While spiders do not set out to hunt humans, their bite can still pose a risk to people who encroach upon their environments. Most spiders are harmless, but some can produce powerful bites and inject dangerous venomous glands into your bloodstream. The toxins produced by various species can cause problems such as headaches, joint pain, spasms, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills.
Three particular spiders that are of much concern to patients in the U.S. include the black widow, brown recluse, and tarantula. These spiders are among the most common poisonous species in the country.
The black widow spider is easily identified by its red underbelly marking and pristine black body. It prefers to live in dark areas close to trash cans, closets, woodpiles, and garages. They can be found in certain areas of California and Southern Canada. The venom produced by a black widow can cause increased blood pressure, breathing difficulties, itching, and excessive sweating. Although they are not life-threatening, medical attention remains important to reduce itching and muscle cramps.
Widespread across Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, and Mississippi, the brown recluse spider possesses a powerful bite that can result in serious reactions. They grow up to half of an inch and possess a light brown colored body. The wound left behind by a recluse spider bite can be visually unappealing. The wound may turn into an ulcer and cause severe pain. Chills, fever, muscle aches, vomiting, and nausea may accompany a bite wound.
Tarantulas are located around the Southern United States and possess hairy fibers surrounding their body that delivers an irritating sensation to attackers. This can also cause redness, extreme pain, and uncomfortable bumps to appear on the surface of the affected area.
When treating spider bites, apply ice immediately and elevate the affected area. A medical professional should be on hand if you are dealing with a bite from one of the three mentioned spiders. If the bite is minor, you can elect to receive analgesics, antihistamines, and antibiotics to treat the wound. For a black widow bite, a muscle relaxant can prevent elevated blood pressure caused by the venom.
If red blood cells or hemolysis occurs from a brown recluse bite, hospitalization may be required to repair the tissue. Tarantula bites can be treated with antihistamines or glucocorticoids to minimize the symptoms. In general, it is recommended to receive a tetanus shot after a serious wound from a spider bite.