Well the folks up north in the state of Michigan are getting quite a scare these days. During the past few weeks several people have either encountered or have been bitten by a brown recluse spider. People in the state of Michigan are not used to giant, and sometimes dangerous spiders, so their collective fear is understandable. However, amidst all of this public caution and worry, there is one guy who does not seem too concerned about the recent eight-legged visitors. What’s more, this man can even tell you where all of these recluses are coming from.
The Michigan State University Entomologist, Howard Russell is back on the scene after being the first professional to confirm the presence of two brown recluse spiders found in a garage a few days ago. During the past three weeks Russell has been busy going through, and cataloging, a whole lot of old bug samples being kept in plastic jars at MSU.
The University of Michigan has not described many of the bugs that the Dr. is going through yet. Russell is looking for a progressive increase in the amount of brown recluse samples collected in his lab over the years. Some of the bugs are captured by staff working for the lab; while others are samples sent to him, sometimes in nothing more than a Kleenex, which he promptly throws away.
Dr. Russell, as well as much of the public, are concerned about the increased brown recluse sightings. Brown recluse spiders are almost never seen as far north as Michigan. These spiders typically live in the more southern regions of the United States, especially Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Dr. Russell used to think that the abundance recluse’s in the state of Michigan were making it up to Michigan through shipping containers. These shipping containers originated in the hot and humid south. However, Dr. Russell changed his mind after two separate people sent him one recluse specimen each. Apparently, each recluse was found within the state of Michigan.
Have you ever experienced a public scare after spiders or insects descended upon your hometown?