Here in Colorado Springs we have two species of venomous spider: the Black Widow (a nest of which just had to be cleaned out- obliterated yesterday along with a wasp nest under our front step) and the Brown Recluse. The latter little bastards' infamous reputations arrive by virtue of their bites - which release a particularly toxic flesh -eating venom.
On the two occasions I've been confronted by the little beasties - in our family room - I have not hesitated to smash them up and rapidly dispose of them. Wifey is highly grateful because in general I like to keep spiders around as useful contributors to keeping the real pests (e.g. ants, small beetles etc.) at bay. I tell her they fit in the ecological niche here, but she always responds "It's my house not theirs!" Ah well.
Anyway, imagine a poor London barrister on a flight who gets bitten by one of the little bastards. Well this is exactly what happened to Jonathon Hogg, 40, who said he felt a "small, sharp pain" while on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha.
Within hours, and after alighting from the plane he was in hospital with a pustulating wound that looked more like it came from a zombie bite - lacerated, blown out periphery and plenty of pus oozing on the inner part. Those with strong stomachs can see the wound at the bottom of this link with the full story.
Needless to say, the sight of that suppurating wound has given me a whole new respect for the Brown Recluse. Now, before I put on a slipper, I check it two or three times to make sure no unwanted 'passengers' are around!
On the depressing side, as climate change intensifies, the geographical expanse of these vermin is likely to increase.