What to Do if Bitten by a Black Widow Spider
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What to Do if Bitten by a Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Spider

Most American spiders are harmless; their bite may leave a small red welt but can not do you any harm. Found throughout the 48 continuous states, the exceptions are the Black Widow Spider and the Brown Recluse Spider--which are both extremely poisonous. Here we will discuss the Black Widow Spider: identification, bite prevention and emergency first aide.

Black Widow Spiders are small black spiders with a large abdomen with a bright red hour glass on their abdomen. They spin webs and like dark places.

They are by nature rather timid and most bites occur when you put your hand or bare foot on them or in their nest. They have been known to climb in laundry clothes and on clothing hanging on clothes lines and bite humans when they fold the clothes, or put them on.

They like building eves, barns, garages, wood piles, old pipes and sheltered areas behind buildings.

Preventing Black Widow Bites: Black Widow Spiders are generally not aggressive spiders. Black Widow bites are generally caused by disturbing or threatening the spider, like crushing with your hand or foot.

Destroy existing Black Widow Spiders and Webs: Inspect your yard and out buildings for Black Widow webs in the spring and fall. Destroy any Black Widows, their webs and eggs. Check inside your garage and sheds in corners, behind and in open boxes and behind washers and dryers, behind large objects and under eves.

Remove brush piles, log stack and rock piles from your yard.

Ensure family members are aware of what Black Widow Spiders look like and their dangers. Have small children show you when they find them.

If you do laundry in a garage or out-building, bring dried clothes into the house immediately to fold.

If Bitten: Ii you think you are bitten, try to verify it was a Black Widow. Symptoms include a red wound site, chills, fever, nausea and very severe abdominal pain. Medical attention is required; small children, senior citizens and those in poor health may die from a Black Widow bite.

If bitten on an arm or leg: snugly tie a compression bandage around the limb close to the bite, snugly, do NOT tie a tourniquet. This should be between the bite and the victim's heart. This will slow the spread of venom.

Elevate the injured part to slow circulation of the venom.

Apply ice packs, cold packs or a cloth soaked in cold water to ease pain of the bite.

Call 911 or transport the victim immediately to your local emergency ward. Victims must receive an anti-venom.

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Comments (3)

Good tips, however I do want to note here that there are some spiders that can also do damage, especially with multiple bites. Some individuals are allergic to different types of spiders and should seek some type of medical help when they show allergic reactions or have been bit multiple times i.e while sleeping... :)

Glad to have never met a Black Widow spider...

They also have a super-strong web, comparitively, stronger than steel.  Their eggsacks are about the shape of a marble, light brown.  Also, their web is constructed as an arrangement of inner twined silk, not your typical "Charlotte's Web".  If you happen to find one on your property, there are sure to be more.