Brown Recluse Spider Bite Stories

We haven't generally accepted stories since 2006 but we again want to hear what your current experiences are now.  Click Here to share current stories.

LOCATION: North Carolina  NAME: Candice YEAR: 2010

My friend was bitten last Friday on the arm. He did not know that anything had bitten him. When he went to the doctor for flu-like symptoms, they pumped him full of antibiotics. It didn't really help him, because by Tuesday, he died. Please get any bites just never know. The doctors determined that he died of a brown recluse spider bite.

LOCATION: New Mexico NAME: Rebecca YEAR: 2009

About a week ago, me and my bf we're watching a movie in the dark when I felt something large running down my arm. I jumped ,slapped it off and assumed it was just a moth as it "flew" away. Then it burned really bad , like a hot needle all down my arm, and then I knew it wasn't a moth, so I turned the lights on and above my head was a brown spider, I tried getting close enough to see if it was a recluse and it went down it's web at me instead of crawling off. I told my bf to get it and he did then let it go outside before i could tell him to keep it (we never kill spiders, ya, we're wierd). After 3 days it ulcerated and now I have a small hole like a ciggarete burn. I have chronic leucoytosis and always have a fever and nausea. Unfortunatly I have no health insurance so I can't see a Dr. Fortunatly, I work at a allergy clinic and we're getting a CNP on monday so maybe she can check it out

LOCATION: Texas NAME: Libby YEAR: 2/2007

I jumped out of the shower in a rush to get to the church potluck dinner. It was finally cold enough to wear a sweater so I had pulled a plush blue one out of storage. I had no idea that the sweater I had pulled out of storage harbored a Brown Recluse Spider who crawled out of the sweater and into my jeans as I showered. I dried off quickly, pulled on my sweater and squeezed into my jeans.

As I tackled getting to my dinner and 19 month old baby into the car I felt like there was maybe a sticker or something in my pants and I kept tugging at my jeans to see if there was something in there. Driving to church I began to feel weird. My throat began to itch and I was having symptoms of allergies. Once at church I began to feel progressively worse. My chest began to feel tight. I was having labored breathing. I thought maybe I was getting sick but at the same time, it dawned on me that I might of been bitten by a brown recluse. We had trouble with them the year before and my husband had been bitten. It had been a mild bite but it still required a piece of dead tissue to be surgically removed. My friends told me I needed to get to the emergency room. I was stubborn. I was getting chills and I felt horrible and just wanted to go home. I got the baby and drove home... breathing was difficult. 

Once home I did the most stupid thing you can do. I didn't know that hot water will spread the venom of a spider bite and I still wasn't sure I was bitten and I was so very cold. Annah was asleep when we got home so I put her in her crib and doing what I always do, I ran the hot water straight. I never add cold water to my bath. I love steaming hot baths that leave me looking like a lobster. Shivering and feeling miserable I eased into the extremely hot tub and soaked. As I soaked, the poison rapidly spread. 

Once out of the tub I still was having more trouble breathing. I have a nebulizer my son used for Asthma. I still had the breathing medicine for it and I treated myself. It helped. 

My husband came home and examined the area of pain... pain in my bum. Yes, I had been brutally bitten 2 or 3 times on the very bottom of my cheek bum. Feeling horrible I went to bed. The night turned awful as I experienced sharp pain, like a knife continuously cutting into my bum. I threw up violently all night. I tossed in turned and shivered and vomited into a bag next to the bed and was in pain. I knew I would be in the doctor's office the very next day and I couldn't wait to get there and thats coming from someone who hadn't been to the doctor in years and I tend to self treat at all cost to avoid the doctor's office. 

The morning came and my bite looked horrible. I felt horrible. It was confirmed by the huge blisters forming on my bum that it was a brown recluse. The doctor put me on Tylenol 3 and Prednisone. Nothing worked. I was so miserable. Night time was the worse. I had such sharp pain. I would sleep with an icepack on the site just to dull the pain. I could not sit down, I could not drive and if I did, it was with excruciating pain. I couldn't wear pants or anything that would put any contact on the sore. Within 2 weeks the sore was so horrific looking that I was sent in for emergency surgery. I received alot of gasping and "oh my's"... not too comforting. Of course, also humiliating due to the site of the bite but I was in so much pain I began to barely even care. 

Surgery was quick. They cut a big hole in my bum and sewed me up. They said I giggled and laughed during my knocked out state. I had never spent the night in a hospital before. It was okay until the morning time. I didn't realize I had a catheter and I hated being hooked up to an IV. I couldn't move. I was trapped in bed. I was thirsty and the nurse didn't come and I didn't realize they don't bring breakfast that you have to call for it so as time progressed I was so hungry and thirsty and crying. By 6 at night the doctor had still not come to see my stitches or to discharge me so I told my family and the front desk that I was leaving. I made them take out my catheter and I took out my own IV and so the front desk called the doctor for discharge instructions. I left crying and in a lot of pain but Lortab helped alot.

Over the next 2 weeks or so I was still in a lot of pain and the bite site was still horrible to look at. The stitches began to pop out and the pain was awful. The surgeon had to remove all my stitches before it was time because they were coming out by themselves and the sore was still black and ugly and oozy. He didn't know what else to do for me so I asked to go to a wound specialist.

That was the best decision I made, to go to a wound specialist. He told me that the reason my stitches popped out and the reason it was still necromizing was because they did surgery about a week too early. He said brown recluse venom takes about 3 weeks to get out of your system. Surgery had been a waste. However, I was in the best place to be and he cleaned my wound out and I had ointment that would continuously clean it . I have been going to him for a month now and have progressed alot. Last week my wound was 6 mm deep and yesterday it was only 1 mm deep. I am now on collagen swabs that stay in my wound to close it in. I can finally sit down without extreme pain.

It has been exactly 3 months. I am very afraid of brown recluse spiders now. I sometimes am convinced one is crawling on me. I shake out all my clothes. I shake out my shoes. Its been a horrific ordeal. I can't believe such a small, frail looking spider can produce so much poison. I will always have a large scar on my bum. The beast bit me 2 or more times causing a large area to be gaping. Its almost over. I can see the end now. No pun intended. :-)

LOCATION: Missouri NAME: Frankie YEAR: 2006

I wanted to let you know how much I like your spider traps. My family have co-existed with reclus spiders for the 30 years we have been married,we have lived in a 100 year old farm home that has been in the family 55 years. My Sister bought me a pkg of your traps about 2 months ago. I set all 4 out and made a count tonight. Besides a couple of other type spiders they are ALL recluse including about half of them being little babies. 1 trap had 112! Another trap had 80! The other 2 only had about 20 each. I guess this blows your 44 record away! I can submit pictures or send the traps if you are interested. I set out new ones tonight as the others are getting pretty full. I can also kill them myself without having to search to much, killed 14 one night on my way to bed.They seem to come out at dark and sure like sitting in the corners of our wooden steps going upstairs! Thanks so much for your great product!!!

LOCATION: North Carolina NAME: Julie YEAR: 2006

I was bit on the temple of my face by a brown recluse spider.  My husband and I had just moved to this home--on the side of a hill with forest and a stream across the way. I also have 4 Great Pyrenees dogs who bring attention to fleas...On Sat, Oct 14, I awoke with what I thought was a sort of weird pimple--or flea bite (I am allergic to flea bites-and have had my share of run-ins with fleas)--only it hurt more than a flea bite--and I rarely have any acne.  By Monday, it was festering--I made the mistake of trying to lance it--but it was very hard and very painful; It also had doubled in size.  It made me feel feverish and as though I would throw up.  I thought at first these symptoms were connected to the hard work of moving and a cold I had gotten.  By Friday, Oct. 20--I was in such pain; I went to the doctor (My mother's doctor--so she took me on quickly--I called that morning!) She (and another doctor) said it looked like a spider bite and gave me a big shot of antibiotics and a prescription for antibiotics.  It is now Sat. evening, Oct. 21.  The sore is the size of a quarter.  It is very painful- pressing squarely on my left temple.  My left cheek is swollen to the point I can see it with my left eye as I glance downward.  I also saw the brown recluse spider running across my carpet today--my husband killed it and I saved the flat body--which is definitely an adult brown recluse and I am taking it to my doctor on my next apt. On Monday my doctor said I might require surgery because it has grown so quickly and has spread the poison so far throughout my face.  I am not looking forward to that because of the pain--and because I switched jobs and have no insurance. I guess the moral of this story is--bug bomb the place you're moving into before moving into it.

LOCATION: Colorado NAME: Kelli YEAR: 2006

I was bitten about three weeks ago by a brown recluse spider. I noticed the bite because my leg was hurting really bad, so I told my mom. She called the doctor and he told her to bring me in the next day so that he could look at it. I went and saw my doctor and he said that is was a brown recluse spider bite. He put me on some strong medication that I had to take for 5 days (3 a day) but the sore is still there, but it is better than it was when it happened.

LOCATION: Florida NAME: SiDennis YEAR: 10/ 2006

In February of 2006 my wife woke up with itchy feet. We had somewhere to go that day so she didn't waste any time shoving her feet into socks and down into boots. We spent about 5 hours walking around a local indoor flea market until she began to really have trouble walking. Finally she told me her feet hurt from more than just new boots. We went home and when she took off her socks I was shocked to see 4 inch red raw abrasions on the tops of both her feet. My wife is half Blackfoot Indian and is renowned for refusing to go to the hospital, so she treated this at home, with peroxide and ammonia, bathing her feet constantly with physohex soap and squeezing what turned out to be a total of 5 bites on her feet and lower calves. These bites became more and more puss filled until finally after 2 weeks her feet looked like they had volcanoes of puss erupting from the tops of her arches. She finally agreed to go to the ER, where a DR told her that she had been bitten by a brown recluse spider and she now had a nasty staff infection. Our internist is also an infectious disease DR so we were referred to him and he put her on doxycycline, saying that she had been bitten by a brown spider, but that she was doing remarkably well and he didn't want to excise any tissue just yet. After 4 months of different antibiotics and wound cleansing my wife’s bites finally healed over, she now has red scars where the bites were but she is feeling no more pain from them. We think she either got really lucky, or her ethnic heritage helped her to fight the toxins. Either way we never want her to get bit again. I bought an electric spider chaser that gives off a high-pitched sound that chases spiders and we haven’t had a problem since (today is 10/10/06). Also I constantly spray and spread bags of spider poison all around our yard. We haven’t seen a spider in quite some time and we hope we never do again.

LOCATION: Washington DC NAME: Siddiqah YEAR: 07/ 2006

Last summer I was bitten three times by a brown recluse spider but I didn't know until the second time what the origin of the bite was.  First I was bit on my right buttock and I thought it was a boil or a mosquito bite until it got larger and larger, the felt hard and tender to the touch. It got so bad I couldn’t wear form-fitting pants or comfortably sit. The doctor told me it was an abscess and she could either cut it open or treat it with antibiotics. I chose the latter and days latter puss oozed from my butt cheek continually. Then I was bit on my right leg and again I thought it was a mosquito bite until it stated to increase dramatically in size and a puss bubble began to form. My leg was so infected it grew twice its size and was so tight and stiff I couldn’t walk or even bend my legs. I had to use crutches for a week. Then a few days after my leg got better I was bit on my chest under my left breast. This time I knew exactly what it was and didn’t hesitate to get medical attention. The bite got so big and painful it prevented me from wearing a bra for almost a week.  Turns out the spider had taken up residence in my bedroom and after I found it and killed it one day I never got bitten again. I am African American and have a milk chocolate complexion but every time I was bit my bites became reddish-pink and now I am left with very dark scars in some very unfortunate places. Does anyone know what I can do to reduce the appearance of my unflattering scars!!!!

LOCATION: Michigan NAME: Kelli YEAR: 06/ 2006

I live in the thumb of Michigan. Very remote areas with little amounts of people. My step-son and I were working on a farm on Saturday and pulling out an old wood fence. The wood was old and rotted with many spiders. My son asked what a brown recluse looked like because he was afraid of getting bit like his friend just down the road. I told him what I thought it looked like and he said that it was it then. I told him not to worry because they are so rare in Michigan. What are the chances of him getting bit after a friend just did weeks earlier? Not much since they are not "supposed" to be in Michigan. Tuesday my son came to me and asked if this "bite' looked normal. It looked like a mosquito bite that had been itched over and over again. I told him we would keep an eye on it. He went to his friends house, stayed the night and when he came back, the bite was getting bad but I was unsure what to do. Finally, Saturday I couldn't hold out anymore. We went to the E.R. because he was getting a weird dark mark under it and his whole arm was swollen and red. The E.R. sent him home with anti-biotics. Monday his bite was a pit surrounded by blue and red swollen tissue. There was a white/yellow/greenish "plug" of puss that would come out once in a while and leave a big gaping hole about a little over a 1/4 of an inch deep. I was worried. I took him back to a doctor and they put him on stronger antibiotics and said he had cellulitis? or cellulosis? (the bad swelling hardness and warm arm) The doctor said he doesn't think it is a brown recluse though because they do not go north of Indiana unless brought in a suitcase. Well, I don't know about all that but my step son visits Alabama a few times a year with a suit case and from what I read online, the brown recluse can live up to a year or so. I could swear that I saw one in my mailbox three times now also! So, is the brown recluse in Michigan??? Or is it possibly just living in my basement where my son's room happens to be???

LOCATION: Nebraska NAME: Pamela Hill YEAR: 2006

I was bit by something while I was napping on May 2, and woke up itching my hand. It kept itching all night, but didn’t think anything of it. By Sunday morning at five am, my hand was swollen had red streaks all the way up “ oh, its just a bite”,  and put me on antibiotics and sent me home. I know my body and knew something was wrong, but went home. Then around two pm on the same Sunday May 3, I went back to the emergency room. My hand was huge red swollen and painful, and turning dark colors. I was put on an IV with antibiotics. They said the bite was venomous, and must have come from a brown recluse. I have been to the wound center three times, and it’s healing slowly, but I have to have a skin graft soon. I can’t believe all this over a spider. This has been a very painful experience. I thought Sunday evening I was dying. I was groggy and could feel the poison go through my whole body.

LOCATION: South Carolina NAME: Cristie Carson YEAR: 2006

Two years ago, I was sitting at my desk at work, when I felt an intense itching on one of the toes on my left foot. It was the toe next to the big toe. At any rate, the itching was extremely intense. By that evening it was getting red and swelling. It was also quite painful. I had no idea that I had been bitten by a brown recluse spider. By the time 2-3 days had gone by, it was turning purple and began to ooze. At that time, we had a bad ice storm and everything was basically shut down. I couldn't even get out if the parking lot of my apartment complex. By the fifth day, I was extremely ill. I had fever, chills, and my whole body was hurting. My foot and lower leg had swollen to three times the normal size. My toe was black and oozing, and the black area was spreading. I had taken a bottle of 50 ibuprofen in 3 days time. By that 5th day, my boyfriend came back into town from a business trip, took one look at me and said I needed to go to the emergency room. I didn't want to go there, so the next morning he drove me to the doctor. I was put in the hospital-the surgeon came by that night and said he would try to save my toe. I had surgery the next day. They were able to save my toe, by cutting out all the dead flesh. As my son put it, "I had a crater in my foot". I had whirlpool therapy every day, after which a nurse or physical therapist would pick away dead flesh. Also, they discovered that I had developed an infection called MRSA-and I was put on intravenous Vancamycin, plus taking Cipro orally. They said I probably picked up the infection by continuing to get out and go places after the after the bite had become so serious. I was trying to deny to myself that I actually had something seriously wrong. Anyway, I stayed in the hospital for 9 days, and was on intravenous Vancamycin for 6 weeks after getting out of the hospital. Plus still taking the Cipro. I had whirlpool therapy every single day as an outpatient for a solid month after leaving the hospital. A therapist would pick out the dead flesh after each treatment.

LOCATION: Louisiana NAME: Art Nerio YEAR: 2006

While on a news story at Fort Polk Louisiana I was bitten below the knee once by a brown recluse. The bite was tender within a few hours and noticed on a Friday Night as a pimple... with in 12hrs It felt like a small walnut on fire under my skin and was very painful and red. I got to a clinic as soon as possible and They were able to lance and clean the wound but the tissue damage was deep and after a couple days of trying to get the infection, it was decided surgery was needed to get the necropsy (dead tissue killed off by the poison)...the main reason I'm writing here is that I'm searching for answers about allergic reactions. It's been 2 yrs now and when I eat sour cream I break out and this all came about after the surgery, being sensitive to certain foods and I just wanted to see if the venom caused damage I wasn't aware of.

LOCATION: South Carolina NAME: Lauren YEAR: 2005

I am a ballerina and usually have sore muscles. I woke up one morning and my calf muscle felt tight and extremely sore. Not knowing what bit me, I danced on it. About a week went by and it was just getting worse and my mom and I called the doctor and he told us to draw a circle around the redness to see if the swelling gets worse. Well, two days later it didn't change and we called again because I began feeling feverish and drowsy and very exhausted. My ankle was swollen as well as the muscles up my entire leg were very tender and the doctor said that was because that was where the venom had traveled. He had to squeeze the venom out because there was a pocket of puss/venom under my skin. He got about a tennis ball size of venom out of my leg and he told me just to let the rest of it ooze out on it's own. So for two weeks now it's been draining and when it dries out the scab is like a hole in my like, it isn't level with my skin. It's dark and black scabs but the soreness around it is not near as painful as it was before. So try not to be active when bitten and go see the doctor for antibiotics as well as to get the venom removed. Because before I went to the doctor my friend tried squeezing it, but it was too painful. I hope this helped someone, because being bitten was extremely painful, after the venom was removed, it was painful to walk and use my leg. This bite was the most painful thing I have ever experienced...beware brown recluses like dark, cool areas, such as closets or even in your bed under the sheets! So be careful cuz I got bit in bed!

LOCATION: Illinois NAME: Candice YEAR: 2005

I live in Chicago IL, and have always liked spiders to the point of keeping them as pets My husband was looking for a file he had misplaced, so I figured I'd help and started searching in our bedroom closet, which is more or less the"junk"closet, I mean there's clothes in there up to your knees or better, so I was digging around, moving things, and I never found what he was looking for. The next day my daughter noticed a quarter size open sore on my leg, just above the ankle. The skin was just peeling off. Everyone asked me if I burned myself. I told them don't you think I'd feel my leg burning over such a big area, so I put some Neosporin on it and tried to forget about it. But it kept getting worse and worse, the skin was deteriating, it was rock hard all the way around it, and red lines starting to branch out everywhere, oh, and very painful, I had told my son about it and he told me to go to the doctor, but I ended up rescheduling because I felt sick. my son called and asked what did the doctor say, when I told him I rescheduled ,and couldn't go for 2 more days, cause the doctor was off the next day. He got pretty angry with me, and threatened not to speak to me until I had seen the doctor, whom he knew, that would defiantly make me go! ha ,,and I am so glad he did,,,because I was bitten by a brown recluse and could have died if I kept putting seeing the doctor off! my leg still looks just like the picture on the site,,,and its about in the same place little above the ankle,,,my doctor said it was either a brown recluse or a scorpion,,,umm,and scorpions dont live in closets in Chicago,lol,,so I was prescribed[cephalexin]500 mg capsules, to take 4 x a day,,,60 of them,,,and have to refill and keep taking them and also a topical cream to apply twice a day called [silver sulfadiazine]1%cream..Its still hard and not healed but I thank god I have a son that cares enough to threaten me to go seek help, because I probably wouldn't have, or been to late! so if this happens to you....GO TO THE DOCTOR!

LOCATION: Mississippi NAME: Charlotte YEAR: 2005

I have been bitten six times two of them have hospitalized me. I have a three inch scare on my back from the first bit and Ihave a big whole in my stomach right under my right breast. I stayed in the hospital four days with the first bit and stayed three days with the sixth bit four of the bites the medicine took care of them. I had three bites when I went in the hospital last November and Ihad two bites this november. What can I do about them. They don't bite no one but me. Thank You, Charlotte

LOCATION: California NAME: Dawn Marie YEAR: 2005

It was 4 years ago that I got bit. I was living in Highland, Ca. I had cleaned out an old traile,r getting it ready to go camping with my kids. I felt the spider bite me on the back of my knee. I just thought it was a regular spider or insect bite. The next day I woke up and my leg was swollen and really red and hard. I had lots of puss coming out of the bite, some blood and the more I squeezed it the further the infection seemed to spread. I went to my friends grandma who was a Indian and she lanced it for me. That relieved the swelling. I have a permanant scar where the recluse bit me and I still have some discomfort and numbness on the back of my knee.

LOCATION: Michigan NAME: Jennifer YEAR: 2005

I have now been biten for the third time. All my bites have happened in the same spot within two inches or so of each other. The first two times happened within a couple of months of each other when I had no insurance. Now this week I woke up with another bite but thankfully I have insurance now. It's very frustrating that I keep getting bit and in the same spot. I just want to be done with it but every bite my immune system weakens and I'm getting different sicknesses from it.

LOCATION: Georgia NAME: Jana YEAR: 2005

I got bit on the my left inner thigh and it grew so big that I could not walk. I was in so much pain. I even tried to burst it myself by sticking a pin in it and it caused me too much pain I couldn't get anything out of it. I waited like 3 days until it was so hard and red and black in the middle that I said I'm goin' to the Dr. So I went and they did surgery immediately. I don't know what they did--I know they scalped it and I guess got everything out of it and there was a big hole left there. I had to stay over night to make sure there wasn't any complications and I was put on home bound from school for two weeks. The Dr. said I was bitten by a brown recluse...whether it was or not..I don't know but that's what she told me.

LOCATION: Oklahoma NAME: Gloria YEAR: 2005

In August of this year my 19yr old daughter called and said something bit her 2x on her stomach, 1x on her waist, and 1x under her under arm. I told her to put some neosporin on it and keep an eye on it. Three days passed and she had developed a black hard spot in the middle of each bite. She said the pain was worse than giving birth to her daughter. I went to look at them and told her I had never seen anything like this and that she needed to go to the emergency room. In the meantime I called my dad and he told me to get a towel, hold it under running hot water and to have her test it to see how hot she could handle it and then to place it on the bites. I'm going to say no more than a minute later all the bites had popped open and alot of the pus had came out of each one of them. The smell was terrible. My dad said to continue doing this until the bite stopped uzing stuff out. My daughter had been having alot of pain on her left side of the body and she said she could not feel anything, she was numb from her left side. I think we took care of right on time. We still took her to the emergency room and they prescribed an antibiotic.

LOCATION: Ohio NAME: Joe Goetz YEAR: 9/2005

I have a friend named Pam. she said her niece has recently been bitten by a brown recluse spider on her buttocks. Pam told me that three days later, her skin on her buttocks was completely black, and then the skin had fallen off creating a HUGE gaping hole! The doctors have her on all sorts of antibiotics, and thankfully they are working. I live on the tip of Ohio, and I just killed on of these things last night. I was taking my air conditioner out of my window, and out of the corner of my eye, this big huge brown spider RACES out of the window, and into my house. Luckily we killed it now that I know what it is. And now I'm petrified because now they are everywhere! I live in the tip of Ohio, and that tells me that these things are spreading very rapidly!

LOCATION: South Dakota NAME: Susan YEAR: 9/2005

Within 2 hours my 10 month old puppy developed gagging breathing, very lethargic, didn't want to walk and a warm lump on his side. I called the vet and she felt it was a spider bite and recommended Benadryl. The next day he was 75 % better but still had the lump. The following day he improved. The third day the lump went from firm to bigger and fluidy. We went to the vet and she put him on steroids. That afternoon he slept for hours. When I lay by him he was radiating heat and had a slight odor to him. We took him out to go to the bathroom and when he got outside the lump started to ooze red fluid. It was an awful sight. When we took him to the vet the next day she was shocked. If she hadn't seen him the day b4 she wouldn't have thought this happen only last night. He now has a wound on his side the size of the diameter of a regular coffee mug. He is now also on antibiotics - both oral and topical. Because of the amount of skin and tissue damage my vet feels it was a brown recluse.

LOCATION: Unknown NAME: Cheryl YEAR: 9/2005

I went out to get wood off our woodpile so I could a fire because it rained last Friday. The next morning I woke up to find a bite on my stomach. It had a black dot in the middle. I called the doctor, and his nurse said to put a hot compress on it and try and get it to drain and I did because it was tender and swollen and the size now, of a orange, red purple color. I drained it 6 or 7 times over the next few days. And called the doctor back before the weekend and they prescribed Cephalexin 250mg by mouth 4 times daily. It's an antibiotic. Tonight 10 days after the bite, I looked up at the ceiling like I have every niter before bed... I have to find this thing or it will keep biting me. And I have a baby in the room. There it was tonight. A brown recluse. Just as I suspected. I have it in a zip lock bag and a Jar to show the doc.

LOCATION: Kentucky NAME: Brandi YEAR: 9/2005

My son, uncle, and I have been bitten by what we think is a brown recluse. I was bitten first 3 days ago. It has tripled in size, very large and very red. The pain is terrible, to the point I can hardly walk. The sore feels warm like it has heat in it. We thought it was a boil, until everyone else ended up with one. My uncle has two on his side. My son has one on his arm and was bite again tonight on his upper leg. He is only 2 so there is not much he can tell me; I know they hurt him though. All of the bites look just alike, and have all occurred within a 3-day span. They start as a small red place, when you feel it; it feels like they have a knot under them. They have a small pin size black dot in the middle of them. It seems like they double in size every day. Each day the black dot gets bigger. When you look closely at them they also look almost bruised (purple). My son and I went to the emergency room last night; they don't know what it is. The only thing they could tell me is that it is a bite. Like I didn't know that. They put my son and I on antibiotics, and gave me pain pills. The pain pills don't even kill the pain. I just want to know what this is. I am taking my son to a different doctor tomorrow.

LOCATION: Florida NAME: Megan YEAR: 2005

Hey everybody, I got bit by a spider about two weeks ago, I saw some spiders in the bathrooms under cabinets and other things near the floor and I didn't mind it at all, well the next day I had to go to an out of state field trip to Anderson Ville Georgia. When I came back I noticed a bite that looked like a mosquito bite and itched like crazy! So I tried to pop it and it hurt to much so I left it alone, well over the past few days it gotten worse and worse and started to swell up like a baseball and it was really hard at the middle and around the bite (on my leg) was really hard. I told my mom and she said that it would be ok. I'm 14 and I had a softball tournament that weekend and my coach kind of took care of it, and it popped with some medicine (I cant really spell it) Now it is still really tough in the middle and all the puss came out but I think that all the tissue is dead because I cant really feel any thing in it any more it hasn't gotten much better. So if any one has any information on what I got bite by I would really like to know.

LOCATION: Mississippi NAME: Lisa YEAR: 2005

I was bit by a brown recluse. At first I just had pain and thought it was an ingrown, hair, etc. After about 4 days it turned black and oozing. I felt like my back leg was paralized, I could barely walk. I had to have outpatient surgery and I still have not completed treatment in that I need a skin graph. That was in November, and I still suffer. It itches and still discharges. This is the worst experience I have ever gone through.

LOCATION: Mississippi NAME: Fletcher YEAR: 2005

Doctor confirms my injury was from a brown recluse. Started 6/4/05. Symptoms were as described by many. Not realizing the seriousness and knowing what I was dealing with, I began treating my soreness. Three days after noticing discoloring to my right calf. By the time I realized I had a problem my injury was out of control. I was immediately admitted to a hospital under heavy sedation for 7 days. Surgery was performed on my right calf removing dead and decayed meat and calf muscle leaving a hole the size of a golf ball roughly 1 & 1/4 " deep. Was not able to walk for over a week after discharge. My local doctor helping with my rehab used an old doctor concoction. Mixed sugar and iodine until it was a thick as glue. Poured it into the hole twice daily. Within 4 days I was able to walk and within 2 weeks the hole begin closing to where it is just about a scar. I cannot describe my pain from this ordeal other than to say, this was the first time I shed tears from pain.

LOCATION: Indiana NAME: Angela YEAR: 2005

About three years ago, after taking a bath, my now 13 yr old son came to me complaining of his right shin hurting. I looked at it and had never seen anything looking like this did. The area around the bite was red, hot and swollen and around the center of the bite was what appeared to be a white circle. It really looked as if someone had taken a white highlighter and drew a perfect circle around the bite. I immediately went online and looked up spider bites. I found something that scared the crap out of me. It appeared to be a brown recluse bite from what I had found online. I kept my son home from school and took him to urgent care as soon as they opened at 1pm. The doctor proceeded to tell me there are NO brown recluses in Indiana. Yes he said it did look like a bite of some sort but could not be a brown recluse as there are none in our area. I told the doctor to just treat it as if it were. He gave my son a tetanus shot because I wasn't sure how long it had been since he had one and was not taking any chances and also gave him a high dose of antibiotics in the form of a shot. The doctor said, "Without the offending spider we cannot assume it was a brown recluse". GREAT! We had recently moved a lot of my son's fathers' belongings to our house because of a death. Three years later my son's shin looks like he has had a very bad burn. The area of scarring is about 6 inches long by probably 2 inches across. And that was catching and treating the bite within 12 to 18 hours. Would hate to think what might have happened had I dismissed the bite as something minor. No, I have no proof of what bit my son, but it wasn't a mosquito.

LOCATION: Illinois NAME: Wren YEAR: Unknown

When my mom was 3, she was playing UNDER THE STAGE IN THE PARK with some other kids. When she went home, my grandma found several red lumps on her. She took my mom to the hospital, and they declared it was a brown recluse. Luckily, it must have been young, for the venom was not fully developed. DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN PLAY UNDER ANY BUILDINGS, STAGES, ETC.

LOCATION: Tennesse NAME: Margaret YEAR: 2005

I was bitten by a brown recluse July 3, 2005 between the toes. The spider was in a pair of shoes I had not worn for a several months. A doctor treated the wound with 750 mg Levaquin tablets and Alcortin antibiotic creme. The wound was open and the bone of one toe was visible. The top of my feet and both legs from ankle to knee was a reddish purple color. From the knees to just above hips my skin was covered with bumps the size of a pimple that itched very bad. After 3-4 weeks the wound got better. The doctor removed dead skin each week. I have had boils between the toes and the area is still not healed completely.

LOCATION: Ohio NAME: Wendlyn YEAR: 2005

I'm not entirely sure it was a hobo spider, as I live in Ohio - perhaps it was a brown recluse. But as fall approached our new house was suddenly infested with huge spiders that were NOT reclusive - when I swept, they would race fearlessly across the floor TOWARD me as if to attack! And the boxwood landscaping outside is full of large funnel webs. I'm going to purchase spider traps to try to identify these things. I didn't feel the bite, but about 20 days ago discovered a large lump at the top of my calf, just below the back of my knee. It showed the classic development, starting out like a gigantic insect bite but with the telltale deep inky-black hole in the center. My former husband was bitten on his chest by a brown recluse almost 30 years ago (still scarred, and says he can still feel it, sometimes). I met him years afterward and the boils were still pus-filled, so I tried piercing my bump with a sterilized needle to see if there was fluid in it. No fluid, but I discovered the bump itself was anesthetized - no feeling even when plunging the needle deep. I applied hydrogen peroxide, then antibiotic cream, and covered it with sterile gauze. The next morning it had festered up and burst, releasing quantities of thick pus and dark red blood. Again I applied hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic cream and sterile gauze. Soon a large blackish area spread out on my leg around the bump, and the bump itself turned hard and black and began to ache constantly. Because my father was having a health crisis of his own, I ignored it for almost a week. During this time I developed a severe migraine that lasted for almost six days, requiring constant medication. I've had migraines but it's rare for them to last more than one day. I also developed a low-grade fever, feeling hot and clammy especially in the evenings. But I didn't connect either of these symptoms with the bite. (As I said, I was distracted by another crisis.) Almost a week after the bump appeared, my whole leg started to ache, with pains down into my foot and up into my hip. I was also getting leg cramps and tingly feelings in the toes. I went online and discovered that the migraine and the fever were actually systemic bite symptoms, so went to the clinic. I saw a very young doctor just out of medical school, with no experience of spider bites. She brushed the whole thing off, glanced at it and proclaimed it to be just an inflamed cyst (even though the discoloration was necrotic black, not inflamed red), gave me no tests or treatments. She said all the other symptoms were unrelated. I started treating myself with natural remedies. I've been applying 8% arnica gel topically several times a day. The blackness on my leg quickly faded to red and the edges are rapidly receding. (Note: It wasn't infected - I don't think arnica would be advisable for infected skin.) The hard bump is still there, however, and the black center has become visible again now that it's not black all over. I'm also taking large amounts of milk thistle to promote new liver cell growth to help process the systemic toxin. European studies have shown that even people who eat deadly mushrooms can survive if they take massive doses of milk thistle to strengthen the liver, so I reasoned that it might help. I'm also taking a wide variety of immune-boosting supplements. However, I've read and been told that after a latent period the toxins can cause organ damage and even affect the brain, so I'm pretty terrified. Stories here about shingles and lupus seem to bear this out. Even though the wound itself appears to be slowly improving, what's happening with the internal toxins? 

LOCATION: TexaS NAME: Elliott YEAR: 2005 (1975)

I was bitten on the ankle in Ft Worth, TX back in 1975. I have had an open wound on my leg for some 30 yrs. This thing has messed up my leg and has been screwing with my life and my mind. Makes you in an almost constant sense of stress due to the pain and the physical limits. I have noticed in the last few years it has gotten more painful as time goes on. I was looking to see if there have been any new discoveries on how to heal this. 

LOCATION: Colorado NAME: Carolyn YEAR: 8/2005

My cat recently was bitten by a brown recluse spider we believe, on her face. It started to swell at first and had a small section under her ear that was red and when you pushed on it it was filled with something. I took her to the vet and he had never seen anything like it. She had a 103 temp. He went in and did some skin grafts and sent her home, the next day she was back in there with a 104 temp and the swelling had gotten worse. He had to remove almost all her left side of her face. She currently has a bandage on, since it is all a open wound. This makes me even more scared of spiders and knowing that they are around my house now I am even more afraid for my two small children. I am going to try the spider traps. I hope my cat recovers from this. It has cost me over $300 so far and she has gone through 3 skin graft surgeries so far.

LOCATION: Unknown NAME: Kelly YEAR: 8/2005

I have been bitten twice- 2 TIMES- within the last month and half. My first bite I didnt seek medical attention immediatley since I was not completely SURE this was a spider bite. After suffering with the pain for about a week, i called the urgent care at a local hospital and was advised i needed to be seen. I was told that more than likely it was a spider bite, but without the actual spider there was no way to prove it was a BROWN RECLUSE! Since the first bite we have moved from one state to another and guess who we moved with us? Yes exactly, now I have been bitten again. I knew what it was and went directly to the doctor; i was given meds and meds for pain. You could never imagine the pain a little spider like that could cause. I mean this really hurts; it hurts to walk, joints ache, I feel nausea, I did actually vomit, so dont think it is the stomach bug or flu from your aches and pains. I can not explain to anyone the urgency in exterminating these "creatures"!!!I have taken steps in getten a first aide kit for Brown Recluse bites and 30 glue traps for this horrible pain cause night crawling useless creatures. I would not wish the pain Iam suffering on any one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOCATION: Arizona NAME: Jennifer YEAR: 7/2005

My little sister is 9 years old. Today I went to visit her and she told me she was bit on her back twice by a spider over the weekend. I got to looking at the bites and one was very tender, red and had a hard lump under it, It also looked like there was a bubble of pus right on the surface. So I told her to let me poke it with a needle and she did. Me and my mother squeezed it and a lot of pus came out. Later, it still hadn't gone down any, So we held her down and popped it again. I have never seen so much pus come out of something in my life. It started bleeding, so we left it alone. Later the wound was ever harder from us squeezing it. It oozed for a long time until a scab formed over it. I figure by in the morning there will be more puss because the scab is holding it in and it is not able to ooze.

LOCATION: Colorado NAME: Unknown YEAR: 7/2005

A good friend of the family's nephew just died from a Brown Recluse spider bite. He worked for a moving company. He was moving a piano for a customer when he was bit 3X. He lived one week after the bites. All his organs shut down. Please pray for the family. He was only 33 years old.

LOCATION: Florida NAME: Ashley YEAR: 2005

I am a 33 yr old Female that was bitten 3 times once on the R foot and twice on the L foot This happened mid August 2004 I had advised my "landlord/appt mgr" 2 days prior he laughed at me told me to buy some bug spray. I first saw a larger light brown Recluse on the wall in the bedroom, it turned around when I went to kill it I though it was going to jump on me. So I refused to sleep in the bedroom, 2 nights later I woke up around 5am with a smaller dark brown recluse on my knee, to also find what looked like blisters? That within 24 hours were open wounds I immediately went to the hospital I was there for 4 days on antibiotics that made me very sick. I went back into the hospital for 1 1/2 months this time. I had cellulites, osteomyolitus, and was placed on Vancomyacin with a PICC line. And could not walk by now, I was very sick to the point of loosing my leg. I was then released from the hospital, went to a skilled nursing/physical rehabilitation unit. On the 5th day I started running a high fever 103-104 and had developed a rash a couple of day even prior to that. On the 6th day I was then rushed back to the hospital and they stopped the Vancomyacin, and tried about 8 other antibiotics I had a reaction to them all then the finally found that my body was accepting Doxycycline so another month in the hospital I finally get to go home on a pill medication and got the PICC line out. In about 2 days my body rejected this Rx. So I went to my doctor, and I had to be readmitted to have another PICC line put in and find another antibiotic there wasn't too many left to choose from. After 2 months of antibiotics all at one time Finally, I am now allergic to about 15 different Rx¹s, the bone is dying in both of my legs, I am partially confined to a wheelchair I can not work, I had to move back in with my parents and I have a 11 year old child that I can't take of the way I did, nor care for myself. I have now been diagnosed with RSD Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is the reason my pain has not gone away.

LOCATION: Oklahoma NAME: Sharon YEAR: 2005


LOCATION: Florida NAME: Daniel YEAR: 2005


LOCATION: Florida NAME: Monroe YEAR: 2005

My mom got bit by a recluse on her behind. we just moved from south tx and brought a recluse with us. the bite didnt start to get bad until the third day. prior to that she had received tingling sensations in her legs with pain. my father and i were getting the puss out and the blood and whitish-yellow ooze came pouring out. we realized the danger and did the best we could to stop it. the area around the bite was hard and tender to the touch from my mom's side. we took her to the hospital and they cut her open and saw pockets of infection. the doctors diagnosed it as an abcess, but we know what really happened. we just had a follow up today and doing fine now. as of 1/24/05

LOCATION: South Carolina NAME: Sharon YEAR: 2005

A couple month's ago . He put his shose's one morning when he was bite . HE had a burnning feel that went all the way up from the bite on his big toe up to the back of his head & into to his shoulder. The toe got real red & puss came out next. About -3- week's later , all the skin started dying & falling off . New skin retured . He still has a great deal off pain . He favor's that side bad ... We don't have he never saw a DR. we kept the bite clean & neosprin on it my concern is has the bite left a lasting problem ??

LOCATION: Florida NAME: David YEAR: 2005

I was under my deck trying to close up a small space were cats were getting under my house. I didn't even know when I was bitten. I had three bites,one on my right arm,on top of my for arm,two bites on my left knee,and one on my face, that wasn't that bad,just a hard lump. the one on my arm was the worst,it was the biggest and had the most damage.Then my knee.Maybe it was the same spider,and his venom was running out after all those bites? I was a mess for two weeks.The two on my knee caused me to go to the ER,the inside of my left leg got red,from my ankle all the way up to the inside of my thigh,I went in and they put me on IV's for a couple of hours. Then two weeks later my son was bitten on his left thigh.It raised up and got bad for a couple of weeks.

LOCATION: Michigan NAME: Amanda YEAR: 2005

I too, think that the population of the Brown Recluse is growing more than anyone knows. I live in Michigan and my dad's PCP checked out a spider bite. He was bit once, with little prolem, except the swelling of his face and numbness. He was bit again, the second time was much worse, his eye filled with fluid, was bruised and his face was numb again. His doctor told him that a Brown Recluse Spider was the cause, and that they are attracted to moisture and that the spider may have been attracted to his eyes. They told him if he gets bit again, it could be fatal. There are no stores near us that we can buy "BIG H TRAPS" near us, and was wondering if there is any other trap that would work efficiently? Any spide trap, maybe? Thanks!

LOCATION: Georgia NAME: Kathyren YEAR: 2005

i used to live in a house at 988 mayson turner road in atlanta.the house had lot's of spider webs all over the place. i cleaned as many as possible,but i think that they came from the basement.i was lying on the couch one day when i felt a little sting. it felt like a mosquito bite. i put alcohol on the bite but it didn't go away. by the second day it had swollen so big i couldn't walk. it had bitten me right between the back and upper buttock. my son called 911 and they sent the fire department whom informed me that i had been bitten by a brown recluse and had very little time and that if i waited more than 12 hours the poison could reac my spine and i would be paralyzed for the rest of my life or could die. iwas immediatly rushed to the hospital, where the bite was cut open and the poison removed. it was white venom. i thank the Lord to be living. i had never heard of a brown recluse before, the thought and pictures send chills up and down my body. i still have muscle spasms

LOCATION:Texas NAME: Audrey YEAR: 2005

I was bitten by this spider, back in 1985 and the picture is exactly as my leg was then. my skin got rinklled as if I was 100 years old. I got sleepy and sleaped for 14 hours. One more hour later I would have died. the doctor said. The would grew into a big bubble of posion while on antibotic, until it busted. then my flesh begin to fell out of my leg. Leaving a big whole. The doctor clean all of the poison and green meat out of my leg and I did a skin draft. But as of today , my leg still hurts sometimes and when I walk my leg falls from under me and i fall to the ground. it takes about sometimes an hour before I can walk again. I wish I knew why this is still painful. But I beleive it is because I was one inch from having to have my leg cut off, and the nerves are still slightly damaged.

LOCATION: Pennsylvania NAME: Christina YEAR: 2005

I woke up on a Monday morning with a mark on my hand I didn’t know what it was, I thought I was bitten by a mosquito, but if anything touched my hand it caused pain which doesn’t happen to mosquito bites. The next morning one of my then room mates had the same mark on his arm and he told me that he was bitten by a spider the night before and he had killed it (GOOD!). That night my bite looked like I could just pop it so I did, HUGE mistake. My right hand swelled all the way to my elbow. Then by the following Friday my eye brow, eye lid and below my eye was swollen so bad I went to the E.R around noon and the Dr. told me I have MRSA (a very bad bacterium, which resulted in several staff infections in my body) by opening the wound in my hand I caught the bacterium and spread it to my left eye, by simply trying to pop a pimple. He prescribed me an antibiotic and removed one abscess, caused by MRSA and sent me home. I had to go back to the ER, the following Sunday just for a check up. When I went back the next Sunday I had a temperature of 101.1, I was then admitted to the hospital where I stayed from December 26 until January 1. I had three staff infections lanced and my hand now has a whole in the middle (I could probably fit three peas in the whole). Everyday I have to change to bandage and repack (which is when I put gauze in the whole so the outside does not heal before the inside, which could cause another infection) my wound. If I would never have been bitten by the spider I would never have gone threw any of this. I will never trap a spider, if I see one it is dead!

LOCATION: Wisconcin NAME: Ian YEAR: 2005

We have had this scary looking funnel web by our front door. Every time I walk by there I can't help but look at it. It kind of looks like a tunnel leading behind a dresser. Anyway, about 3 months ago (Nov. 2004) my mom was complaining of nausea and severe stomach pains. It was okay, until she said they were really getting bad. Eventually we called her into the hospital, and after a couple of weeks on Vicadin, it disapeared just as soon as it began. I am still unsure of what to do about the spider, out of fear of being bitten myself. This sounds like a big problem, and people better start reacting to these things before it's to late.

LOCATION: Texas NAME: Teresa YEAR: 2004

We have these pests all the time. We have an ointment that works fast. I have been bitten several times. This ointment is called Ichthammol. It is very smelly (smells like tar), but works within minutes to kill the pain. Within 5 to 7 days the poison is completely drawn out and leaves no scars. It costs less than $3.00. Put it on the bite, cover with a bandaid, and leave it alone--except to change the bandage and drain it. After a few days a whitehead will appear. Don't squeeze it. Sterilize a needle and gently poke it to drain. Put peroxide on it and reapply ointment and bandaid. Repeat once a day until gone. This ointment can be found at most small pharmacies. Please pass this info on.

LOCATION: Ohio NAME: Susan YEAR: 2004

December, 2004 My father in law was bitten by a Brown Recluse while > unloading boxes from an attic space. He did not go for medical help right > away, not knowing the potential of this toxin. He was hospitalized for > three days, loaded up with IV antibiotics, but the bite venom continued to > eat through the soft tissue on the back of his right leg. He had to > continue antibiotic IV therapy at a wound clinic, yet the continued > deterioration of his flesh caused a hole in his leg that is now the size of > a hockey puck, and just as deep. Tissue around the bite has become > dehydrated, circulatory problems have causing inability to bear weight on > his leg. He now, January 12, 2004, has $40,ooo.oo in medical expenses as a > result of this one bite,and may lose his lower leg. After reading the don't > be fooled article sent in by the entomologist from Riverside, I am > definitely going to get a photo of the bite I describe. So don't you be > fooled by an expert in the field - be very afraid of these spiders. There's > no hoax about the photos here - I'll be sending one to this site that makes > the current photos look like mosquito bites.

LOCATION: North Carolina NAME: Cindii YEAR: 2003

I live in North Carolina but was biten in Charston, WV during a vaction trip. I have been released from the doctor but have to keep the triamcinolone acetonide cream on it for a week or so longer then switch over to Mederma cream to help the scaring. I have a fit every time I see a spider now, I am very careful about what I do outside or even in my home. We live near the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC, but like I said I was visiting in WV when I was biten, we were way up in the coal mine community. Beautify land but don't know if I want to visit any more. Thanks for the web site you have. People need to be warned of these litte critters. My spot has gone down to what looks liks a bad cigar burn down and is doing good. There will be no more scraping done on it.

LOCATION: Unknown NAME: Patty YEAR: 2003

My 19-year-old son was at work in the gutters, a couple of days later he felt itching, then a pain with ant bite look on his right wrist/arm. This happened on a Sunday and Tuesday the pain was noticeable, Wednesday he started experiencing some swellling on his arm aroung the bite area, by thursday evening the pain got stronger and the swelling started spreading toward the hand, wrist and arm. It was Friday when another doctor saw him. By this time the swelling had doubled you could not see the knuckles on the fingers and hand. we were sent to the ER immediately, He was given antibiotics and had two incisions punctured on his wrist, He then was admitted in the Hospital He was there from Friday to Monday it was very painful He went threw Xrays, MRI, Blood work, and Painkillers were given to him. After being released I have to change he gauze twice a day until it healed completey hopefully not getting infected again. And is taking antibiotics for ten days. I never realized a spider could be so dangerous luckly the test results came out good so far no damages to the nerves and tissues or nor did it travel to the bone I personnally think the public should be aware of theses spiders only because there has been so many cases lately, I know this from hearing other stories at the hospital and at clinics I just didn't expect it to have happened in my family....

LOCATION: Oklahoma NAME: Madge YEAR: 2002

The spider bite (got on June 24th) was still draining when we went to Mexico the 1st of Nov. Went to a plastic surgeon down there and he didn't want to operate on it and gave me a prescription for a spray that eventually pretty well dried it up. However, then around the end of Dec. I got a rash around it and went to another Dr. there and he thought it had infection in it. He squeezed a little pinhead size spot there and got a little yellow fluid out. He put me on antibiotics for a month and it finally cleared up. I'd say that was about 8 months after the bite. Anyhow, now, it still lets me know it is there sometimes. Guess it may stay that way.

LOCATION: Kentucky NAME: Ann YEAR:1993

I was bitten by a brown recluse spider and didn't no it at the time. My ankle started to swell and hurt. Then a sore the size of a thumbnail was on my ankle.Over a period of six months the sore grew to the size of a soda can. I have never in life experienced so much pain. I was at the point of losing my mind. I went to six doctors before I came upon a doctor who saved my life. I had to spend two weeks in the hospital undergoing to surgerys and finally a skin graph. It has been seven years since the bite but I will never, never forget the pain. People just do not understand the damage a little thing like a spider can do.

If you would like to share your experience with Hobo Spiders or Brown Recluse Spiders and/or their bites please Click Here or email your story and any photos you wish to share to 

After being approved by our staff--and with your consent--we will list your stories on this page.  We need to raise awareness of the danger in our basements and yards and prevent serious results.  

All email addresses are confidential and will not be distributed to any third parties.

Find a Local Dealer  Order Online