University of Michigan Closes Library After Three Venomous Spiders Are Found in Basement

Three Mediterranean recluse spiders were discovered last month in a non-public basement storage area at the University of Michigan’s Shapiro Undergraduate Library.

Staff suspect the venomous spiders entered the building through tunnels.

The library reopened Tuesday after it was mistakenly closed Sunday during treatment. Staff closed the building due to a misunderstanding and out of an abundance of caution when they learned of the finding, said Kim Broekhuizen, associate director for the university’s Office of Public Affairs.

Anne Danielson-Francois, an expert in spiders at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus, identified that the spiders were of the Mediterranean variety and not brown recluses, Broekhuizen said.

Recluse spider bites can cause a range of reactions from minor irritation to necrosis, which is tissue death, said Danielson-Francois, who chairs the biology discipline at the university in Dearborn. She said it was the first time she has come across a recluse spider in Michigan.

However, reports of deaths from spider bites tend to be overreported, she added.

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SOURCE: USA Today; Detroit Free Press, Darcle Moran