Spider Bites - Type of Spider and Reaction

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Are spider bites dangerous?

Most spiders do not have mouth parts strong enough to penetrate human skin, and the majority of spiders found in the U.S. and are actually harmless. There are two notable exceptions, the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider, which are both dangerous to humans. Spider bites are fortunately uncommon. In many cases, presumed spider bites are actually due to another skin condition or an insect sting.

The black widow and brown recluse spiders are more common in the southern states of the U.S. They prefer warm, dry climates and undisturbed areas such as basements, closets, woodpiles, attics, or under sinks. The black widow spider is a small, black, shiny spider with a red hourglass marking on its belly. The brown recluse spider is sometimes termed a "violin spider." It is about an inch long and has a marking resembling a violin on the upper part of its back. Bites from both the black widow and brown recluse spiders are dangerous to humans and require prompt emergency medical care.

Return to Spider Bites (Including Black Widow and Brown Recluse)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Gina, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 07

My daughter was bitten by a brown recluse about 3 years ago. It looked like a small ant bite at first, with a little white head. She popped it and it became blue, purple and black. We went to a doctor who gave her antibiotics and sent her home. The next day the bite started oozing black stuff before our eyes. We went to see a surgeon who admitted her right away. She had a core removed about 1 inch in diameter and 2 inches deep on the front of leg, right under her knee. She was in the hospital for 7 days on IV antibiotics. Definately nothing to play around with.

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Comment from: Widows ruined me, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 26

About 4 years ago I started getting progressively worse stomach cramps and itching all over. After a few months of the doctor unable to figure it out, I lost all of my energy and started having heavy chest pain and severe joint pain especially in my upper back. After 100K in billing to the quacks and countless hours of arguing with quacks who swore nothing was wrong with me and I was faking it, I woke up to a black widow spider biting my back. It turns out there was a nest under my night stand and I was being bitten frequently. Quacks kept telling me it was back acne and not bites wouldn"t even run the test when I asked about a possible black widow bite on the first visit and the mention of possible stomach cancer made spiders seem unimportant at the time. I used to work in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), a lot of attics and crawl spaces. I got some of the right blood tests to prove it and now I'm suing the hospital, not because they didn"t find it but because after the cancer screen they treated me like a lying drug addict when my body was so wrecked I was suicidal. My body is still in horrible shape and will probably never recover fully, I'm 32 and my joints are so bad I have the mobility of my 80 year old grandfather.

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