The Dreaded Brown Recluse
Hi all -
I moved to Missouri from Maryland about four months ago. Today, when I lifted up a rug to vacuum under it, I had the dubious joy of discovering the carcass of a brown recluse spider. Because the fiend was dead, I had the luxury of taking my time in identifying it and, yep. Recluse.
Okay. I am trying not to panic needlessly, but for those of you who live in recluse territory, how worried about this should I be? Right now I do a good vacuuming once a week, going around the floor boards and under furniture. I just bought some sticky traps to put out so I can at least try to figure out how extensive the issue is (and figuring out where to put those when you have a four month old kitten is a battle in and of itself). I'm a little worried because my apartment building is very old, and there are some serious grand canyon cracks between the floorboards and the wall, perfect for the little devils to hide out in no matter how vigorously I vacuum.
While I part of me wants to drop everything and find a new apartment ASAP, I feel that that's an expensive undertaking that isn't a real solution - I've heard that in recluse territory up to 80% of buildings have them *somewhere*, so moving every time I see one just doesn't seem like a feasible solution. But I'm so worried about the cats. I'm afraid they'll get bit. I'm going out of town over Labor Day, and I have someone coming in to check on them once a day, but what if something happens while I'm gone? What is the little eight-legged bastards kill us all in our sleep?
I know that people and pets can and do live in recluse country, even though they are extremely difficult to exterminate completely. How do you handle this?