Signs, Symptoms, and Spider Bite Treatment

Though most spiders are harmless, there are a couple which may cause more serious negative health effects. Black widows and brown recluse spiders are the two most dangerous spiders in North America. Here are some signs, symptoms, and spider bite treatment.

Black Widow Spiders

"Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus)" by Bloomingdedalus - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

“Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus)” by Bloomingdedalus – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Black widow spiders are black with a red hourglass-looking mark on their bellies. The males are very small and harmless, but the female black widow bite can pack a powerful wallop.

The bite may feel like a slight pen prick. First you may notice some red marks or slight swelling. After an hour or so, though, there is intense pain and stiffness surrounding the bite. Here are a few other symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Pain

Even though a black widow bite is painful and the symptoms almost unbearable, black widow bites are almost never lethal.

Brown Recluse Spiders

"Brown Recluse" by Rosa Pineda - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

“Brown Recluse” by Rosa Pineda – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Brown recluses are brown spiders that have a violin-shaped marking on their heads. While non-aggressive, brown recluses can bite if they are trapped between the skin and another surface.

The bites are rarely noticeable at first, but begin to sting within a couple of hours. Up to eight hours later, a blister will form accompanied by intense pain. The blister will give way to a deep ulcer. Nausea and stomach pain may follow, but not always. If not properly treated, the bite can cause necrosis, which eats away at the skin. As with the black widow, brown recluse bites are rarely deadly.

What to Do if Bitten

Signs, symptoms, and spider bite treatment should be taken very seriously. Here are a few things you can do if you notice any signs and symptoms:

  • Clean the area where the bite is.
  • Put ice or a cloth with cold water onto the bite.
  • Wrap a bandage around the area.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relief medicine and/or antihistamines.
  • If the bite is on a limb, elevate it.

If symptoms worsen or become unbearable, seek medical attention. If there is redness or discoloration that spreads from the bite, you should also seek medical attention. Rarely, but importantly, spider bites can cause an allergic reaction that may be more severe than the bite itself. In that case, immediately seek help.

All in all, the signs, symptoms, and spider bite treatment are fairly easy to spot. It is important to realize that spider bites are rarely deadly. This will help you to remain calm in order to properly take care of the bite and seek proper medical attention. And remember, call or click here to schedule an appointment with Absolute Pest Control to get rid of spiders if you see any. This will help prevent you from being bitten in the first place.