Brown recluse spiders aren't native to Michigan so it's slim-to-none that you'll actually see one crawling and researchers from MSU are saying not to panic.

Not panic?! It's a spider, let alone a dangerous one. However, Howard Russell, an entomologist with Michigan State, says that what most people think are recluse spiders, which have a poisonous venom, usually isn't.

In the past 14 months, over 700 Michiganders have sent me photographs of spiders thought to be recluse spiders...
...Of these 700 spider photos, only seven turned out to be of brown recluse spiders.

These findings spanned across 7 counties which brought it to a total of 10 counties where recluse spiders had been spotted in Michigan. The map below shows the counties.

Courtesy of Michigan State University (MSU Extension)
Courtesy of Michigan State University (MSU Extension)

These include:

  • Genesee
  • Hillsdale
  • Lenawee
  • Ingham
  • *Kent
  • Livingston
  • Oakland
  • Shiawassee
  • Washtenaw
  • Wayne
    *The report from Kent County came in 2017 from Grand Rapids. However, a family had seen it just after returning home from vacationing in Missouri, where recluse spiders are common.

Something to note is that these creepy crawlies didn't migrate here. They all came into the state through some form of travel (luggage, containers, etc). So while there is a small population of recluse spiders in Michigan, the chance of you encountering one is very rare.

...vast majority of Michiganders will never come within a half-mile of a brown recluse spider.

Hopefully, this makes you feel a bit better because as someone who is terrified of spiders -- I'm still a little worried of that off-chance. And pretty much any other spider roaming these streets.

The article goes on to share information (towards the bottom) about the spiders that are native to Michigan and a bunch of cringey images, if you dare.

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