Beware: A dangerous pest could be lurking in the shadows of your home this summer.
Here’s what you need to know to identify – and avoid – the unwelcome arachnids:
1. What do they look like?
The nocturnal spiders can be as large as a half-dollar and usually have violin-shaped markings on their upper body.
2. Where are they found?
They like “dark, secluded places,” such as in closets or under garbage cans, Live Science reports. Other places brown recluses might be lurking in your home include boxes, shoes or clothes in your garage or basement.
3. Are brown recluses dangerous?
While fatalities are rare, you definitely don’t want to get bitten by one.
The bite may have a red or purple circle around it, according to MedlinePlus. Bite victims may experience discomfort, chills, itching, nausea, fever and sweating, the site says. Rarely, the bites can cause jaundice, kidney failure, blood in urine, seizures and comas.
You should go to the nearest hospital, call 911 or contact the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you think you’ve been bitten, according to MedlinePlus.
4. How can I protect myself around the house?
- Wear leather gloves while cleaning
- Shake out shoes and coats
- Set up glue traps
- Pay attention to your surroundings