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 Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Here's a page with photos of the progression of a supposed Brown Recluse Spider bite to the leg. I have provided these images as a public service and do not claim that the stories are true or correct. These photos were sent in by Dale Losher of Illinois, USA. Here's Dale's email:

"Thought I would send an update on the Brown Recluse bite here in Pekin, Illinois. So far so good. The graft took hold and I may need one more surgery. I have seen several Brown Recluses in other areas in Illinois. Hopefully a new study on these critters here in Illinois will identify populated areas. - Dale Losher"

Here's the newspaper article that tells of Dale's bite and also that of another man in the same area. Click here.

Here's Dale's letter to the editor describing how his bite happened:

It was a quite morning at 5:00 am on May 6th, 2002 and I was lying in the bed with my fiancée.  I felt a slight tickle on my upper thigh of my left leg under the covers and proceeded to brush it away. As my hand struck the blanket I felt a slight stinging sensation on my leg. Little did I know that moment was going to change my life forever, I lifted the covers to see the outline of a small, brown quarter size spider on my bed.  My fiancée woke up startled and asked me “What is it?”   I said, “It looks like a spider. Hold on”.  I ran to the bathroom, grabbed some tissue and quickly grabbed the spider and threw it in the toilet.  My fiancée came into the bathroom to look at the spider and all we said at that moment was “Wow, that is a big spider”. I flushed the toilet with a feeling of personal victory.  Almost within the hour the bite area swelled to a quarter size area.  That afternoon I went to the doctor and he asked me if it was a brown recluse.  I have never seen a brown recluse before but both my fiancée and me agreed that it quite possibly was after hearing the description of one but I had always thought those spiders were in southern Illinois. The doctor gave me some antibiotics and circled the area with a marker and sent me on my way.  Later that evening a white infected area formed in the bite site.  I am told this is called the “bulls eye” and is a definite tell tale sign of a brown recluse bite. The area around the bite site turned blue, dark red and had gone outside of the circled area.  My fiancée took me to OSF Emergency room where they rushed me to surgery. I spent eight days with an open cut at the bite area to drain the spiders toxins from it and almost 24 hours a day on IV antibiotics and pain medication.  It the end I had a 5 inch in diameter area of dead tissue, a result from the toxins, cut out of my upper leg. My next step in 8 days is skin grafting, which I am told is skin taken from another part of my body and place on the cut away area. But that area will never look the same. I am a resident of Pekin in a suburb type area. Never would I have thought this type of spider was right here in Pekin or central Illinois.  Please let your readers know about brown recluse and its consequences.  It seems most people know little about this spider. If I had waited a day longer I might have lost my leg to this spider.

Dale Losher


First Day of the bite.

Day 3 and the skin is dying.

Day 9

Day 11

Waiting to see the new skin after 38 days.

Finally new skin 38 days after the attack.

March 2003

October 2005

More info below:
Brown Recluse Spider Bite Site A Cure??
Brown Recluse - Photos & Observations