Rising temps may mean more brown recluse spiders

posted by WOOD Radio -

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The brown recluse spider isn't native to West Michigan but you may find it here anyway.

"They're not found in Michigan very much at all. If you do, they're probably ones that hitchhike from down south somewhere. Somebody moved up north and a spider got into their boxes and wound up in their basement," Dan Hemmann, an area curator at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, said.

The small spiders about the size of a quarter find a dark place and that's where they typically stay.

"Garages, basements, kind of anything that is very quiet. They're very shy spiders so they don't like a lot of activity. They like where it's dark and quiet and they can kind of just go about their business," Hemmann said. "They also don't like to bite at all so you really have to kind of bother them."

But if they do bite, it can be serious business. Just ask Jeff Lasich of Nunica, who was bitten last week.

"I thought it was a tick," Lasich said. "Turns out it was a brown recluse and I guess I'm one of the lucky people this year."

On his birthday Tuesday, he was spending sometime outside doing yard work. 

Full story: WOOD TV8

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