A Missouri family was forced to abandon their home after a massive brown recluse spider infestation.
Brian and Susan Trost bought their home in 2007 and almost immediately saw a big problem that had not been there on the initial walk-through, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
In the following days, [Susan] saw spiders and their webs every day. They were in the mini blinds, the air registers, the pantry ceiling, the fireplace. Their exoskeletons were falling from the can lights. Once when she was showering, she dodged a spider as it fell from the ceiling and washed down the drain.
A month after living in the home, her 4-year-old son screamed frantically from the basement, and Trost saw a spider, about the size of a half dollar, inches from his foot.
After identifying the spider as a brown recluse, the Trosts called in various exterminators to take care of a problem that the family was just beginning to grasp.
Although the brown recluse packs a powerful bite, it is only fatal in rare cases.
In 2008, the Trosts filed a claim with their insurance company, State Farm, and a civil lawsuit against the home’s previous owners, Tina and David Gault, for allegedly not disclosing the brown recluse and other problems with the home.
At a jury trial in St. Charles County in October 2011, Jamel Sandidge, a biology professor at the University of Kansas, described the brown recluse problem at the Trost home as “immense,” between 4,500 and 6,000 spiders.
The Trosts were awarded $472,110 by a jury, but have never collected due to several different factors, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
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