(Photos by Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services)
Richard Zack. It’s a
myth that brown
recluses live in the
Northwest, he says.
PULLMAN, Wash. – We’ve all seen them — brown recluse spiders scuttling in the bathtub, scurrying in the tool shed or spinning a web under the porch light.
That is, we think we’ve seen them.
“People often tell me they saw or they got bitten by a brown recluse; but if it happened out here, it’s probably another species of spider they’re talking about,” said Zack, who oversees WSU’s M.T. James Entomological Collection.
It’s not unusual for people to drop off or mail jars to the collection offices containing alleged brown recluses captured in or near their homes, explained Zack: “To date, not one has turned out to be a brown recluse.”
Rather, he identifies them as one of the many brown-colored arachnids that live in this region: the hobo, wolf and giant house spiders.
Bad as Bigfoot
Clearing spider’s name
Map provided by entomologist Rick Vetter, University
of California, Riverside.
“I’m bloody tired of everybody claiming that unexplained marks on their bodies are the result of brown recluse bites and who believe with religious zeal that brown recluses live everywhere from Panama to the North Pole,” said Vetter by phone from Riverside. “They’re not here!”
“The fact that Michael Jackson says he has a spider bite is a bunch of crap,” Vetter told the New York Post.
Navigating the web
Black widows do live out West, but they just want to be left alone.
In this country, at least.