Let’s Hope These Aren’t Found In A Sioux Falls Area School
This is the stuff of nightmares for me. Spiders. I don't do spiders. If what happened to workers at a University of Michigan library happened to me I probably would have screamed like a little kid.
At the end of January, officials closed the Shapiro Undergraduate Library in Ann Arbor for two days after workers found three venomous spiders in the basement. The spiders were sent to Professor Ann Danielson-Francois, a spider expert, at the nearby University of Michigan-Dearborn to be identified.
Danielson-Francois identified the half-dollar-sized eight-legged monsters as Mediterranean recluse spiders. When the word came back that the spiders were venomous, officials closed the library on Sunday and Monday while crews searched for any sign of these spider's extended family. The all-clear was given and the library reopened on Tuesday.
So how does a spider with origins in the Mediterranean region end up becoming a world traveler? Experts say it's a hitchhiker as it catches a ride with travelers. So far this species has been found in 22 states, including South Dakota, but this is the first report of one in Michigan.
Danielson-Francois told WJBK-TV that even though the spiders are venomous, it would be unlikely that they would bite anyone in an open space like a library.
If they do bite, it's unlikely they will kill a person. "They don't have a huge amount of venom, but they have enough to start necrosis, which is the eating away of the flesh," she said.
Danielson-Francois said she will put the spiders to good use. "I'm going to keep them for my spider biology class so I can teach students how do I identify recluses properly."
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