In Your Corner: Spiders on the rise in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – It may seem like they are everywhere these days. You don’t have to look hard to find spiders and spider webs.

“Their populations have exploded this summer,” according to Ronnie Lawson with Alabama Professional Services.

Dr. Mark Ricketts, a Vestavia Internist, is also noticing more spider problems. “We’ve had two times as many bites as last year.”

Samford’s Assistant Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Kristin Bakkegard, says short of a spider census, it’s hard to say for sure whether the mild rainy summer, has led to a spider  boom. It’s important to remember spiders are an important part of our ecosystem. “Unless it’s a black widow or brown recluse, or in the house, you should just leave them be.”

“With the black widow spider bite you are going to have intense muscle spasms, fever, chills and body aches which will start within hours. With the brown recluse, you may not feel it, but it will blister and form a black ulcer which may not show up for 24 hours and be followed by fever and body chills,” explains Dr. Ricketts. He says get to the doctor as soon as possible to avoid tissue and limb damage.

To take care of any spiders that have wandered in your house pest control experts say sweep out webs around doors and windows. Be sure to shake out your shoes or boots that have been in the garage. Also be extra careful around bushes and wood piles. Dangerous spiders are reclusive and not aggressive, unless you  invade their space.

The black widow, brown widow and brown recluse are the only spiders we have to fear around here.

Black widows are shiny black with a red hourglass shape underneath. Brown recluses look like a violin.

If you get bit try to catch the spider. it will help your doctor decide on a treatment. There is an anti-venom for black widow bites.

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