Black Widow Spider Bites and What You Need To Know!

Colder temperatures mean spiders are headed indoors. In many parts of the country, that includes black widows. Here’s how to treat a black widow bite.

Black Widows: Know Your Spider

Black widows typically have some sort of red marking on their abdomens, but not always. The marking is usually shaped like an hourglass. These spiders live under eaves and around undisturbed debris, woodpiles, porch furniture, barns, sheds and outhouses.

Signs and Symptoms of a Black Widow Bite

If you get a black widow bite, you may experience some or all of these symptoms:

  • painful bite (but not always)
  • two tiny fang marks, possibly a little red mark, maybe some swelling (but sometimes there’s no evidence of the bite)
  • muscle aches and cramping of the abdomen, back and extremities that can be severe
  • increased sweating or salivation
  • elevated blood pressure
  • rarely, seizures or respiratory difficulties that can result in death, usually in children
  • symptoms usually peak within about 12 hours but can continue for several days

How to Treat a Black Widow Bite

  • Apply cold packs to the bite area intermittently for five- to 10-minute intervals. (Place a cloth between the pack and the skin.)
  • Call the regional poison control office for advice. Its number should be on your speed dial. Find the number for your regional office at www.aapcc.org.
  • Seek medical care, if possible. There is an antivenom for those who develop severe symptoms.
  • Wash the bite area with soap and water, and apply an antibacterial ointment.
  • Take whatever you have for the pain. Often, strong narcotics are needed.

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Original Article By  and can be found here


3 comments

  • Wow! I have a similar incident to tell you about. Two years ago, I was bitten by something while sleeping. The next day there was a tiny, red spot on my forehead. I thought it might be the beginning of a “zit.” in a few days, my forehead and my right eye and cheek was swollen red, burning and itchy. The condition was not “zit.” So, I visited an Urgent Care Facility. The doctor thought I had pink eye. The end result is that no one know what bit me and no medical personnel I have consulted about this were any help. The result was the my skin (where the “zit” was) turned black and then there was a scab. Now I have a deep scar on my forehead over my right eye, and I have recurrent and intermittent, inflammation, swelling, and itching and tearing in that eye. And, again, no doctor has been able to help me resolve this now chronic issue!

    Anne
  • Live in tampa,fl.area, i know i have blk.widows,i have to organize my garage,I’ve seen the spiders in there and spray 2-3 x a year for all bugs with ortho pioson mix ,for extra protection i decided to wait for cooler temperatures in January, at what temperature will they be less likely to bite ?

    Lawrence
  • Any insect bite can be dangerous. Less than a month ago a very small insect bit my right wrist. It was the most painful bite I have ever experienced in my life. It took a 1/2mm chunk out of my wrist. I contacted the county ag dept. and from their suggestions, I think it was a midge.I have been bitten by deer flies, horse flies, stung by bees and bitten by red ants that won’t let go until mashed. This was the most painful bite of all. The worst was yet to come. I washed the bite and applied witch hazel to it which didn’t help. I applied ice which did. The next day my arm was swollen and red almost to my elbow. I went to an urgent care center. The doctor there said it was cellulitis and most likely MRSA. He prescribed sulfanilomide and another drug. That night I had red streaks up my arm to my elbow. However, by the next morning the red streaks were gone and the swelling had started to subside. By the third day when I returned to the U.C. center the swelling was almost all gone except for about a 2 by 2 " square around the bite. The doctor said because of the response to the drug there was no doubt it was a MRSA infection. I couldn’t believe it. The insect was so small that after I smashed it there was hardly anything to see. The result of the bite was scary to say the least. I should have washed the area with alcohol first and then did the other stuff. Well, that’s another lesson learned the hard way. Lesson learned: Even a tiny insect bite can have serious consequences. Don’t ignore basic first aid.

    C E Voigtsberger

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