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Health Tip

Home :: Spider Bites

Spider Bites - Symptoms And It's Home Treatment

The bites of spiders can be poisonous and painful. How­ever, most spiders are not big enough to cause serious harm. Infants, older adults, and people of any age who have allergies are at greatest risk of having more serious reactions.


Two types of spider-the black widow and the brown recluse-are more poisonous than most and can cause a serious reaction.

Black widow spiders generally live in trash, closets, attics, woodpiles, garages and other dark places. They are found throughout California, especially in the warmer regions such as the Central Valley and Southern California. Only the female spider is dangerous to humans. The bite of the black widow spider can cause abdominal pain similar to that of appendicitis, spastic muscle contractions, and localized tissue death. In about 4 percent of cases, black widow bites lead to anaphylactic shock and death. This spider has a black body with a red hour­glass shape on the main body segment.

Brown Recluse Spider bites can occur at any time of the year- spring, summer, winter or fall. This is because they live in the home and are not affected by the cold. Adult Brown Recluse spiders are yellowish-tan to dark brown. The most distinguishing mark on a Brown Recluse spider is the presence of a dark brown or black violin or fiddle on its back with the violin's "neck" pointing toward the rear of its body. For this reason, they are sometimes called "violin spiders" or "fiddleback spiders". Both male and female spiders are similar in appearance and are equally venomous. Brown Recluse Spiders are usually 1 inch or larger in size, including the legs. They can grow as large as almost 3 inches. Young Brown Recluse spiders are smaller and somewhat lighter in color.

The venom of the brown recluse spider usually creates a blister encircled by red and white rings. This "bull's-eye" appearance is used to distinguish it from other spider bites. Death from this type of bite is even more rare than from black widow bites.

Symptoms of Spider bites

However, a bite from a poisonous spider may produce a wide variety of symptoms, including intense pain, numbness, redness, and swelling in the affected area, as well as generalized convulsions, difficulty breathing, dizziness, fever or chills, headache, impaired speech, itching, joint pain, muscle spasms, muscular cramping, nausea, stiffness, sweating, vomiting, and weakness.

Home remedies for the Spider bites treatment

  • A cream containing 5 percent tea tree oil helps to heal insect bites, sunburn, cuts, rashes, and other skin irritations.
  • Ginkgo biloba helps to relieve muscle pains and helps to treat a spider bite.
  • Yellow dock purifies the blood and is beneficial for many problems affecting the skin. Drink as much yellow dock tea as you can, or take 2 capsules of yellow dock every hour until symptoms are relieved.
  • A mixture of lobelia and crushed charcoal tablets is beneficial for insect bites and most wounds.
  • Use essential oils of basil, cinnamon, lavender, lemon, sage, savory, or thyme for their antitoxic and anti venomous properties. Apply a drop of essential oil on the sting.
  • Use a hot water bottle relieves the pain of a black widow spider bite.
  • Folk remedy: Make a paste with dried, unripe mango-peel powder and water. Apply on the bit wound. It is a good home remedy to treat a spider bite.
  • Cold compresses and elevation of the bitten part relieve the pain of a fiddle back spider bite.
  • Apply a piece of garlic or onion to the site. Both garlic and onion contain enzymes that break down the substance the body releases in response to pain. For best results, pound or steam the herb (and let it cool) before you apply it to the skin. If the smell of garlic or onion on your skin bothers you, avoid this remedy.

Spider Bite Prevention

  • Eliminate other household pests; prey insects such as flies, ants and cockroaches, which attract spiders.
  • Use yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs at outside entrances to reduce night-flying prey insects which may attract spiders.
  • Wear gloves and long sleeved shirts when gathering wood from woodpiles, cleaning out garages, barns, sheds or other outbuildings. 
  • Avoid putting clothing on the floor when you go to bed at night.
  • Seal boxes and storage bags. Keep them away from a wall where possible.

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