A woman in Paulding County, Ga., says dozens of venomous brown recluse spiders have invaded her home and she doesn’t know how to get rid of them.
Nicole Photianos told WSB-TV 2 she found the 30 spiders immediately after she moved into her new house.
The dangerous brown recluse has a distinctive violin-shaped marking on its upper body. Native to the U.S., the arachnid’s habitat extends from Nebraska to Ohio and across the south from Texas to Florida, according to pest control specialist Orkin.
Photianos said she contacted the house’s former owners, who said they never encountered the brown recluses during the 10 years they lived there. She thinks the spider problem may be linked to a four-month period when the house was empty and workers were attempting to resolve a mold problem.
“I think they have always lived in that house, they have always lived in the house, they just got out when they did the [mold] work,” she told WSB-TV 2. “They were just kind of everywhere.”
“I just say we should just burn it down,” she joked.
As its name suggests, the brown recluse is a shy animal, although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns that it can inject toxic venom when it bites. Symptoms can vary from none to very severe. “There is often a systemic reaction within 24-36 hours characterized by restlessness, fever, chills, nausea, weakness and joint pain,” OSHA experts say.
“Although brown recluse spider bites are rare, the venom can sometimes cause serious wounds and infestations should be taken seriously,” explains the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, on its website. “Persons bitten by a brown recluse spider should apply ice, elevate the affected area, and seek medical attention immediately.”
“Brown recluse spiders are difficult to eradicate, largely because of their secretive habits,” it adds. “Virtually any dark, undisturbed area can serve as harborage, and many such places occur within buildings. Because of this (and the potential health threat), treatment is best performed by professionals.”