WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The heat can bring out lots of critters this time of year, but there is one, in particular, that may be hiding out in places you cannot see. It’s the brown recluse, and it’s native to Kansas. 

Many people can be living alongside hundreds of brown recluses and not even know it.

Dustin Wilgers, Associate Professor of Biology at McPherson College, said the spider is most active from March through October. Wilgers mentioned that they like to spend time in places that aren’t disturbed. 

According to Wilgers, in the wild, they’re found under logs or debris. In homes, we find them in places with little foot traffic.

“I mean, they’re active right now, and we’re bumping into him right now because it’s warm, they’re hunting, they’re doing all of these normal daily activities,” said Wilgers. 

He continued to say brown recluse bites are not as common as people think. When they do bite, oftentimes, the spider is acting in self-defense.

“Just because you have them in your house doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to find you and bite you. They’re reclusive. They’re going to stay away from you,” added Wilgers.

Flint Hills is the owner of the Brown Reclusinator Pest Control. He claims there are many places they like to hide.

“They will go in places like the attic, the crawl space, or a finished basement ceiling, or they’ll hide in garages where you have a lot of clutter, and they start dropping down out of ceiling fans, light fixtures,” said Hills. 

He said piles of clothes on the floor are a particularly common place to find them as well. Hills uses a special pesticide to eradicate them. 

“What happens is they go through this stuff and actually attach themselves to the exoskeleton of the spider. And when those things get on him after about a day or two, they start breaking down and popping and getting in their eyes and their joints. And then they just curl up and die,” continued Hills. 

According to Hills, there are things you can do yourself, like use sticky traps or buy a bulb duster and fill it with clove or cinnamon.

“You can actually take that duster, and you can pump it up inside the holes in the kitchen lights. And a lot of times, they will come down through those can lights for a while,” concluded Hills. 

Wilgers said if you think you’ve been bit by a brown recluse, watch out for a red bump and decomposing skin. He said you should go get the wound checked out by a doctor and that treatments do exist.