A University of Michigan library reopened this week after it was forced to temporarily close its doors in January -- and not for coronavirus reasons.
The abrupt closure came after staff members found three Mediterranean recluse spiders in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library's basement storage area, says university spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen. The library reopened Tuesday after it was finally declared spider-free, she adds.
Although Mediterranean recluse spiders are considered poisonous, an insect expert with the University of Michigan says fatal encounters with the arachnids are rare. "You’re really unlikely to be in any kind of danger unless you have to be in close contact,” Professor Anne Danielson-Francois says. "But if you’re the plumber crawling through a crawl space that has a lot of these spiders, then you could be bit, and that would be concerning. But just walking around the library stacks, it’s a very, very low risk.” What type of insect freaks you out more than any other?