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Apr 18, 2012 9:54 AM by AP

Brown widows creeping into south La.

HOUMA, La. (AP) - Brown widow spiders - a breed of poisonous invasive spiders - are on the march across Louisiana and have already been sighted in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.

According to Louisiana State University AgCenter officials, the spiders are generally found in tropical areas. The brown widow spider is closely related to the black widow spider.

Brown widow spider venom is a powerful neurotoxin. Its bite may not initially be noticed but will soon become very painful. The Courier reports symptoms of a widow bite include headache, tiredness, excessive sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, muscle cramps and rigidness in the abdomen and legs.

Elderly residents, children and people with compromised immune systems are more at-risk from a brown widow bite.

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