There are two dangerously venomous spiders that will be looking for warm hiding spots in the Upper Cumberland this Winter.
Overton County Agriculture Extension Agent Jason Garrett said black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders are the biggest threats. However, Garrett said black widows are likely to be found in a garage or barn, brown recluse spiders can bite when someone least suspects it.
“They like little dark spots and the main time people get bit by those is whenever they put a shoe on,” Garrett said. “For example, if they’ve got some new quilts or sheets that them spiders may be in and they put them on a bed.”
Garrett said the brown recluse is not necessarily aggressive, but will bite when they feel challenged. Garrett said most people will not know they have been bit until a spot pops up on the body.
“That can get very, very painful… fever, red and it leaks fluid,” Garrett said. “Usually if it’s serious enough it can cause a big indention in your skin after the treatments administered.”
Garrett said avoiding hiding spots apply to most types of spiders. The brown recluse looks for places like boxes, clothing, sheets and under furniture.
He said when his office gets calls about spiders in the home he recommends calling in a professional.
“Homeowners here, especially the ones I come in contact with here at Overton County do not want them in their home,” Garrett said. “I have a lot of people call about how to get rid of them and the first thing I do is send them straight to a pest company.”
If someone has been bit by a brown recluse spider they should immediately contact a doctor and head to the emergency room. Before getting to a doctor or emergency room, a victim should wash and elevate the bite.