Most of us would rather jump on top of the table than get anywhere close to a spider. But sometimes, these critters take us by surprise, and we wind up getting bit. We may be cleaning out the attic and disturb a spider in the dark corner of the room. We might be walking through the forest and accidentally brush up against these creepy crawlies when walking past a tree.
But when spider bites happen, we tend to panic.
This bite hurts. Was it a venomous spider? Am I going to die?
Before you get swept away in fear, remember that spider deaths are rare. Chances are, you were bit by a harmless spider.
Still, it helps to identify bite symptoms, so you know whether you were bit by a venomous spider and if you should get treatment.
Table of Contents
- Venomous Spider Bites
- Non-Venomous Spider Bites
- Diseases Caused by Spider Bites
- Spider Prevention
- Most Effective Spider Bites Topical Treatment
Venomous Spider Bites
Venomous spider bites are the most concerning because they can cause serious side effects if you’re allergic, have a weak immune system or are bit by the wrong spider. Kids are especially vulnerable to venom, and death is a very real danger.
Bites from venomous spiders usually present different symptoms than bites from non-venomous spiders.
- Intense pain
- A ring or bulls’-eye
- Puncture marks on the skin
- High blood pressure
- Severe abdominal pain
- Muscle cramping
- Joint pain
- Elevated heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Puffy eyes
- Permanent tissue damage
The symptoms you experience will depend on the species of spider that bit you.
Most species of spiders are not poisonous, but if you’re bit by any of the following spiders, you need to seek medical attention right away:
- Black widow (glossy black spiders with a red hourglass shape)
- Brown recluse
- Brazilian wandering spider
- Hobo spider
These are the most dangerous venomous spider species (with neurotoxic venom components), and their bites can trigger the symptoms above.
2. Fatal or Not?
What do the black widow, brown recluse and Brazilian wandering spiders have in common? They all have reputations for being deadly spiders.
But can their bites really kill you?
Scientists say that while venomous spiders can cause unsettling symptoms, fatalities are actually rare – in adults. Widow spider envenomation can be dangerous in certain individuals.
Children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of complication and maybe even death.
Even though deaths in healthy adults are rare, it’s crucial to get medical attention right away if you’re bit by a venomous spider. There are too many potential complications and risks to take a chance.
3. First Aid & Treatment
If you’re bit by a spider and you don’t know if it’s a venomous spider, get medical attention right away.
The doctor will provide you with the appropriate treatment and inject antivenin if necessary.
Non-Venomous Spider Bites
Non-venomous spider bites are more of a nuisance than anything else. They can be painful and a little cringeworthy to look at, but they’re generally harmless.
Still, these bites do produce symptoms.
- Red welt
- Skin damage
Some non-venomous spiders can cause other unsettling symptoms. The camel spider, for example, produces a steadily-enlarging open sore when it bites.
2. First Aid & Treatment
To care for a non-venomous spider bite:
- Clean the wound with mild soap and water.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment.
- Place a cool compress on the bite to bring down the swelling.
- Elevate arms or legs if bitten in these areas.
- Take an over-the-counter pain medication.
The pain may subsist for several days, so you may want to take an over-the-counter pain medication to manage the discomfort. Keep the wound clean, and be on the lookout for allergy symptoms.
Seek medical attention if you experience any troubling symptoms.
Diseases Caused by Spider Bites
Spider bites aren’t typically associated with diseases, but scientists are finding that in some cases, they can actually carry and transmit Lyme disease.
Contrary to what you may have heard, Lyme disease can be transmitted by other creatures aside from ticks. Spiders, mites and even fleas can transmit this disease.
They say that prevention is the best way to avoid spider bites. You can’t get bit by a spider if you don’t have any in your home.
But realistically, there are few effective ways to keep these critters out of your home or yard.
Repellents can help. The most effective and natural spider repellents include:
- Tea tree oil
If you’re out in the wild, preventing spider bites becomes even more difficult. The best way to protect yourself from any type of bite is to wear long pants and long sleeves. Spiders and other insects will have trouble getting through your layer of clothing to your skin.
Most Effective Spider Bites Topical Treatment
1. PIC Bite Relief
Instant and effective, PIC’s bite relief product is travel-friendly and highly affordable. This product provides sting and bite relief from a variety of insects, including spiders, flies, bess, mosquitoes, wasps, chiggers, hornets, ants, jellyfish and more.
Bite Relief uses phenol, menthol, benzocaine and camphor to provide relief. These ingredients also have anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Use
- Turn the vial upside down to moisten the “dabber top”
- Dab onto the bite in a circular motion.
- Apply up to 4 times per day.
Does it Work?
Yes. Bite Relief’s active ingredients cool, reduce inflammation and help stop itching or pain. But be mindful that this product cannot be used on children under the age of two unless advised by a doctor.
2. Fast Acting Itch Relief by 911 Relief
Quick and easy to use, 911 Relief’s is a fast-acting spray that helps alleviate the swelling and discomfort caused by spider bites and other bites.
The great thing about this product is that you can use it to treat a variety of bites for added relief. And if you happen to get poison ivy, sunburn or windburn, this product can provide relief.
This spray works by returning your skin to its normal pH, reducing swelling and killing bacteria in five minutes.
How to Use
- Spray the affected area.
- Allow to dry.
Repeat application until the pain and discomfort disappears.
Does it Work?
Yes. 911 Relief’s spray really does provide relief. It’s fast-acting, has an indefinite shelf life and is not sensitive to hot or cold.
3. Mitigator Sting & Bite Scrub Treatment
Mitigator’s sting and bite scrub provides fast itching and pain relief. Formulated without harsh chemicals, this product draws out toxins from the pores, and can even prevent scarring and blistering.
The active ingredient in Mitigator’s treatment is sodium bicarbonate. The treatment also contains walnut shells and other complementing ingredients to alleviate pain and itching fast.
How to Use
- Scrub the treatment on the bite.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Rub off the treatment.
Simple and easy to use, this treatment is a pleasure to use.
Does it Work?
Yes, and many people say this is one of the most effective treatments for painful spider bites.