Brown recluse spider found at university in Appleton

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APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV)-- The brown recluse spider is not native to Wisconsin so finding the spider at the facility services building on the campus of Lawrence University came as a surprise.

Lawrence hired a pest control company to put in traps to eradicate the spider and so far the spider has only been found in that one building, although as a precaution traps were set up in the surrounding buildings.

"We want to make sure that if that is a problem we take care of it we don't have any reason to believe they have traveled but they can," said David Gagnon of Lawrence University.

The brown recluse spider is tan or dark and very small, just a quarter to a half inch long and can be identified by a violin shaped marking on its back.

The spiders can bite and inject venom and that makes them dangerous to humans, those bites can blister and turn into large ulcers.

Lawrence University is handing out fact sheets to keep students informed and everybody in Appleton should just be aware that the spider could be in the area, but again they have only been found in the one building and there have been no sightings in any of the dorms.

Typically the spider is found in the Central Midwest from Ohio to Nebraska and south through Texas and Georgia, the spider will also not be able to survive a Wisconsin winter.