My son's best friend was bitten by a brown recluse spider. Now my son is terrified of spiders — should he be?
Brown recluse spiders (a type of poisonous spider that is about 1/2 inch long and all brown except for a dark mark in the shape of a violin on its head) typically live in Midwestern and Southern states, but sometimes can be found in other areas of the United States. They like to live outside under rocks, porches, wood, or leaves.
If they do get inside, these spiders are most likely found in places like closets, attics, basements, garages, in boxes, and behind furniture. Reassure your son that brown recluses are not aggressive and will not bite unless they are handled, disturbed, or provoked. If he does see one, tell him not to touch it and to come and get you right away.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: March 2010
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