Massive spider infestation drives family from home


Brown Recluse Spider

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Spiders have claimed ownership of one home in Missouri and turned it into a real-life house of horrors.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that in 2007, Brian and Susan Trost bought a 2,400-square-foot ranch home in Weldon Spring. The home, built in 1988, has golf course views and was purchased for $450,000.

Shortly after taking ownership of the home, the Trosts began to see the spiders.


In civil trial testimony, Susan claims to have seen live spiders on light fixtures, window blinds, air registers, behind loose wallpaper in the kitchen and in the basement’s bar area. Spider skeletons fell from overhead lights.

Then there was the time Susan was in the shower. She had to dodge a spider that fell from the ceiling. Fortunately, it was washed down the drain.

But the danger became all too real when Susan heard her 4-year-old son screaming. There was a large spider inches from his foot.

Susan soon discovered that the house was infested with brown recluse spiders. While the brown recluse can inflict a painful bite, the venom is not usually fatal.

At the civil trial, an expert estimated that the Trost home contained between 4,500 and 6,500 spiders.

The Trost family endured several extermination attempts, but it only temporarily alleviated the situation.

In 2008, the Trosts filed a civil lawsuit against the former owners and a claim with their home insurance company, State Farm. Though a jury awarded the Trosts $472,110, they have not been able to collect due to State Farm continuing to fight the ruling in court. According to the attorney for the Trosts, State Farm doesn’t deny the spider infestation, but claims that the spiders are not “physical damage.”

Unable to stay in the home any longer, the Trosts fled. The home went into foreclosure and has been setting empty ever since.

The Trosts have filed for bankruptcy and have filed another lawsuit against State Farm.

The home is undergoing an extreme extermination, where the home will be filled with sulfuryl fluoride gas to kill both the spiders and their eggs.

Exterminator Tim McCarthy told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “There’ll be nothing alive after this.”



Brown Recluse Spider

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