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Michiganders told to be on the lookout for Brown Recluse spiders

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People are being urged to keep an eye out for brown recluse spiders, which have been showing up in Michigan more frequently over the last few years.

While the majority of the recluse spiders have been reported in southeast Michigan, there have been a few cases in west and northwest Lower Michigan as well.

Experts said the spiders are native to southern states, and the ones in Michigan likely got here by hitching a ride.

Howard Russell is an entomologist at Michigan State University. He said over the last 14 months, he’s told people who come across recluse spiders to send in photos.

“People responded with about 700 photographs of spiders that they thought might be recluse, and of those seven were recluse spiders. So the spider is rare.”

Russell said there were reports of recluse in April, which suggests they may have overwintered here. He said this winter was fairly mild so it’s not out of the question for them to survive.

Russell said the public is encouraged to send photos of any recluse spiders they encounter to MSU at bugman@msu.edu