While the brown recluse spider’s bite is not a good thing, most of the spiders identified as brown recluses weren’t. And if you’re worried about spiders in the house, I recommend a cat.
“The truth is, bad things happen to us all the time, and it’s completely random,” said entomologist Gwen Pearson, author of the WIRED Science Blog, Charismatic Minifauna. But being able to blame a nasty skin lesion on a spider is more satisfying than acknowledging that a necrotic crater has emerged on your arm for no identifiable reason, she says.
What’s really awesome is the photo in the picture. “It’s not a recluse bite, it’s anthrax!” In a better world, those shouldn’t be confusable.