Brown recluse spiders in Michigan: Pest control company offers $300 reward for evidence

Venomous spiders found in 10 Michigan counties

Brown recluse spider.

Brown recluse spiders are so rare in Michigan, a local pest control company is offering a reward for any evidence of them.

Rose Pest Solutions, a Metro Detroit-based pest management company, is offering a $300 reward, as well as free treatment for anyone with evidence of the venomous brown recluse spider.

This comes after the spider has been reported in at least 10 Michigan counties in the past year.

“Brown recluse spiders are pretty rare in Michigan as we are outside of their natural range,” says Rose Entomologist and Vice President of Technical Services Mark “Shep” Sheperdigian, B.C.E. “They are prevalent in the country’s middle, western and southern states and can be found in southern Ohio. They do not, however, extend into Michigan.”

Related: Venomous brown recluse spider found in 10 Michigan counties: What to know

In their combined 44 years with Rose Pest Solutions, Sheperdigian and his fellow entomologist and Manager of Education and Training Mark Vanderwerp, have seen only one confirmed brown recluse spider infestation in Michigan in a home where previous tenants had moved in from Kansas, a key brown recluse locale. 

“We know it can happen, but we see no indications that it’s common or should be a major concern for Michigan residents,” adds Vanderwerp.

Have evidence? Here's what to do

To test the premise that brown recluse spiders are extremely rare in Michigan, Rose Pest Solutions invites residents of the Great Lakes State to submit a photo of one or more suspected brown recluse spiders found in or around their home to spider@rosepest.com.

Submissions must include the homeowner’s name, address, phone number and email address. Any Michigander submitting an identifiable brown recluse spider image from his or her home will receive a complimentary residential visit and inspection.

If brown recluse spiders are detected, Rose will provide free treatment to eradicate the infestation, as well as provide a $300 reward. The offer runs through Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.

What to know about brown recluse spiders (Via Pest World)

Habits

Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal and eat other small bugs like cockroaches and crickets. These spiders spin irregular webs, which are not used for catching prey but rather as a retreat.

Habitat

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.

Threats

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.

Brown Recluse Spider Prevention

To avoid brown recluse spiders, do not leaving clothing on the floor. Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers, and shake out all clothing that has been in a hamper before wearing or washing. To get rid of brown recluse spiders, contact a pest professional with brown recluse spider control experience.

Related: Michigan's stink bug season could be worse than last year, experts say

Spider specs

Color: Light to dark brown, with characteristic dark brown violin marking on back

Legs: 8

Shape: Round

Size: ¼ - ½ inch long

Antennae: No

Region: Found in the south central Midwest from Ohio to Nebraska and south through Texas to Georgia

Map of Michigan brown recluse spider reports

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