Each year, thousands of people accuse brown recluse spiders of hanging around their houses, stalking them, biting them and causing horrible wounds–but that hardly ever happens. It’s time to set the record straight.


1R. Vetter, N Hinkle, and L. Ames (2009) Distribution of the Brown recluse spider (Araneae: Sicariidae) Georgia with comparison to poison center reports of envenomations. Journal of Medical Entomology, 46(1): 15-20

2R. Vetter, D. Barger. An infestation of 2,055 brown recluse spiders (Araneae: Sicariidae) and no envenomations in a Kansas home: implications for bite diagnoses in nonendemic areas. J Med Entomol, 39 (2002), pp. 948–951

3J. D. Joslin. Regarding suspected brown recluse spider envenomation case report. J. of Emergency Medicine, 43(2), p 348

4T.J. Dominguez. It’s not a spider bite, it’s community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Am Board Fam Pract, 17 (2004), pp. 220–226


By Roar and Katie McKissick. AKA Beatrice the Biologist, McKissick is a blog and science comic that hopes to make science fun and interesting for the casual reader. Visit www.beatricebiologist.com to see more of her work, and follower her on Facebook and Twitter.