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Spider Bites: What You Should Know

When you go hiking or camping, you're bound to come across creepy crawlers. Most bugs, like mosquitoes, are annoying yes, but fairly harmless. If you're lucky enough to not have to worry about bee allergies, you still need to be on the look out for spiders.

Only a few spiders are dangerous to humans, but 2 live in the U.S., and are most commonly found in the southern states. The black widow spider and the brown recluse spider both prefer warm climates and dark, dry places where flies are plentiful. They often live in littered, undisturbed areas, such as closets, woodpiles and under sinks.

What should you do if you've been bitten by one of these? To find out

The female black widow gives a more serious bite, but is rarely lethal. You can identify a black widow by the striking red hourglass marking on the underside of its belly. The bite feels like a pinprick, and at first you may only notice slight swelling and redness. Within a few hours, intense pain and stiffness begin. You may also get chills, fever, nausea, and severe abdominal pain.

The brown recluse spider has a violin-shaped marking on the top of its body. The bite feels like a sting, but within 8 hours, you'll have redness and intense pain. A fluid-filled blister forms and then falls off, leaving a deep, enlarging ulcer. On rare occasion, death results, but mostly in children.

If you've been bitten by any spider, clean the area immediately with soap and water, and then apply a cool compress. Aspirin or Tylenol may be taken to alleviate pain.

If you have been bitten by a black widow or brown recluse, and the bite is on an arm or leg, tie a snug bandage above the bite to prevent the venom from spreading. Apply a cold compress to the area and seek medical attention. Black widow spider bites may require anti-venom medication, and brown recluse bites may be treated with corticosteroids.

Fit's Tips: Always camp, backpack or hike with a friend for safety. Bring along a first aid kit including ice packs, bandages and Tylenol. Carrying along your cell phone is also a great idea.

Source and Source

freegracefrom freegracefrom 10 years
Ugh, really wishing I didn't read the stories from the comments. HATE SPIDERS. HATE HATE HATE.
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
Spiders are the one thing I'm allergic to. I've had my hand swell so big my fingers didn't move, back spasms, swollen leg, all kinds of fun things. And those weren't even from poisonous spiders. I dread thinking about what would happen if I were bitten by one of these.
intensebandgeek intensebandgeek 10 years
Thanks, Fit!
sailing-chick sailing-chick 10 years
I HATE spiders & snakes most of all, but I'm not a fan of any crepy crawly. Anyway just so you can feel my pain, I live in Australia, which has the highest number of poisonous spiders and snakes. They freak me out but am lucky enough my boyfriend understands this and is really good when he hears me scream/stop breathing or freak out in general over them. Camping's a whole different story as I have to completely check the tent and my bed before I go to sleep. Again, at least my boy's patient and good in that regard that he normally does it for me.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
i've never been bit, luckily - i mostly don't mind spiders since they eat other annoying bugs but i dont want to get too close to them just incase. any idea which ones are poisonous in Canada?
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 10 years
I live in GA and have seen these spiders... I had a spider bite once that on my knee that swelled to the size of a golf ball... but luckily it wasn't from any lethal spider...
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 10 years
gingered.. you just gave me the heebie jeebies!! Spiders don't really bother me... I'll even scoop them up if I find them in the house and take them outside to live out their lives. *HOWEVER* scorpions are another story. Those things aint spiders.. they're in a whole category by themselves. Your post about how one crawled out of your pant leg (that you was wearing).... AHHHH! I soiled myself just reading that!!
mlmoreno47 mlmoreno47 10 years
juuuust great! I'm going camping next week and this is just what I needed to freak me out more! I saw this thing on Oprah yesterday about a woman getting attacked by a bear and I'll just keep adding things to my list! At this rate I'm just going to stop leaving the house! And, does anyone else think a spider that goes by the name 'recluse' should do just that, and recluse!
AlecksNWondrland AlecksNWondrland 10 years
I got bit by some kind of phatom spider in my bathroom. Just felt a tiny prick in my left calf and in a matter of hours turned my whole leg black and blue and i got a fever and stomach ache. Doctors didn't know what kind it was so they couldnt do anything for me =( Wasn't very fun!
GeikoSera GeikoSera 10 years
SCARY! *wimpers*
starofsorrow starofsorrow 10 years
I've seen both black widows and brown recluse in my area.....which is a HUGE eek for me. I dislike spiders, so I venture farrrrrr away from it if I can. Once I thought I was bitten by a spider, and I told a friend. he asked what kind it was. I didn't know what kind, and he immediatley started freaking out because I had seen something that looked like a brown recluse in my house. Not a fun experince, I'll tell you. Thankfully, nothing happened after taking Benedcyrl.
gingereg gingereg 10 years
i put on a pair of jeans that i picked up off the floor one morning (i'm a slob, i know...) and i wore them for about 20 minutes before i felt something weird on my leg. i thought it was just the seam of the jeans scratching me and didn't pay any attention. a while later i felt it again and looked down to see a scorpian crawling out the bottom from inside my jeans leg. i stripped down naked and didn't put anything on until my guy came home and i made him inspect a different outfit that was hanging in the closet before i put it on...just to be safe. i haven't worn clothing off the floor since then...which is probably for the best. : )
arienne arienne 10 years
Spider bites are horrible! I was bitten by something here in California (the doctor could identify it as a spider bite, but couldn't tell exactly which species). Luckily it wasn't as bad as a brown recluse but it was not fun. I had a very high fever and my neck and forehead turned bright red. I was so sick, I was in bed for days - even after antibiotics.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
A former boss of mine was bit by a brown recluse while cleaning out leaves at his home in Southern Califoria. At first he didn't know what it was and figured it was just a bite on his leg. It got worse very fast. It eventually turned his entire leg beat red and he started to lose feeling. He went to the ER a couple days after the bite and the flesh was already starting to disapear. They ended up having to take a HUGE chunk of his skin and tissue out to prevent it from spreading. He couldn't walk on the leg for two weeks and felt the pain for months after. If you really want to be grossed out - search for brown recluse spider bites on the internet.
gingereg gingereg 10 years
there was a black widow in our garage week before last. i noticed it right in the corner, near the button for the garage door opener...not even 3 inches away from where i press the button every day. i took tons of pictures just so my fiancee would believe me, that we actually DO live in a death-zone, then i sprayed the h*ll out of it with spider killer. and over the weekend a 6 ft. rattle snake was found in our neighbors yard. sooo, yeah, if any of ya'll want to visit to georgia, it's totally safe...i swear...and not hot at all. never humid. haha...just kidding. i really do love it here...death zone or not.
mizz_jennii mizz_jennii 10 years
EEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God I HATE spiders, jsut looking at them creeps me out!!!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
my neighbor got bit by a brown recluse (or violin spider because of the shape) and his bite never healed. once the venom killed some of the tissue around the bite, it wouldn't close. ew. wolf spiders look scary, but i don't think they are poisenous. I had 20 of them jump on my legs from a nest before...i screamed, brushed them off as fast as i could, and ran like hell haha
yogini yogini 10 years
That was really gross but good information to know...:)
divinedebris divinedebris 10 years
I've got the freaking chills from even thinking about spiders. Thanks for the information, if I got bit by a spider all I would think to do is freak out/scream. Not helpful.
jhuck jhuck 10 years
Spiders creep me out! My grandma got bitten by a spider on the nose before. That made for an interesting story.
linsita linsita 10 years
I was bitten by a brown recluse when I was a kid. I now have a scar the diameter of a golf ball on my inner thigh. I like to think of it as a battle wound =)
kiddylnd kiddylnd 10 years
Don't forget the HOBO spider!!! They have bites that act much like the Brown Recluse. Trust me...I know from first hand experience!
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
I'm freaking out...
Hootie Hootie 10 years
I hate spiders! Eeewwww! But thanks for the info. FYI mosquitoes are dangerous here in Cali... West Nile Virus is spreading fast. Another person died last week. From a mosquito bite! Wear your DEET when in Cali...
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