, you can limit the appeal of your house by eliminating excess cardboard, which reminds them of their favorite outdoor habitat, rotting wood. Moving stored items from cardboard boxes to plastic tubs may be a good idea. Sealing cracks can also help, in addition to removing nearby outdoor wellsprings for spiders like piles of wood. Vacuuming and dusting regularly is also recommended.

Of course, you can do all that and still end up with a brown recluse. Remember, brown recluse spiders are often misidentified, so don't panic. If its just one, I'd squish it (engage at your own risk) or if I was feeling really brave I'd relocate it (again, at your own risk/peril). If you think that your house is infested with multiple brown recluse spiders, you can use sticky spider traps and/or diatomaceous earth for a non-toxic response. Commercial spider killers are available, but honestly at that point I personally would call in a professional. I'd rather an expert handle toxic chemicals on my behalf.

Spiders are shy, solidary critters whose benefits almost always outweigh their harm, but I'm certainly not asking you to co-exist with a venomous one in your home.

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