Spiders have mixed reputations around the world. Although they are naturally efficient in controlling pests that many of us can not stand, like biting flies and mosquitoes, they also inspire fear and most of us, in general, bugs. Although spiders are magnificent creatures that help balance ecosystems and keep pesky insect populations under control, they do so with an efficient arsenal of weapons designed to kill and subdue their prey quickly and effectively.
Although most spiders are harmless to humans, some have fangs large enough to cause irritation and poisons strong enough to take you to the emergency room. Knowing how the most dangerous varieties look and the warning signs of a bad bite can save your life and limbs.
What kind of spiders do you need to be aware of?
There are not too many spiders in the US UU That they can put you in the hospital, so do not go crazy with bug bombs yet.
However, knowing who you should take care of can reassure you and prepare you to deal with the eradication of those you do not want at home.
This is a well-known spider in the USA. UU Due to its widespread distribution, from coast to coast, mainly in the south. Although these spiders are not known to be aggressive, their bites pose a serious threat to humans. Symptoms include:
- irritation and necrosis in the bite tissue, which sometimes leads to amputation
- if it is not treated, death
These bites are incredibly painful, and if you suspect that you have been bitten (trust me, you will notice), seek medical treatment immediately.
To correctly identify these spiders, look for a black violin-shaped mark on your abdomen, with the neck pointing towards the end of the spider. They are often found in cool, shaded areas, such as cabinets, garages, and woodpiles. If you see one, be sure to eradicate them as quickly as possible and warn family members about unwelcome guests.
This spider is well known, and very little introduction is needed for its brand characteristics. Its large black and shiny abdomen and its bright red hourglass shape are unmistakable, although there are some morphological differences due to its wide distribution. Black widows are found throughout the United States. UU., From Canada to Mexico, and tend to prefer dark, dry and protected areas, such as brown inmates. Look out for them in the outbuildings, the dense bushes and the sheds.
Their bites are incredibly powerful, with a venom that acts as a rapid neurotoxin, causing immediate symptoms, such as:
- Severe pain and swelling at the site of the bite.
- muscle cramps
- chills and / or fever
- nausea and vomiting
- severe pain and discomfort
- high blood pressure
- if it is not treated, death
The symptoms of black widow bites progress very quickly, and severe ones appear on the list often within 30 to 60 minutes. But there is good news: in 1956 a very reliable antidote was produced and made available to the public, so there are very few deaths from this bite in the current era of modern medicine.
Another spider very common in North America, the vagabond spider, is typically found near ground level in protected areas, which usually leads to human habitation. They are found mainly in the western United States, preferring drier climates. These spiders are notoriously aggressive, so if you see one, keep your distance. They will bite often with little provocation.
Although their bites are usually quite painless at first, over the course of the next few hours, they will develop an unpleasant blister as the venom spreads and causes symptoms such as:
- temporary memory loss
- visual disability
These spiders can be a bit difficult to identify, due to their common color and appearance. However, they have some live chevron marks on their abdomen, but do not get too close to verify their identity.
Yellow sack spiders
These spiders are not particularly known, despite being scattered throughout the United States, from coast to coast. They have pale yellow to pale pink bodies, although oddly enough, this color may vary depending on the prey they have eaten recently. Usually, they prefer the shelter of their cozy home, creating nets in comfortable places like twisted sheets, corners and crevices.
Despite its limited notoriety as a terrifying arachnid, it is believed that they caused the majority of non-serious spider bites in the country. Their preference for dark and small spaces gives them a large amount of anonymity, which makes it difficult to assign an exact number in cases of bites, since many victims do not even see the spider guilty.
These spiders are slightly poisonous, their bites cause symptoms such as:
- pain and swelling
- mild necrosis
- edema (fluid trapped under the skin)
The symptoms are relatively mild compared to the bites of other spiders, and rarely leave large scars. Just be sure to treat the wound quickly to avoid unnecessary pain or the possibility of an infection.
These are just some of the most common spiders in the United States. Some of them are easily distinguishable, others may require a closer inspection to identify them. If you see spiders in your house (and who does not), carefully observe and identify the species with which you share the rooms. I have a mentality to live and let live, even with little creepy things like spiders.
If they are not poisonous or particularly aggressive, I suggest that they allow them to go shopping at home and that their family is aware of their presence. Keeping them around will keep pests at bay much more irritating. However, if you discover that you have a dangerous population of arachnids nearby, inform your family immediately and take steps to eradicate them.
While deaths from spiders are rare in the US UU., A bite of a brown inmate to a baby is much more dangerous and potentially deadly and can have quick and serious consequences. Call a professional exterminator immediately, or take your own measures, preferably with natural means, to eliminate them and prevent further establishment.
Emergency spider bite treatment (before hospital)
There is no doubt that the best thing to do when you notice a spider bite is to go to the hospital and seek professional medical attention. But this is not a perfect world and you may not always be able to see a doctor right away.
In case of trouble, there are some things you can do to control the pain and swelling, and stop the spread of the poison before it causes much damage.
First things first, locate the wound and clean it really well with an antiseptic solution. You want to kill any bacteria in the bite that could complicate your situation with an unpleasant infection. Use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, retain your squeak and rinse the wound. Then, apply a topical antibiotic ointment and a wound dressing if necessary.
If you experience swelling and pain, it should be perfectly fine to take something like ibuprofen or Tylenol to relieve it. Just be sure to tell your GP what you have taken, in case there are contraindications to something you try to give him in the hospital. A good safe bet is always a topical anesthetic, which is good to have on hand, period. The benzocaine or lidocaine spray can help temporarily numb the area and relieve pain if it is too intense.
If the swelling is still quite bad, apply a cold compress. This will help with inflammation and, in turn, act as a topical anesthetic. Be sure to keep the sterile area, however, seal the wound if necessary. If your injury is in an arm or leg, elevate the limb to prevent blood pressure from rising and produce additional inflammation.
There are some things that you definitely do not want to do when you have a spider bite. Many things can exacerbate your situation even more, facilitating the swelling and spread of the poison. One of them is high activity. As sweating increases, your heart pumps faster, raises your blood pressure and circulates blood contaminated with poison through your body. Just sit down and let someone else take care of you.
Another thing to avoid is a tourniquet. Many people have the instinct to apply one in the hope of helping to isolate the poison, but this can make things worse by limiting blood flow, causing weakness and even increasing pressure.
In addition, trying to remove the poison with suction devices, or even cutting out the affected tissue, can not only cause more damage and infection, it can even spread the poison to the person trying to help. Leave the removal of damaged and necrotic tissue to medical professionals.
While antibiotic creams can definitely be useful for treating a spider bite, be sure not to use steroid creams, which facilitate a more rapid spread of the infection. Also, never apply heat to the area. As with other misconceptions about treatment, this will only create more inflammation and, again, increase blood pressure and facilitate the spread of the poison.
There is not much more than a basic first aid kit that can help with spider bite treatments at home.
Consequences of spider bites: from the subtle to what changes life.
Not all spiders have a deadly bite. In fact, many have tusks too small to harm us, or poisons too light to affect us. The symptoms of a spider bite can vary from a certain swelling in the site, to fevers, coma and death. Knowing the symptoms of a bite and what to look for can help you assess the severity of the situation and if you need to seek emergency medical attention.
The most typical symptoms of spider bites, as we have reviewed, are typically swelling and inflammation at the site, along with fever and nausea. The severity varies according to the type and location of the bite, but if not treated immediately, these bites can cause severe necrosis of the surrounding tissue.
Necrosis is when the tissue literally dies, in this case as a result of the spider’s venom. If allowed to spread long enough, some patients end up losing large amounts of muscle tissue, as the surgeon removes the affected tissue to prevent further damage, and the cells are dead and can not be repaired anyway. In extreme cases that do not receive medical treatment fast enough, it may be necessary to amputate the extremities completely.
Spiders that have neurotoxins in their venom, such as the black widow, can even cause lasting neurological damage, although this can be preceded by death if the poison is allowed to spread for such a long period of time. Modern medicine and innovations in immunology have led to the development of antivenoms, so only a very small number (less than 1%) of people in the US. UU They die from spider bites.
Modern innovations in the treatment of spider bites.
Antivenin is undoubtedly the best and most reliable treatment of mankind for spider bites. Antivenoms are produced by taking venom from the poisonous spider and then introducing it into the body of a host animal, such as a pig or a sheep. The body of the animal has an immune response to the poison, which triggers the production of antibodies. These antibodies are collected to produce the antivenom.
The antidotes are administered by medical professionals in the case of a poisonous spider bite, by intravenous injection. The antidote then binds to the poison itself, neutralizing the toxin and stopping further damage. However, the injection of an antivenom will not undo the necrosis caused by the poison. That is why it is so important to get to the hospital at the first sign of a poisonous spider bite: once the cells die and the necrosis begins, that tissue can not be recovered.
Arachnids are a beautiful and undoubtedly necessary part of the great design of nature. Gardeners in particular appreciate their carnivorous presence and their help in managing pest populations that can take advantage of their products. As diseases spread through mosquito bites more and more rapidly, we can observe the order of the food chain and the role of the spider to maintain balance with these insects and similar irritants.
However, some species can be aggressive and others frankly deadly. It is important that you become familiar with the physical characteristics of the most dangerous species so that you can take steps to protect yourself and your family. Know the signs and symptoms of a bite, and have a first aid kit in the reading to treat the bites as quickly as possible. And, of course, if it seems to be a poisonous sting, or even if you’re not sure, play safely and go directly to the hospital. It could save you from amputation, neurological damage or even death.
REMEDIES AND TREATMENTS