I’m not afraid of spiders. Most of those who know me already know that. However, I do keep a respectable distance… usually.
I usually take showers at Lisa’s place, and a couple of nights ago, in the shower, I noticed a tiny spider on the wall. Not sure why it was in the shower, but I looked at it a bit before finally washing it down the drain. We’ve had all kinds of creepy crawlies in that place. The landlords that “put the place together” left all kinds of little gaps and crevices between cabinets and walls and tiles and surfaces, and bugs of all sorts have easy access to the inside of the house. Seeing this spider wasn’t entirely odd. What concerned me a little, however, was the fact that it was such a young spiderling. A spider this young could not have traveled very far from its birthplace, where I was certain many more were born.
The next day, Lisa began complaining about bug bites. She had a few on her arms, and one on her toe. She thought maybe mosquitoes, but I figured maybe something else… maybe spiders. Many times a spider bite can be very similar to a mosquito bite, depending on the type and size of the spider, so I wasn’t very concerned. However, it began to cause her some pain, and by the end of the afternoon it was starting to discolor, becoming more and more red, and eventually kinda purple.
I became more concerned when I took another shower and, to my dismay, I immediately saw about 5 or 6 more of those spiderlings on the shower wall. This time I spared one and after my shower I used my camera to take some high resolution macro shots. I then compared these up-close images to some pictures online of a spider that I thought it resembled most…. the brown recluse (violin spider). I could not find any online images of baby violin spiders, but plenty images of adult spiders. Comparing my photos with the adults spider images, I concluded that this was, in fact, a baby brown recluse.
I urged Lisa to have her doctor look at her toe. Today, I received a text from her stating that the doctor has confirmed that it is indeed a brown recluse bite on her toe. Nothing said of the bites on her arms, which do not seem to be developing, and are perhaps mosquito bites after all, or something minor. Lisa will be needing antibiotics to treat the bite/wound.
We are very fortunate that these spiders are very young and very small. Otherwise Lisa’s condition would likely be much worse. However, encountering such young spiders simply means that there are many more nearby. Something probably needs to be done to get rid of them before the grow larger and more dangerous (and multiply more).
I called the landlord and left a voicemail explaining the situation. I hope they take this seriously.
Here’s a picture of one of the baby spiders. To give an idea of the size, the spider’s body is smaller than the ball of a standard ball point pen. I took this photo with my Canon PowerShot G6.