Fall is prime time for brown recluse spiders - FOX Carolina 21

Fall is prime time for brown recluse spiders

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Brown recluse spiders live in several states, including Alabama. Source: WBRC video Brown recluse spiders live in several states, including Alabama. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

In neighboring Tennessee, there's an increase of brown recluse spider bites.

So, considering the poisonous spider lives in Alabama, should we be concerned here?

David Ford of Huntsville was moving boxes from a shed last year, when he felt a sting on his arm.

"This was about noon when I got bitten," said Ford. "About 7 p.m. I started getting chills, started seeing blue in my arm, running a fever."

Ford went to Huntsville Hospital's ER and was told he was bitten by the poisonous brown recluse spider.

"He told me I was going to be in the hospital for a couple days," said Ford. "I was going be on antibiotics and that I would probably have necropsy in my arm and the tissue would start dying. It was a hole where the bite was. It started spreading, got bigger and bigger."

The brown recluse spider lives in several states, including Alabama.

Dr. Erica Leibelt with the Regional Poison Control Center says the fall is prime time for exposure to those spiders.

"Because these spiders like to live in dark, cold places," said Dr. Leibelt. "So, many times they're in closets. They can be hiding in pants and shoes."

Dr. Leibelt says last year the center got about 100 calls related to people being bitten.

She says the most common way to know you're bitten is a skin lesion caused by the spider's venom.

Dr. Leibelt says young children and the elderly may have complications.

"The common thing we see is what's called a hemolytic reaction," Dr. Leibelt said.

"A hemolytic reaction is when the red blood cells burst open and that can cause your blood count to drop very rapidly. It can cause you to go into shock," she explained.

Dr. Leibelt says when there are no complications, a brown recluse bite will heal on its own.

But she says never try any home remedies for a bite because it could make it worse. If you're bitten, go to a doctor.

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