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Brown Recluse Spiders May Spread Across U.S. Due To Climate Change

Brown Recluse Spiders

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 04/29/11 07:03 PM ET Updated: 06/29/11 06:12 AM ET

Brown recluse spiders are scary, and they may be coming to a town near you.

A new study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, suggests that the potentially deadly spiders might be spreading throughout North America as the planet warms. According to LiveScience, the spider's range, which currently covers a large portion of the southeast, may not be suitable for it by 2080.

However, a changing climate could make parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Nebraska and South Dakota suitable for it. It's not the amount of space that's changing, but the area it covers.

Scientists used predictive mapping to determine the likely redistribution of the spiders, according to Science Daily.

Don't freak out just yet.

There's a lot of misguided hype around the spider. Though the little guys produce a deadly hemotoxic venom, their bites are so rare, and they're so small, that there are rarely signs of necrosis, let alone systematic illness.

In fact, brown recluse spiders tend not to bite unless they're pressed against the skin.

That doesn't mean they can't kill you, but most cases of illness or death are reported in either very young or elderly.

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