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 The brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, is sometimes called a “fiddleback” or violin spider. It has a fiddle or violin shaped marking on its back, and the handle of the instrument points toward the rear of the spider.

These spiders are small and prefer to be in dark, dry places. Indoors, they may be found in closets or cabinets that are not used much. Outside, they may live in sheds or wood piles. Brown recluse spiders are not native to North Carolina but can be rarely found here.

Effects of a bite may not be noticed right away. Redness and itching may occur, and a vesicle (fluid filled sac) may develop. This may be surrounded by redness with bruising around it. The entire area may have a white circle around it making it look like a “bullseye.” If the vesicle breaks open, an ulcer in the skin may be seen.

Other symptoms that may occur:

• fever
• chills
• itching
• muscle aches
• nausea and/or vomiting


Prevention and First Aid

1. Use caution when in dark, dry places where they might live.

2. Wash the site of the bite with soap and water and keep the area clean.

3. Contact your primary healthcare provider to make sure you are up to date on your tetanus vaccine.

4. Seek medical attention if you experience fever, chills, excessive nausea/vomiting, or severe muscle aches.


Call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or chat from this site with questions or for more information about a spider bite.



Last Updated on 12/11/2023