Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Beware the Itsy Bitsy Spider

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Beware the Itsy Bitsy Spider

Article excerpt

'Tis the season for brown recluse spiders, and researchers are offering tips for avoiding or controlling them.

The spiders are most active from March through October, according to Holly Davis, research associate and PhD candidate in Kansas State University's department of entomology. She, along with associate professor Jeff Whitworth, recently completed research to better understand and manage the brown recluse.

The spiders tend to thrive in the same environments that humans do, the researchers found, entering structures either by crawling in from the outside or being brought in on furniture or boxes from other infested structures.

The spiders will attack live prey but also like to eat recently killed insects. Brown recluses build small, irregular webs in out-of-the-way places. They tend to hide in the dark and move around at night, searching for prey.

Brown recluse spiders are venomous. When bitten, some people develop a necrotic wound (with blood and pus) that is slow to heal with the potential for a secondary infection. If you know you've been bitten, catch the spider if safely possible and show it to medical personnel for clear identification. …

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