Venomous Spiders Are the 2021 Version of Murder Hornets
Remember last year (not that you would want to) when America was invaded by 'murder hornets'? Now imagine having to deal with venomous spiders in 2021 because some already have had to face them.
The University of Michigan's campus library was forced to close, not because of anything happening with an ongoing pandemic, but because venomous spiders were on the loose. Mediterranean recluse spiders were found in the Shapiro Library on the campus in Ann Arbor, MI. The library was then shut down for two days due to the invasion of the insects.
The Mediterranean recluse spider is a cousin of the brown recluse spider, which is much more common. Anne Danielson-Francois, an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Michigan-Dearborn said this in a statement about the venomous spiders:
As the name implies, they are reclusive and bites are extremely rare...Mediterranean recluse spiders prefer basement spaces, tunnels and other hideaways where there is a decrease in foot traffic...Users browsing the library stacks would be very unlikely to encounter a stray spider or be bitten
University of Michigan's Pest Management is now investigating the situation in the areas where the spiders were found.
The Mediterranean recluse spiders can be found in 22 states (Wyoming is not one of them), and the amount of venom they contain enough to start the process of necrosis, which can eat away at flesh.
The library at the University of Michigan has since reopened and the spiders, now caught, are with Danielson-Francois as she hopes to use them for her classes to study the species.
She also mentioned that these spiders tend to like caves, basements, and boiler rooms. While there haven't been any of these found in Wyoming, keep in mind this was also the first case where these venomous spiders have been in Michigan, so there's a first time for everything. Keep that in mind the next time you enter a basement. Watch out for spiders.
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