Not native to Michigan, the brown recluse spider has found its way into 10 counties in our state- here's what you need to know.

Don't Panic

Yes, they are venomous. No, they can't kill you. Yes, they have been found in Michigan. No you are not likely to run into one. Still, this news is disconcerting.


Click on Detroit reports the creepy arachnids have been found in 10 Michigan counties:

  1. Genesee
  2. Hillsdale
  3. Ingham
  4. Kent
  5. Lenawee
  6. Livingston
  7. Oakland
  8. Shiawassee
  9. Washtenaw
  10. Wayne

Michigan State University expert Howard Russell has soothing words: "the vast majority of Michiganders will never come within a half-mile of a brown recluse spider." (You can trust Howard, he's an entomologist- his email address is

Are they dangerous?

Like the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider bites in defense and does not bite humans instinctively. However, both female and male brown recluse spiders can bite and inject venom. The brown recluse’s bite is usually not felt, but results in a stinging sensation followed by intense pain as long as six to eight hours later. A small blister usually develops at the bite location that can turn into an open ulcer. Restlessness, fever and difficulty sleeping are common symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite.

-Pest World

Where might you find them?

Brown recluse spiders often live outdoors where they are typically found around rocks, utility boxes and woodpiles. Indoors, brown recluses can be found in any undisturbed area, such as inside boxes, among papers, in seldom-used apparel and shoes, under furniture or in crevices of window moldings. Closets, attics, crawl spaces and basements are the most common brown recluse spider hiding spots.

-Pest World

What can you do?

Since the spiders are not native to Michigan, most have hitchhiked here on clothing or inside suitcases from vacation destinations. Experts recommend shaking out your clothes to make sure none are inside, and checking shoes before you put them on.

Remember, if the brown recluse spiders don't get you, the ticks will.

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