MARBLE HILL, MO (KFVS) - A southeast Missouri family faces a frightening home invasion of hundreds of brown recluse spiders.
There are so many in fact, a Marble Hill mother says she is scared to come home. Jessica Bockhorn is staying with family in North Carolina, while her husband Darren, continues to fight the intruders.
Together, the Bockhorn family fears for their two young daughters, 7 months and 4 years, and Jessica says she's not bringing them home until the spiders are gone.
"It's extreme," said Darren Bockhorn. "I've counted over 100 in the house right now. I've counted several hundred more in the traps over the last few months. There's no telling how many are in the walls."
He bought the home a year ago. He says they started noticing the spiders when they brought their youngest daughter home from the hospital in April.
"We started seeing them when we were up all night with Madelynn," said Darren.
While it's obvious a family lives in the home, Darren says he's tired of spiders being his only roommates. He says he knows his wife won't come home until the spiders are gone.
We spoke to Jessica on the phone in North Carolina.
"I'm scared to go back in that house," said Jessica. "I miss my husband."
Jessica says she had enough after a bite in June. Darren remembers when it happened.
"She looked in the mirror and it was crawling out of her hair," said Darren. "That was just a few hours after we had sprayed."
It wasn't long after Jessica decided to stay with her parents. She says the pain was intense.
"I'm scared the spiders will bite one of my daughters. That's my biggest fear," said Jessica.
"It got to be the size of a pork chop," said Darren of Jessica's spider bite. "Luckily it didn't get the tissue off."
The house sat empty for a year and that's when the family thinks the brown recluse spiders moved in. Despite three professional sprayings, nothing puts a dent in the problem, according to Darren. Darren says he still sleeps in the home. Now they are hoping for a way to get the spiders to move out so his wife can move back in.
"They are going to have to be completely gone," said Darren.
Brown recluse spiders have six eyes instead of eight and a violin shape on their back.
According to experts they are very resilient and they can go for long period of time without food. Plus they don't have a web so you just can't take them out by finding their home.
Experts recommend fogging for severe problems.
"I think that might help this family," said Elizabeth Knote of Cape Kill. "Fogging could be the answer and won't hurt the children as long as they are out of the house for a time."
Knote says the spiders elevate themselves off the ground so surface sprays don't always kill them.
"Next to bed bugs, they are the hardest pest to get rid of," said Knote.
Knote plans to visit the family's home to see if she can help. As for the bites, they can become painful and itchy and even eat your skin off. In extreme cases, they can cause kidney damage and also be deadly.
As for the Bockhorn family, they also filed a claim with their insurance to see if they may offer a solution.