Commissioner bitten by poisonous spider

By: Lorena Estrada
By: Lorena Estrada

ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A local commissioner thought it was just a mosquito bite, but it was much worse.

"It was just a little bump that appeared on top of my foot and started itching and I just started treating it myself," said Anderson County Commissioner Chuck Fritts.

That little bump turned into a gaping hole on the top of his foot, eating away the tissue.

Fritts said, "It had gotten extremely worse. My ankle and foot had swollen even worse. I couldn't even put a shoe on. The pain became unbearable. It got to the point to where I couldn't even walk."

Fritts was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery to save his foot.

"They went in and took out the infection and cut out the dead tissue because the whole top of my foot became black from dead tissue," said Fritts.

He had been bitten by a brown recluse spider. He thinks it was in a pair of boots he keeps outside.

Fritts said, "I've learned now that if you have shoes outside or gloves outside, shake them make sure there's nothing in your shoe or glove."

Entomologist Dayton Hylton says this kind of bite is unusual.

"They're not real common to be frank. We've run into them probably a half a dozen times in 20 plus years," said Hylton.

They're mainly found in undisturbed places.

Hylton said, "It might be in your crawl space or attic, it might be in a basement that's not used very often then you've got piles of boxes and papers and belongings sometimes it might be outside under wood piles or rock and landscaping."

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