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 seldom used. Outside, they may live in sheds or wood piles. Brown recluse spiders are not native to North Carolina, but may be found within the state.

Effects of a bite may not be noticed right away. Redness and itching may occur and a vesicle (fluid filled sac) may develop. The vesicle may be surrounded by redness with a bruised area around the redness. The entire area may have a white area around it giving the bite site and surrounding tissue the appearance of a “bull’s eye”. If the vesicle ruptures, an ulcer in the skin may be exposed.

Other symptoms that may occur:

  • fever
  • chills
  • itching
  • muscle aches
  • nausea
  • vomiting.

If you think you have been bitten by a spider or an insect, wash the area well with soap and water and call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or chat from this site for more information.