University of Kansas study by graduate student Erin Saupe says that the spider's habitat is limited to the Southeast and Midwest, stretching from Kansas east to the Appalachian states.
But Saupe's study also states that it's habitat might move north to states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and even New York.
Dave Losher from Illinois had a frightful encounter with a brown recluse spider in 2002. He almost lost his leg after his physicians failed to identify the spider that bit him; this caused the venom to spread and kill more tissue. The bite required doctors to remove a substantial amount of tissue; the wound was so big that you could fit a baseball in it:
The brown recluse spider, considered more dangerous than the Black Widow, induces red blood cell destruction. Symptoms can include pain at the site of the bite, itching, muscle and joint pain, as well as vomiting and fever.
Bites typically take months to heal and can be excruciating.
If you have been bit and have already killed the spider, it is important to safely and securely bag the dead spider so that it can be identified by your physician or health care provider.
By receiving immediate medical attention victims can reduce scarring and expedite the healing process; physicians will typically inject victims with steroids to accelerate the healing process.
Most encounters occur inside or around cardboard boxes, in attic or basement rafters, or in shelves or drawers where they can hide.
The best way to avoid these dangerous animals and protect yourself is to scan drawers and boxes before you reach into them.