Soo…there ain’t Brown Recluse Spider in Virginia eh??? Or so ‘they’ say according to ‘their’ maps. I personally know better from about 20 years ago when I was bit one time on the shoulder doing new construction work and then about 6 years ago when I was bit not once, not twice but THREE times on my calf.
Never saw one though up front and personal until yesterday afternoon…looky what I saw on my ‘screen’ to my workshop only 3 foot away from me:

Yep, that’s a Brown Recluse spider, born, breed and hiding out waiting for me to walk through the ‘screen’ (which is actually a sheer curtain I hang up at the shed door).

Here is ‘map’ where they are most commonly found:
map recluse

The below information is taken directly from an OSHA Fact Sheet (link at end)

The brown recluse belongs to a group of spiders commonly known as violin spiders or fiddlebacks. The characteristic fiddle-shaped pattern is located on the top of the leg attachment region (cephalothorax). Because they are secluded and withdrawn, as their name implies, the brown recluse avoids open spaces. Brown recluse spiders are dangerous and they can bite and inject toxic venom.
Identification
• Body size: 1/4 to 3/4 inch
(6.4-19.1mm)
• Color: Golden brown
• A dark violin/fiddle shape
(see top photo) is located on
the top of the leg attachment
region (cephalothorax) with
the neck of the violin/fiddle
pointing backward toward
the abdomen.
• Unlike most spiders that
have 8 eyes, the brown
recluse has 6 eyes. The eyes,
arranged in pairs – one pair
in front and a pair on either
side – can be readily seen
under low magnification.
Habitat
The Brown Recluse Spider
builds small retreat webs
behind objects of any type.
Symptoms
• The severity of the bite may
vary. Symptoms may vary
from none to very severe.
• The bite generally becomes
reddened within several hours.
• There is often a systemic reaction
within 24-36 hours characterized
by restlessness,fever,
chills, nausea, weakness
and joint pain.
• Tissue at the site of the bite
and the surrounding area dies
and eventually sheds.
Protection
• Wear a long-sleeved shirt, hat,
gloves, and boots when handling
stored boxes, firewood,
lumber and rocks, etc.
• Inspect and shake out clothing
and shoes before getting
dressed.
• Use insect repellants, such as
DEET or Picaridin, on clothing
and footwear.
Treatment
• Clean the bite area with soap
and water.
• Apply ice to the bite area to
slow absorption of the venom.
• Elevate and immobilize the
bitten extremity.
• Capture the spider, if at all possible,
for identification purposes.
• Seek medical attention.

https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data…Facts/brown_recluse_spider.pdf‎

Here is something that they don’t tell you: most of the time you won’t even KNOW you have been bitten, let alone actually SEE the sucker that bit you. I know the times I have been bitten I didn’t even think about a brown recluse bite until after the tissue in the area started necrotizing and the fist time it got so big (the necrotized area) that it was the size of half dollar and I wound up at the ER for something else and the nurse saw it (the wound) and freaked. The next time I was bit I thought they were bug bites until they began ‘pitting’ (necrotizing) and I immediately remember the first time I was bit by a recluse.

And medical attention? They give you Keflex and send you home and tell you ride out the WEEKS that it will take your body to fight the venom and heal…yeah, no joke…nothing to do except prevent and ‘infection’ and keep the wound clean…seriously..
And in a shtf situation or you can’t afford to go to the doctor just to be patted on the head and handed an antibiotic for hundreds of dollars, what are you going to do?

The ‘treatment’ advice above is great general ‘bite’ advice…but personally here is how I have always taken care of brown recluse bites (for some reason I am a recluse magnet) with EXCELLENT results:

BERGAMOT ESSENTIAL OIL DROPS STRAIGHT ON THE BITE
4-6 times a day

Seriously, that it…the first bite since it was so large I used hydrogen peroxide to clean out the dead tissue…let it dry out and then applied the bergamot essential oil, but the wound healed within 10 days and I used no antibiotics…minimal scaring too.

The next I was bitten I immediately applied the bergamot essential oil straight on the bites and while the skin discolored the necrotization only got to be about the size of eraser head and then healed within 4 days…
And that is all I DID…and now, living out the woods almost any bite that I know for sure isn’t a tick bite or mosquito or fly bite (ugh, May Flies and these little orange flying things around here), out comes the bergamot and I forget about it…no issues…

One strong word of caution: this is just what I do and I am not advocating that YOU do this…use your head and if you can see your doctor, especially if you become very sick…just use your head please… I believe that prevention is key in avoiding the doctor and what I have written is what works for ME. You may want to try it yourself or keep a bottle of the bergamot essential oil in your bug out bag or if you go camping just to ‘prevent’ infection, etc. especially if you are not sure of what bit you (since normally you won’t feel the bite from this spider). Everyone will react different and I am writing about what works for me and hopefully you will never need this ‘emergency’ advice from one prepper to another. But it might be worth the small investment of a few dollars just in case…save the antibiotics for something really bad!

Other notes: when self treating when professional medical help is not immediately available I like to use the rule of thumb…treat aggressively and often and don’t IGNORE anything. Don’t down play something new or unusual…

And one last thing: All citrus essential oils are oils that make the skin photosensitive…meaning, if you use the oil on your skin and go into the sun with that area where the essential oil was used…it can cause a bad BURN. So keep it covered….

One more thing to go into the woods with!

You may find more information on this subject at:

Survivalmedicineblog.com

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