Spider Bites

DANGEROUS SPIDER TYPESbrown recluse spider bite

Of the almost 4000 species of spiders in the United States, only about a dozen are considered medically important. Those species fall into two groups, the brown spiders and the widow spiders.

Several species of brown spiders, also known as violin or fiddle-back spiders, inhabit the southwestern United States. But the brown recluse occurs in roughly the southeastern quarter of the country, and is by far the most common and widespread of the brown spiders.

Three species of black widow spiders are widespread in the United States. The black widow inhabits the southern half of the country. Most common in northern states is the northern black widow which is replaced in the Southwest by the western black widow.


SPIDER BITE SYMPTOMS—Pain, swelling, nervous reactions.

Black Widow Spider Bite: Within a short time the victim feels agonizing pain throughout the body, especially in the abdomen, which may be rigid as a board. Cold sweats, difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes delirium and convulsions occur. Also, Generalized severe pain in your muschles and joints, increased blood pressure and fever are possible.

Black widow bites: Black widow venom is more potent, drop for drop, than the poison of a pit viper (rattlesnake, copperhead, or cotton mouth); but an extremely small amount is injected in each spider bite.

camel spider bite

Pain usually persists for the first eight to 12 hours. Signs and symptoms diminish and go away after several days, although you may still feel weak and experience residual spasms and restlessness for next few weeks or months.

Brown Recluse Spider Bite

  • Burning or stinging sensation when bitten. But some people do not even notice when bitten
  • Redness and swelling around two small bite marks
  • Increasing pain for two to eight hours, which could become severe

First few days, other signs and symptoms may appear:

  • Red or blue (blood-filled) blister at the bite site, which then ruptures and sloughs off to leave a deep, enlarging ulcer.
  • Feeling of illness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and Body aches

If you believe you’ve been bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider, or you start to experience severe pain or cramping in your abdomen or back after a spider bite, see your doctor promptly.spider bite


Clean the bite with soap and water, apply a cold pack and elevate. For pain, take a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Observe the bite for signs of infection.

Next, try to identify the spider and, if possible, collect it and place it in a bag for later confirmation. If it was a black widow or brown recluse spider, stay calm and contact your doctor, a hospital or poison control center at 800-222-1222..

NOTE: Your doctor may also recommend a tetanus booster shot if you haven’t had one in the last five years. Antibiotics may be prescribed if a bacterial infection develops in the bite.

Black Widow Antivenom
If you have severe symptoms form a black widow spider bite, your doctor may recommend an antivenom.

Treatment for brown recluse spider bites
Your doctor may recommend a drug called dapsone to prevent or treat ulceration of a brown recluse spider bite.

In a very few cases, surgical removal of ulcerated tissue may be performed. This is usually done only after the ulceration has stabilized.

For all spider bites many people recommend MASSIVE DOSES of Vitamin C.


Sticky traps are very effective on brown recluse spiders, and help control other pests the spiders may use as food. Note: keep the traps out of the reach of pets and small children. Place them on the floor against walls, behind furniture and in other hidden locations where brown recluse are likely to go.traps as spider bite prevention

You cannot use too many of them. Placing 50 or more traps in the average home should not be considered excessive. The more traps you place, the more likely you are to catch the spiders. Not only do the traps kill brown recluse, they also help pinpoint brown recluse activity. This allows you to focus your pesticide applications.

Pesticides are often a necessary part of brown recluse management. Applications should be targeted on cracks and voids – where brown recluse are known or suspected to be. A larger volume of pesticides may be called for in infested crawlspaces and attics, or around foundation perimeters when brown recluse are found living around a structure’s exterior. Encapsulated formulations of residual pesticides are effective in this role. Also, some dust formulations (pesticides in powdered form) are a good choice for treating spaces such as wall voids.

The use of aerosol foggers is generally ineffective because brown recluse may be hidden so you never see them.