Health at Home: Top Tips for Identifying and Treating Spider Bites 


Spiders are found all over the United States. While some are harmless, the bites of others like the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse can be fatal. Knowing how to identify and treat spider bites can be useful, so here is some guidance.

How to Identify a Spider Bite

Both venomous and non-venomous spiders can cause painful bites. When a spider is non-venomous, its bite rarely causes pain that lasts more than an hour. Spider bites can become red and itchy, and they may be painless, or they may be incredibly painful.

Sometimes you may not realize you have been bitten until later on. If the bite did not hurt, it may be nothing to worry about, but even so, it could still be from a dangerous spider.

You may want to check online for some photos of bites to try and identify the spider, like this Black Widow bite or this Brown Recluse bite. However, unless you are an expert, this may be difficult to do effectively.

The best way to identify the spider is to catch it, but this is only possible if you realize when you are bitten. If you can, try and kill or capture the spider, and that way you can take it to the doctor with you for identification.

Treating a Spider Bite

It’s important to treat a spider bite as soon as you notice it. Clean the site of the bite properly using soap, and then dampen a cloth and hold it over the bite. Elevate the site of the bite if you suspect it was from a venomous spider.

You do not always have to seek medical attention if you notice a bite, but if you suspect a Black Widow or a Brown Recluse bit you, seek medical attention immediately because these bites can be deadly.

If the symptoms worsen, get it checked out as soon as possible. You may experience a bad headache, vomiting, nausea, and other symptoms, and you should always get it checked out if you are concerned.

If the reaction continues to worsen after 24 hours, always seek medical attention. For example, if the redness is spreading, the pain is increasing, or you feel numbness in the area, see a doctor. Even harmless spiders can cause allergic reactions, although it is rare, so never ignore a bite.

Dealing with Spiders in the Home

Spiders are found all over the USA in homes and gardens. They are often found in sheds, basements, under furniture, and in the corners of rooms. Most spiders only bite when they feel threatened, so you are more likely to get bitten when you accidentally disturb a spider.

If you spot a dangerous spider, or numerous spiders, in or around your home, you may want to get your home treated by a specialist like Fischer Environmental Services. Expert pest control providers can rid your home of spiders and destroy any nests that may be hidden.

Take Spider Bites Seriously

While most spider bites are nothing to worry about, sometimes they can be dangerous. Do your best to identify the spider that bit you, but always seek medical care if you think it may have been one of the dangerous spiders or if the site of the bite or your symptoms worsen. Never ignore a bite, and keep a close eye on it, especially when a child or an elderly person is bitten.

Robert Kunst has extensive knowledge of the pest control industry, having been working in this field since 1974. Past president of 3 associations, today he is president of Fischer Environmental Services.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman of 

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