No brown recluses here

I was very pleased with the response by Dan Foster regarding spiders [Gimme Shelter: "Spider man: Beasts in the basement," June 30, 2005] However, his response requires a bit of clarification.

The brown recluse spider does not live in Virginia. This is a western species that is very, very rarely found in furniture that has been moved here from out west where such spiders exist. (There are only three known sightings of brown recluse spiders in Virginia, none of which were in Albemarle County.)

People are always telling me they have killed brown recluse spiders. Spiders are extremely beneficial around homes, and it's a shame for people to be killing misidentified spiders needlessly.

Please correct this misinformation.

Marlene A. Condon
White Hall