Insect Bites

Spider Bites

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A spider bite, also known as arachnidism, is an injury resulting from the bite of a spider. The effects of most bites are not serious. Most bites result in mild symptoms around the area of the bite. Rarely they may produce a necrotic skin wound or severe pain.

Many bites attributed to spiders turn out to have been inflicted by other bugs. Skin infections also have been mistaken for spider bites.

Only a few types of spiders have fangs long enough to penetrate human skin and venom strong enough to severely affect a human being. In the United States, these include the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider.

Black widow spider bites can cause severe abdominal pain or cramping. Brown recluse spider bites can cause a sting or sharp pain, like a bee sting. With severe bites, surrounding skin may die within a few hours. Both types of spiders generally live in undisturbed areas, such as attics or sheds. And they don’t bite unless threatened.

Efforts to prevent bites include clearing clutter and the use of pesticides. Most spider bites are managed with supportive care such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (including ibuprofen) for pain and antihistamines for itchiness. Opioids may be used if the pain is severe. While an antivenom exists for black widow spider venom, it is associated with anaphylaxis and therefore not commonly used in the United States. Antivenom against funnel web spider venom improves outcomes. Surgery may be required to repair the area of injured skin from some recluse bites.


Spider bites may be overdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. In many reports of spider bites it is unclear if a spider bite actually occurred. Historically a number of conditions were attributed to spider bites. In the Middle Ages a condition claimed to arise from spider bites was tarantism, where people danced wildly. While necrosis has been attributed to the bites of a number of spiders, good evidence only supports this for recluse spiders

Almost all spiders are venomous, but not all spider bites result in the injection of venom. Pain from non-venomous, so-called “dry bites” typically lasts for 5 to 60 minutes while pain from envenomating spider bites may last for longer than 24 hours. Bleeding also may occur with a bite. Signs of a bacterial infection due to a spider bite occur infrequently .

Most recluse spider bites are minor with little or no necrosis. However, a small number of bites produce necrotic skin lesions. First pain and tenderness at the site begin. The redness changes over two to three days to a bluish sinking patch of dead skin—the hallmark of necrosis. The wound heals slowly over months but usually completely. Rarely, bites may cause widespread symptoms, with occasional fatalities.

Typically, a spider bite looks like any other bug bite — a red, inflamed, sometimes itchy or painful bump on your skin — and may even go unnoticed. Harmless spider bites usually don’t produce any other symptoms.

Black widow spider bites:

Signs and symptoms of a black widow spider bite may include:

*Pain. Typically beginning within an hour of being bitten, pain generally occurs around the bite mark, but it can spread from the bite site into your abdomen, back or chest.

*Cramping. Abdominal cramping or rigidity can be so severe that it’s sometimes mistaken for appendicitis or a ruptured appendix.

*Sweating. Excessive sweating can occur.

Brown recluse spider bite:

The pain associated with a brown recluse spider bite typically increases during the first eight hours after the bite. You may also have fever, chills and body aches. The bite usually heals on its own in about a week. In a minority of cases, the skin at the center of the bite can become dark blue or purple and then evolve into a deep open sore (ulcer) that enlarges as the surrounding skin dies. The ulcer usually stops growing within 10 days after the bite, but full healing can take months.


Severe spider bite symptoms occur as a result of injected spider venom. The severity of symptoms depends on the type of spider, the amount of venom injected and how sensitive your body is to the venom.

Risk factors:

Although dangerous spider bites are rare, your risk of being bitten increases if you live in the same areas that the spiders do and you happen to disturb their habitat. Both black widow and brown recluse spiders prefer warm climates and dark, dry places.

Black widow habitat:-    Black widow spiders can be found throughout the U.S. but more so in the southwestern states. They prefer to live in:



*Unused pots and gardening equipment


Brown recluse habitat: Brown recluse spiders are found most commonly in the southern Midwest and in limited areas of the South. Recluses are so named because they like to hide away in undisturbed areas. They mostly prefer to live indoors, in places such as:

*The clutter of basements or attics

*Behind bookshelves and dressers

*In rarely used cupboards

Outside, they seek out dark, quiet spots, such as under rocks or in tree stumps.


Very rarely, a bite from a black widow or brown recluse spider may be deadly, particularly in children.

In some cases, you can treat spider bites at home. For nonvenomous spider bites, follow these steps:

*Apply an ice pack on and off the bite for 10 minutes at a time.

*Elevate the area to reduce swelling.

*Take an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), to help with itching.

*Clean the area with soap and water to prevent infection.

*Apply antibiotic ointment to the area if blisters develop.

Seek medical attention if you’re showing symptoms of a spider bite or if the symptoms don’t go away over time.

Always seek medical attention if you suspect you’ve been bitten by one of the following species:

*Brown recluse

*Black widow

*Hobo spider

*Tarantula*Brazilian wandering spider

Home Remedies:

*Apply an ice pack on and off the bite for 10 minutes at a time.

*Elevate the area to reduce swelling.

*Take an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), to help with itching.

*Clean the area with soap and water to prevent infection.

*Apply antibiotic ointment to the area if blisters develop.

*Seek medical attention if you’re showing symptoms of a spider bite or if the symptoms don’t go away over time.


Spiders in general, including the black widow and brown recluse, bite only in defense, when being trapped between your skin and another object.

To prevent spider bites:

*Learn what dangerous spiders look like and their preferred habitat.

*Wear a long-sleeve shirt, hat, long pants tucked into socks, gloves and boots when handling stored boxes or firewood, and when cleaning out sheds, garages, basements, attics and crawl spaces.

*Inspect and shake out gardening gloves, boots and clothing that have been unused for a while.

*Use insect repellents, such as DEET or Picaridin, on clothing and footwear.

*Keep insects and spiders out of the house by installing tightfitting screens on windows and doors, sealing cracks where spiders can come in and using safe indoor insecticides.

*Remove piles of rocks or lumber from the area around your house and avoid storing firewood against the house.

*Make sure beds aren’t pushed against the wall and that only the legs of the bed touch the floor. Don’t store items under the bed and don’t let bedding drag on the floor.

*Vacuum spiders and spiderwebs and dispose of them in a sealed bag outside to prevent re-entry into the house.

*Brown recluse

*Black widow

*Hobo spider


*Brazilian wandering spider

Given below the denger of bites of these following spiders:-

1.Brown recluse:
About 1 inch long and usually nonaggressive, the brown recluse typically hides in dark, secluded spaces. It only bites if it’s trapped against your skin. It’s also called the “violin” spider because of the dark marking on its back.

The brown recluse is usually found in areas such as:

*Eastern Texas
The initial brown recluse bite may be painless, but within eight hours it’ll begin to itch, hurt, and turn red. A red or purple ring resembling a target or bull’s-eye will develop around the bite.

This bite can blister and grow progressively worse without treatment to the point where it may kill surrounding tissue and cause fever, chills, and headache.

On rare occasions, it can cause:

*coma or seizures
*blood in urine
*kidney failure

There’s no antidote for a brown recluse bite, but keeping the area clean can encourage faster healing.

Your doctor will examine the bite and prescribe antibiotics. In extreme cases, such as tissue death, you’ll need surgery and hospitalization.

2.Black widow:-

The black widow spider is shiny and black with a distinct, reddish, hourglass-shaped mark on its belly. Found mostly in the warm Southern and Western United States, the black widow stays in secluded spaces like piles of fallen leaves, woodpiles, and boxes in the attic.

Only the female black widow is toxic. Black widow bites can feel like a small pinprick or nothing at all, but your skin’s reaction will be immediate. You’ll be able to see the two puncture marks on your skin.

Symptoms of a black widow bite include:

*muscle cramping
*pain and burning at puncture site
*high blood pressure
*increased saliva and sweating
*nausea and vomiting

Prompt treatment is best, especially for children and older adults. In some cases, a healthcare professional will prescribe antivenom to remove the venom from your body.

3.Hobo spider:-
Hobo spiders are common in the Pacific Northwest. They sit up high on long legs and run fast. Watch out if you’re cleaning window wells or sweeping out the garage, as they may attack when provoked. Hobo spiders lurk behind furniture, under baseboards, and in closets.

A bite from a hobo spider may be unnoticeable at first, but it’ll cause pain and numbness within 15 minutes. After one hour, the site will start to turn red. In eight hours, it’ll become hardened and swollen. After 24 to 26 hours, the wound may discharge fluids and eventually turn black.

Other signs and symptoms may include:

*a red or purple blister at the puncture site
*visual or aural disruption
*joint pain

Hobo spider bites are slow to heal. Seek immediate medical treatment if you suspect you’ve been bitten by a hobo spider.

The treatment is similar to that of brown recluse spider bites. It may involve corticosteroids, antibiotics, or surgery. Treatment works best if administered within 24 hours of the bite.

Southwestern states with desert climates host tarantulas, but tarantulas may also be found as far east as the Mississippi River. They tend to hide under logs or stones, tree trunks, and in tunnels or burrows.

You can usually identify tarantulas by their appearance. They’re 3 to 5 inches long, have a hairy texture, and have visible fangs that hang down.

Tarantulas aren’t aggressive. The venom from the species found in the United States isn’t considered dangerous. Their bite will feel like a bee sting. The area will become warm and red.

Other potential symptoms include:

*rapid heart rate
*eyelid puffiness
*trouble breathing
*low blood pressure

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

5.Brazilian wandering spider:
Native to Central and South America, this spider moves quickly and aggressively. It can grow up to 5 inches long. It’s considered one of the most poisonous spiders in the world.

The bite of a Brazilian wandering spider is extremely painful. It can quickly result in heavy sweating and drooling. The skin around the bite will usually swell, turn red, and get hot. In severe cases, the bite can result in dead tissue or death.

Seek emergency treatment immediately. Antivenom is available for this spider’s bite.

6.Wolf spider:-
Common all over the country, wolf spiders measure 3 to 4 inches long and look similar to tarantulas. They like to stalk their prey by hunting on the ground. You’ll find them in sand and gravel, around the bases of doors and windows, or in house plants.

Look for two large eyes in the middle of their faces, accompanied by six smaller eyes.

A wolf spider’s bite may tear the skin and cause pain, redness, and swelling. You may also experience swollen lymph nodes as a result of the bite.

For some people, healing can take up to 10 days. In rare cases, the bite can lead to tissue damage.

7.Camel spider:
Found in desert climates, the sand-colored camel spider has a powerful pincer on its head. A camel spider will always seek the coolest place around, which just may be your shadow. A fast runner (up to 10 mph), it may be only 2 to 3 inches long. In some locations, it grows up to 6 to 8 inches in length.

Because of its large jaws, a camel spider can leave a significant wound in human skin. These spiders don’t produce venom, but you may get an infection due to the open wound.

You may also experience swelling around the bite wound and mild to intense bleeding.

8.Jumping spider:
One of the most common household spiders, the jumping spider exists throughout the United States. Usually only 1/2 inch long, it has a stout, hairy body.

The most common type is black with white spots on top. It moves erratically in a manner that resembles jumping. You’re likely to find it outside in gardens and near other vegetation.

The jumping spider’s bite is usually no worse than a wasp sting. It can be poisonous if you’re allergic to spider venom. Serious symptoms include:


They’ll attack if threatened, so use gloves when gardening.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.


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