Spiders are venomous, which is how
they paralyze their prey. But spiders
lack an effective delivery (long fangs
and strong jaws) to bite a human.
Occurs rarely and only from bites by
brown recluse named widow spiders.
Spider bite is difficult to diagnose,
especially when the as not seen or
recovered, because the bites typical
give little immediate pain.
Widow spiders have round abdomens that
vary in color from gray to brown to
black, depending on the type. In the
female black widow, the abis shiny
black with a red or yellow spot (often
in Ie of an hourglass) or white spots
or bands. Black spiders are found
throughout the world.
What to Look
Difficult to determine if a person has
been bitten by widow spider or, for
that matter, by any spider.
The victim may feel a sharp pinprick
when the spider bites, but some
victims are not even aware of e bite.
Within 15 minutes, a dull, numbing
pain develops in the bite area.
Note red hourglass
Two small fang marks might be seen as
tiny red spots. . Within 15 minutes to
four hours, muscle stiffness and
cramps occur, usually affecting the
abdomen when the bite is on a lower
part of the body and the shoulders,
back, or chest when the bite is on an
upper part. Victims often describe the
pain as the most severe they have ever
.Headache, chills, fever, heavy
sweating, dizziness, nausea, and
vomiting appear next. Severe pain
around the bite site peaks in two to
three hours and can last 12 to 48
Brown recluse spiders are also known
in North America
as fiddle-back or violin spiders
(_Figure SA ). They have a
violin-shaped figure on their backs
(several other spider species have a
similar configuration on their backs).
Color varies from fawn to dark brown,
with darker legs.
Brown recluse spiders are found
primarily in the southern and
midwestern states, with other, less
toxic, related spiders throughout the
rest of the country. They are absent
from the Pacific Northwest where the
aggressive house spider, also known as
the hobo spider, is found and causes
injuries similar to those of the brown
What to Look For
. A local reaction usually occurs
within two to eight hours with mild to
severe pain at the bite site and
redness, swelling, and local itching.
. In 48 to 72 hours, a blister
develops at the bite site, becomes
red, and bursts. During the early
stages, the affected area often takes
on a bull's-eye appearance, with a
central white area surrounded by a
reddened area, ringed by a whitish or
blue border. A small, red crater
remains, over which a scab forms. When
that scab falls away in a few days, a
larger crater remains. That also scabs
over and falls off, leaving a yet
larger crater. The craters are known
as volcano lesions. This process of
slow tissue destruction can continue
for weeks or even months. The ulcer
sometimes requires skin grafting.
. Fever, weakness, vomiting, joint
pain, and a rash
may occur. Stomach cramps, nausea, and
vomiting may occur.
Tarantulas bite only when vigorously
provoked or roughly handled. The bite
varies from almost painless to a deep
throbbing pain lasting up to 1 hour.
The tarantula, when upset, will
roughly scratch the lower surface of
its abdomen with its legs and flick
hairs onto the invader's skin. The
hairs cause itching and hives that can
last several weeks. Treatment is
cortisone cream and antihistamines.
What to Do (for All Spider Bites)
1. If possible, catch the spider to
confirm its identity. Even if the body
has been crushed, save it for
identification (although most
violin or fiddle configuration on
back. Note bull's-eye approach.
species helps determine' the
treatment, so the dead spider (if it
can be found should be taken with the
victim to the hospital.
2. Clean the bite area with soap and
water or rubbi
3. Place an ice pack over the bite to
relieve pain and
delay the effects of the venom.
4. Fortunately, localized pain, itching,
and swelling the most common
consequences of an spider bites -can
be treated as a first help with our
first aid kit.
5. After first treatment Seek medical attention immediately.
An antivenin exists for black widow
spider bites. It is usually reserved
for children (under 6 years), the
elderly (over 60 and with high blood
pressure), pregnant women, and victims
with severe reactions. The antivenin
will give relief within 1 to 3 hours.
Antivenin for brown recluse and other
spider bit, is not currently
Scorpions look like miniature
lobsters, with lobster-tail, pincers
and a long up curved "tail" with a
poisonous stinger . Several species of
scorpions can be found in the
southwestern United States, but only
the dark scorpion poses a threat to
What to Look For
The most frequent symptom of a
scorpion sting, especially in an adult
victim, is local, immediate pain and
burning around the sting site. Later,
numbness or ting occurs.