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View Full Version : Seriously worried about Brown Recluses in my Barn



bludejavu
Jun. 4, 2011, 12:53 PM
I keep reading that the Brown Recluse isn't really common in Georgia...they need to come to my barn. They mostly come out at night so I guess they're nocturnal. But today I moved some hay and encountered what was truly the biggest BR I've ever seen. I killed him but measured him and his body was literally 1.25 inches long and his legs were over 2 inches long!:eek: I don't know how to get rid of these things - will normal pesticides work on BR's that are this large? I was really close to this one before I saw him and he could easily have bitten me.

jn4jenny
Jun. 4, 2011, 01:23 PM
If the spider was really 1.25 inches long, then he couldn't possibly have been a brown recluse. A *really really big* brown recluse would be 1/2" long. They are more typically 3/8" long.

More info that should put your mind at ease:
http://spiders.ucr.edu/recluseid.html

Crooked Horse
Jun. 4, 2011, 01:27 PM
Google Wolf Spider. Is that what you saw?

They are HUGE and scary but really s-l-o-w, and I believe non-venomous. Don't know if you have them in GA.

bludejavu
Jun. 4, 2011, 01:36 PM
Thanks Jn4jenny & Crooked Horse - I hope you're right but they don't fit the description at all of a Wolf Spider - they're not fuzzy in the least. They don't quite fit the description of a Brown Recluse either but those are the only two I know of that carry violins on their backs. I haven't gotten close enough to count their eyes but I know the BR has only six eyes. I'm going to get my husband to put this one in a container and I'm taking it to the county extension office Monday - I have been puzzling over this for years now but this is the first time I've had one this big and this close to me. They have a really sharp and distinct violin on their backs and legs that have no hair on them. Whatever they are, we definitely are growing them too big here!

jn4jenny
Jun. 4, 2011, 01:53 PM
Thanks Jn4jenny & Crooked Horse - I hope you're right but they don't fit the description at all of a Wolf Spider - they're not fuzzy in the least. They don't quite fit the description of a Brown Recluse either but those are the only two I know of that carry violins on their backs.

There are dozens of spider species with the violin pattern on their back. And conversely, brown recluses can show up without the violin pattern if they've recently molted.

You'e probably got the utterly harmless, can't-even-penetrate-human-skin-with-its-jaws Southern House Spiders. It's one of the most common spiders in the south and it looks a whole lot like the brown recluse--just bigger. Like about 2 inches across. Which is the size that you're describing, fancy that.
http://www.spiderzrule.com/housespider.htm

And if you do have Southern House Spiders, LUCKY YOU--they are probably keeping your fly population in check!

(In case it wasn't obvious, my teenage "when I grow up" obsession was to become an entomologist. Thankfully I outgrew it!)

cyndi
Jun. 4, 2011, 02:28 PM
I had a horse bitten by a brown recluse 20 years ago and it freaked me out and sent me on my own paranoid 'brown recluse witch hunt.' Fortunately horse was ok - he was bitten on the ankle and although it was a bit scary waiting to see how deep the venom had gotten - horse was never even lame, and nothing critical was affected.

At that point I called an exterminator and he told me it was not easy to exterminate for spiders. Here's the gross part. Stop reading now if you're easily ooged out. Pesticides work on roaches because roaches walk in the pesticide, and then lick their feet, ingesting the poison. Spiders don't do that - so you can kill the ones that are THERE, but there will be no way to prevent/kill new ones. I didn't pursue it and eventually forgot about it....have not had another problem since.

And yes, brown recluses are very small. Even if you have them - you probably will never see them. They also live on the ground.

bludejavu
Jun. 4, 2011, 02:31 PM
jn4jenny - I went all the way thru the pictures in your link and it's not one of those for sure. We have it in a bag and I took a photo (http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=2030870287274&set=a.1898035766494.2107427.1109628450&type=1&theater) of it. If the legs were fuzzy, I'd think it was a wolf spider but there is absolutely no fuzz on them.

cyndi - you just confirmed my fear - that a typical pesticide might not help much. I wasn't fond of the idea of using strong pesticides in the barn anyway.

Crooked Horse
Jun. 4, 2011, 03:08 PM
Nasty!
What about this: http://hobospider.com/info/index.html

Crooked Horse
Jun. 4, 2011, 03:11 PM
I am REALLY sorry that I googled big spiders in Georgia.

Where is the creeped-out vomiting smiley?

MunchkinsMom
Jun. 4, 2011, 03:30 PM
*backing away from this thread*, why do I even click on threads that have the word spider in the title????

I'm NOT opening any of those links, I won't sleep well if I do.

hundredacres
Jun. 4, 2011, 03:35 PM
It looks like a hobo spider to me!

ellebeaux
Jun. 4, 2011, 04:09 PM
Post a pic of your spider! I'll try to i.d. it.

Check out this site for pictures of Georgia spiders:

http://www.darlingtonschool.org/faculty/okinney/Natural%20History/Spider%20Web/spider_web%20page.htm

bludejavu
Jun. 4, 2011, 05:06 PM
I'm pretty much arachno-phoebic myself but it would make me feel a lot better if I find out this guy is not venomous. Ellebeaux - there is a photo link in post #7 above. Thanks for trying to help - I haven't found any spiders that look like this one yet.

ETA - be aware that the torso is twisted in the photo - there is a violin on his back in similar colors to the one on his bottom part (the striped part that shows in the photo).

jn4jenny
Jun. 4, 2011, 05:28 PM
I'm pretty much arachno-phoebic myself but it would make me feel a lot better if I find out this guy is not venomous.

All spiders are venemous, but most have neither a potent enough venom nor sharp/big enough jaws to cause substantial damage to a human being. Honestly, even brown recluse bites are often non-events as long as the bite was given appropriate first aid (rinsing with water, ice, etc.). The ones you see on the internet that look like absolute hell are the extremely rare ones that developed bacterial infections--they are not necessarily reactions to the venom itself.


Ellebeaux - there is a photo link in post #7 above. Thanks for trying to help - I haven't found any spiders that look like this one yet.

If it's hairy, then it's probably some kind of wolf spider. If it's not hairy, then I vote for funnel weaver/grass spider. Neither of these are harmful spider varieties.

To the folks who are voting for hobo spider, that spider is only found in the U.S. Northwest. The OP is in Georgia.

bluedejavu, the chances that you're going to find an exact picture of this spider are slim to none. There are something like 2000 varieties of grass spider alone. You can get it IDed by your extension office if that will put your mind at ease, but as it's definitely not a brown recluse, you don't have much to worry about.

Do you have cats or chickens on your farm? Both eat spiders and can help control your population.

ellebeaux
Jun. 4, 2011, 05:59 PM
Oh, I can't tell!

It looks like a wolf spider but it would be nice to get a pic from the top to see the design on the thorax. But from what you said about the size, it's too big to be a brown recluse.

Plus you live outside of its known range:

http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcreclusespiders.htm

check out these wolf spider pics:

http://www.spiderzrule.com/wolf5.htm

bludejavu
Jun. 4, 2011, 06:32 PM
ellebeaux - you get the grand prize for the day - you found the spider!!! On your spiderzrule link, the first grouping of 4 pictures show a suspected wolf spider. Unfortunately the guy didn't get an answer to his question but I'm guessing since it was on the wolf spider page, then that means it is one? At any rate, since you got the grand prize, I'm mailing him to you as your prize - just send me your addy:D. (JK)

jn4jenny - you make me feel a whole lot better about these spiders. I guess I should have said potent venom instead of just venomous but that's what I meant by venomous. I don't want to get bitten by this guy - he looks like he could pack a painful bite. But still better than a brown recluse. What we really have a problem with around here is Black Widows, but at least they are easy to spot with their distinct black bodies and red marking.

bludejavu
Jun. 4, 2011, 06:37 PM
Google Wolf Spider. Is that what you saw?

They are HUGE and scary but really s-l-o-w, and I believe non-venomous. Don't know if you have them in GA.

Crooked Horse - In reading back, you were the first one to mention Wolf Spider. The only reason I wasn't sure was because the ones I've been seeing are not hairy, plus they can move pretty fast across my concrete center aisle and you said they were pretty slow. The one I killed today isn't hairy at all. But you were evidently right according to ellebeaux's link. So if she turns down the grand prize, do you want me to mail it to you instead?;):winkgrin:

I'm much happier now that I know this is not a Brown Recluse.

back in the saddle
Jun. 4, 2011, 06:41 PM
I have NOOOo idea if these things really work or not, but my mom had one in my old bedroom and there were always a bunch of dead spiders in the middle of the floor. don't know if it was that or soemthing else killing the spiders.

I don't know what they're called but you plug it in, and it clicks and is supposed to kill spiders.

ellebeaux
Jun. 4, 2011, 07:37 PM
ellebeaux - you get the grand prize for the day - you found the spider!!! ...I'm mailing him to you as your prize - just send me your addy:D.

Gee thanks :)

I used to work on St. Catherine's Island and I was told we had black widows but no brown recluses, so I thought the mainland might be the same. We also had copperheads, rattlesnakes, and alligators...gotta love Georgia!

Wolf spiders are your friends, they eat lots of pests, so try to tolerate them :)

horsefaerie
Jun. 4, 2011, 08:02 PM
Wolf spiders are your friend.

THey can get very large and if big enough you can hear them walk across a feed bag or concrete floor.

THey do in other bugs and spiders.

Most spiders are good things. Not fond of the recluses or the widows but the rest I protect.

Some garden spiders are huge and build huge webs very quickly. I hang signs on them so folks leave them be. When they are done raising their young they move on. They are hell on flies.

Some spider caught a mouse one time. Fascinating. Welcomed them in the barn after that!

Beethoven
Jun. 4, 2011, 08:17 PM
Could it been one of these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntsman_spider
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_huntsman_spider

They are huge! We have them every where at my barn. Occasionally I will see them in my apartment above the barn, but my cats usually take care of them.

http://www.google.com/search?q=huntsman+spiders&hl=en&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=08rqTcjXNNSctwes4r2XAQ&ved=0CDUQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=692

Crooked Horse
Jun. 4, 2011, 09:19 PM
So if she turns down the grand prize, do you want me to mail it to you instead?;):winkgrin:



Oh, GOOD GOD NO!!!!!!!

(But thank you (minding my manners)). ;)

ellebeaux
Jun. 4, 2011, 09:28 PM
:)

Hampton Bay
Jun. 4, 2011, 09:43 PM
We had those same spiders all in our barn in FL. I had the same initial thought, but found out they were just normal spiders.

There are ways to keep them away though. If your hay is up on a pallet, get some moth balls or some cedar boards and keep them under the hay. Cedar is going to be safer if you're worried about it, but moth balls aren't going to release enough chemicals to hurt the horses either. Most insects and spiders are repelled by cedar and moth balls.

I don't mind most spiders, but looking at the pictures has totally creeped me out. I even had some hunting spiders in my house that I refused to let anyone kill.

JanM
Jun. 4, 2011, 10:05 PM
My pest control guy says where I live (near Ft Benning on the Alabama side) that black widows and wolf spiders are common, but where he lives near Smith Station AL, and in Harris Co, GA the most common things are scorpions. The pest problems can vary within few miles, and he also told me that there are effective sprays for all of these. My company used organic pest powder control inside (under appliances, inside electric outlets (in the kitchen, baths), and any place pipes come out under sinks and aren't solidly filled by foam. The followups are outside only quarterly, and also organic depending on the outside pests, and to control spiders also. I haven't seen anything since they started, so apparently some pesticides are effective for spiders.

I think you really have to keep the webs down, and keep areas clear of egg sacks. And whenever I get something like garden hoses down I put on leather gloves before I reach, since I have seen some around the area I keep that stuff in previously. I also still spray around the garage occasionally if I see a spider web out there too. The pest guy said many wolf spiders aren't really hairy unless you get really close, and the garden spiders I've seen are usually lighter gray or brown than the wolf spiders too. He did say that the wolf spiders are very good jumpers, so that makes them even scarier to me.

One way to see webs is to use a flashlight and look in corners by shining it parallel to the wall not at a 90 degree angle, and the webs will be much more visible.

everafterfarm
Jun. 4, 2011, 10:59 PM
If it will make anyone less creeped out, remember that a brown recluse is only about the size of your PINKY nail INCLUDING the legs!

Now just for fun, if you get bitten by one it's likely you will never have seen it in the first place!! They like to do stuff like hide in laundry like towels and such that may not be moved for awhile! Happy showers and sweet dreams tonight everyone! I know i am freaked enough that I shake the crap out of a new towel before I use it!

I just had to smush a black widow yesterday that took up residence on a mat I hadn't used for awhile. I had dragged the mat quite a ways to put under a new water trough and there she was when I opened it up! I think they are cool looking, but I couldn't have her around either.

MizzouMom
Jun. 4, 2011, 11:51 PM
Just to throw some uncertainty in here - we have brown recluses here in Missouri, my understanding is that they live at least 2-3 years (unless I catch them first), and the older ones are WAY bigger than 1/2 inch. The body itself might be half an inch, but the very thin legs can make the whole thing 1 1/2 to 2 inches. And I know wolf spiders from BR - not the same thing.

My best non-poisonous method to catch them is to tear off apx. 8 inch strips of very sticky duct tape (Gorilla brand is good, some aren't that sticky), and leave them in out-of-the way corners and under furniture sticky side up. BRs are noctournal and come out to hunt other insects at night. Leave the strips undisturbed for a week or two then "check your traps". And prepare to be grossed out.

The downside of when I started trapping them was that I suddenly found lots of other little insects around that the BRs had been eating and keeping cleaned up for me.

Now that I know they're in the house, I'm careful to check inside shoes, under laundry piles, and even under the bedspread and sheets/pillows before crawling into bed. They love dark, undisturbed areas.

KrazyTBMare
Jun. 5, 2011, 12:41 AM
GAH. Spiders. ICK. They just creep me out. I know they serve a purpose and all that but UGHHHHHH!!! My barn is full of the southern house spiders. I dont mind them but they freaking get into EVERYTHING I have. I cannot leave a saddle pad hanging for 2 days without them totally taking over. They even get under the flaps on my saddles by the stirrup bars and set up camp! I have some super big females (the black ones) UGH... they are fine as long as they arent on my stuff. If I find them on my blankets and what not, sorry buddy, your dead! If they would just leave my personal things alone, they could live in peace.

I also have these terantula looking things.. they are like the size of a nickel but really fuzzy and one color reminds me of a tiger.. reddish and orange, etc. I was really creeped by them but I saw it grab one of the southern house spiders so I figured if he will keep those out of my stuff, he can stay... upon searching they are regal jumping spiders... I usually see the orange kind but we do have the black ones too... just creepy looking.. warning big spider pic: http://content2.eol.org/content/2009/05/20/11/36157_large.jpg

bludejavu
Jun. 5, 2011, 09:49 AM
Oh, GOOD GOD NO!!!!!!!

(But thank you (minding my manners)). ;)

:lol::winkgrin: (snicker snicker)

Oh gosh - I don't know if I could handle cleaning out the tape if I tried that method. I couldn't even bag the dead spider yesterday - my DH had to do it for me. Plus, despite my spider-phobia, I don't know if I could kill them so mercilessly. I can't even do rats that way. I am way too sentimental sometimes:(.

krazyTBmare - those jumping spiders are pretty darn cute. A member on another board I'm on is really into spiders and she kept a jumping spider for awhile. Her pictures kind of won me over - the little thing had a cute face.

Guin
Jun. 5, 2011, 10:07 AM
This is the main reason I will never live in any southern state.

bludejavu
Jun. 5, 2011, 10:24 AM
Awwww Guin - I was born and raised here in the south. I can think of a whole lots better reasons not to live here than just our spiders.;)

jn4jenny
Jun. 5, 2011, 10:26 AM
Just to throw some uncertainty in here - we have brown recluses here in Missouri, my understanding is that they live at least 2-3 years (unless I catch them first), and the older ones are WAY bigger than 1/2 inch. The body itself might be half an inch, but the very thin legs can make the whole thing 1 1/2 to 2 inches. And I know wolf spiders from BR - not the same thing.

You may have some very freaky spiders in Missouri, but it is a basic, established entomological fact that brown recluses do not grow to that size. If your spiders are that big, you've got a different kind of spider.

Entomologists know how to use their ruler, and when they say BRs only grow to half an inch, they are referring to the full leg span of the insect.

MizzouMom
Jun. 5, 2011, 10:31 AM
I'm tender hearted to the point of being catatonic over some things, but BR spiders are one of my few exceptions. I even throw the dog ticks out the door instead of killing them if one rides in from the pasture with me.

Take a look at the pictures of people who have reacted to a bite - it can be fatal, or cause massive tissue necrosis. The idea of crawling into bed and being bitten while I sleep - yikes!

The cute, hairy, black Daring Jumping Spiders get to live inside in the windowsills, eating bugs for me all day, and the huge black/yellow/orange garden spiders with their big webs on the shrubs can eat bugs for me all day. I skirt the wasps and the carpenter bees.

No mercy for ants in the house or BRs.

Tape cleanup will make you shivery with the ick factor until you get into the spirit of knowing you're reducing the population and knocking back next year's drop. And I hate to tell you, but if you have BRs in your barn, you have them in your house too. They're not called recluses for nothing.

MizzouMom
Jun. 5, 2011, 10:42 AM
Jn$ - I didn't know what these spiders were until a friend in Wichita showed me his tape method and the spider attached - a large, probably second-year adult, whose body was small and insubstantial but whose leg span (on the tape, of course flattened), was well over an inch.

He told me it was a BR, and I thought, "Oh my God, I've seen these in our house".

I'm a natural science freak too and have my Audobon field guides - it's called a Violin Spider in there - and have seen lots of other spiders around. Wolf spiders look like they could kill you but don't, BRs don't look that dangerous but are. And they range in size from the newly-hatched late summer ones the size of gnats, to small-bodied but large leg-span adults of age 2 or 3.

A quick online check - first site was the Texarkana College, which puts the leg span at a half dollar size. The smaller sizes you are referring to are the body.

jn4jenny
Jun. 5, 2011, 12:58 PM
A quick online check - first site was the Texarkana College, which puts the leg span at a half dollar size. The smaller sizes you are referring to are the body.

Yes, I mistyped, sorry. You are in Missouri, which is the heart of brown recluse territory, so it's not at all unlikely that you have a BR issue on your farm (unlike the OP, who is in Georgia--at the very fringes of BR territory).

Guin
Jun. 5, 2011, 01:11 PM
Awwww Guin - I was born and raised here in the south. I can think of a whole lots better reasons not to live here than just our spiders.;)


LOLOL!!:lol:

MizzouMom
Jun. 5, 2011, 05:15 PM
Yes, we are so lucky to have BRs and chiggers in Missouri. Unfortunately, with the climate change, some of these nasty bugs are showing up in whole new territories. It's said that if you spot one BR, there are likely 100 more hiding in the cracks. So if our Georgia friend is starting to see them, she needs to stay alert.

Sunnyhorse
Jun. 5, 2011, 09:30 PM
I killed one in my barn this morning that clocked in around an inch and a half, legs included -- a big 'un. (We're in Missouri.) For such unassuming spiders (muted khaki color, no bright markings) they sure are creepy looking. Last fall, between taking everything (stalls, mats, all of it) out of our barn to replace the floor and cleaning out our hay shed before a new load of hay, we killed probably 100 of the things -- I wasn't sure I'd ever sleep soundly again! :eek:Our exterminator has ID'd ones I've caught in our house but tells me that you have to have an absolutely biblical infestation of the things before it's worth exterminating them, because you and the pets have to move out for at least a week. This University of Kentucky publication (http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef631.asp) has a bunch of interesting info.

gloriginger
Jun. 6, 2011, 10:58 PM
This is the main reason I will never live in any southern state.

I've known 2 people that were bit by a brown recluse, both were hospitalized, both were very close to death but fortunately lived, and BOTH were in Massachusetts.

bludejavu
Jun. 7, 2011, 07:07 AM
I saw another apparent wolf spider last night, marked up the same but much smaller. He took a flying leap across the barn hallway and travelled a distance of several feet! I had never seen one hop before and I wish I hadn't seen that one - it did not make me feel very comfortable to think they can hop right on me!:no:

MizzouMom
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:59 AM
One of the few plusses with BRs is that they are named "recluse" for a reason - they really want to stay away from anything moving (other than their teeny prey bugs) and won't jump toward people.

A small comfort there!

skip916
Jun. 7, 2011, 09:34 AM
blue- i am also in Georgia and have the SAME exact spider as you showed in the pic. he/she is HUGE and lives under my hay tarp- i see it almost daily and have learned to look for it before i reach for hay! i have always called those "wolf" spiders as well, but you are very right, they are not fuzzy like the ones shown on google etc. i will try to get a pic of my "pet", who is at least 2 inches in diameter including legs.

i have only seen one BR in our barn and i smooshed him. we have had several black widows though- they like the spots behind tack trunks, in dark corners and i often see them at the bases of the pine trees.

i hate spiders but respect their usefulness and apparently GA is a very spidery state, but since i've lived here my whole life i guess its just second nature to me to look inside my boots for spiders and scorpions before i put them on, look inside my helmet and shake out gloves, and especially shake out horse blankets and barn towels before handling them! i am finally used to the little brown spiders that always make webs by the water buckets and feed bags- literally they are everywhere! my chickens don't seem to "get" that they are supposed to like eating them!

bludejavu
Jun. 7, 2011, 12:37 PM
Skip916 - oh definitely get a picture if you can so we can compare our "pets". I am starting to have to fog my barn because the little brown spiders are building webs literally everywhere. I do this every year but the fogger solution I use has no influence on the big wolf spiders - they're always there. Since I now understand the wolf spiders are beneficial, I'll try to learn to live with them, but they need to keep their distance from me.;)

Heart's Journey
Jun. 7, 2011, 01:19 PM
I didn't read all the posts, but a co worker got bit by a brown recluse several months ago. She has no idea when it occurred, but was in the hospital for over a month, then had intervenious antibiotics for 2 more months. She returned to work and showed us her leg. eweewwww - she's over 6' tall and will probably never wear shorts or a skirt again in her life.

Its hard to describe but the leg is huge, open glaring wound and the doctors said that's as good as its going to get. really sad. the damage they can do is incredible. But she is alive.

SunkenMeadow
Jun. 7, 2011, 02:16 PM
I was bitten by a BR in the 90s.

I was bartending in the Adirondacks, and I used to drink A LOT when I bartended. Came home and passed out with my hand under the pillow. Felt a sharp prick (no lude comments) during the nite, but was so tired fell back asleep. Felt it again and again...took my hand out from under the pillow and saw 5 bites, proceeded to fall back asleep again (darn Yukon Jack takes away all common sense). Woke up in the AM and my hand was numb and turning black, slowly lost feeling in my arm. Ended up at Lake Placid hospital for three days and almost had my arm amputated.

It was nasty & disgusting, and I have a very irrational fear of spiders ever since. Lucky for me they were extremely rare up there, so they quarantined my apartment and found the sucker, and then I was part of some study so all my medical bills were taken care of (I was just out of college and no insurance).

This thread brought back some not so pleasant memories (I never have had Yukon Jack since then either)

alabama
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:51 AM
Years ago I was bitten, too. I never saw the thing but when I went to the dr. it completely freaked him out. He said, yep, typical BR bite. I was on strong antibiotics for three months. Every time they tried to wean me off them, the place would get all weepy and it would start going bad again. I have a huge scar but luckily it's on my inner, upper thigh.

I know that granddaddy long legs aren't poisonous, but they ick me out. And at my house they don't have the regular gray bodies. They have red bodies. Those seem extra freaky to me and they are EVERYWHERE!

ellebeaux
Jun. 8, 2011, 11:40 AM
I was bitten by a BR in the 90s.
It was nasty & disgusting, and I have a very irrational fear of spiders ever since. Lucky for me they were extremely rare up there, so they quarantined my apartment and found the sucker, and then I was part of some study so all my medical bills were taken care of (I was just out of college and no insurance).

This thread brought back some not so pleasant memories (I never have had Yukon Jack since then either)

Based on your experience, that seems like a truly RATIONAL fear to me :)

Bacchus
Jun. 8, 2011, 02:23 PM
Daddy long legs are one of the most poisonous creatures out there, but they can't hurt humans;)

When my husband went to buy our house, it was infested with brown recluse. I thought he was going to back out -- he's terrified of spiders! We got a good entimologist (sp) who is an exterminator, and he took care of them -- mostly. I still see their skins in the barn sometimes (they have the legs sticking straight out -- not curled up), but rarely see a spider. Smartest thing to do is check dark places before reaching in and shake out shoes/gloves before putting them on.

I like spiders, so they don't bother me. I'll pick up the ones that aren't poisonous and put them outside -- drives my husband nuts;)