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Experts urge to keep an eye out for venomous spiders this summer

Black widows and brown recluses are no strangers to Arkansas, and experts are saying to watch for them this summer as the weather heats up.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It's heating up, and more spiders are out and about, sometimes making it into homes.

Black widows and brown recluses are venomous and no strangers to Arkansas. Experts said people need to watch out for them this summer.

"This is kind of their Super Bowl of the year," said Jack Bell, owner of Advantage Mosquito and Pest Control. "You've got hot conditions, and they're searching for water. The drier it is, the more they will look for that water."

Bell receives daily calls from people who say they've found a brown recluse or a black widow, but sometimes they turn out to be wolf spiders, which aren't venomous.

"That's why you call a professional is," Bell said. "If you don't know, I would rather you know... then you have to go to the hospital."

Bell said you can tell if a spider is a brown recluse if it's brown, has long legs and has what looks like a fiddle on its head.

On the other hand, black widows have a red mark shaped like an hourglass on the back of their heads.

"You got to be careful," Bell said.

If anyone finds a black widow or brown recluse, Bell recommends using glue traps to catch them so you can verify their species.

According to the University of Arkansas, some can experience severe pain if bitten by brown recluses and black widows. 

"If you have, let's say, clothes on the floor, you got a pair of shoes that sit outside, you want to always check that stuff before you just start rifling through it," Bell said.

Black widows are commonly found in garages and house vents.

"I've been bitten by a black widow," Bell said. "It was in a crawl space. Usually, I check things out. I just opened the door and went in, and there was a web... bit me on the face."

However, his reaction didn't require medical attention.

"I guess it all depends on your immune system," Bell said.

He encourages everyone to pay close attention to avoid getting bit. Bell also suggests getting a professional to spray in and around your home every three months.

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