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Spider Bite or Something Else? What Does A Spider Bite Look Like

February 09, 2024

By Rachel Maldonado

Spider Bite or Something Else? What Does A Spider Bite Look Like

Have you ever woken up with a red, itchy bump on your skin and wondered if it was a spider bite? 

With almost 4,000 species of spiders in North America, it’s not unusual to come across one of these eight-legged creepers. However, not every bump is a spider bite – and certainly not every spider bite is dangerous.

In fact, it’s estimated that less than 1% of spider bites result in serious complications. 

So, what does a spider bite look like, and how can you distinguish it from other skin conditions? We’re here to help you find out!

What Does a Spider Bite Look Like?

Though there are some differences between species, spider bites usually exhibit similar characteristics that differ from other common bug bites. 

Typically, spider bites appear as two small puncture wounds, which can be accompanied by redness, swelling, and inflammation. The area could be tender to the touch, and you might feel a burning or stinging sensation. In some cases, the bite can blister, which may develop into an open sore and may take several days to heal.

The appearance of a spider bite can vary widely, depending on the species and the person’s sensitivity to spider venom. 

For example, brown recluse and black widow spider bites can cause more significant damage. The venom from black widow spiders can cause serious nerve damage, muscle cramps, and spasms. In comparison, brown recluse spider bites can result in skin necrosis, a process in which the surrounding tissues die and decay.

Symptoms of a Spider Bite

Now that you know what a spider bite looks like, what other symptoms can you expect?

The good news is that spider bites rarely cause serious complications and, in many cases, may not require medical attention. 

However, if you’re allergic to spider venom or experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Severe swelling around the bite mark
  • Chills or fever
  • General weakness or fatigue
  • Severe muscle spasms or cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain

Differentiating Spider Bites from Other Skin Conditions

The symptoms of a spider bite can resemble those of other skin conditions, such as herpes, impetigo, or poison ivy. And, of course, it can be tough to tell the difference between a spider bite and a bite from another pest, like a tick or a mosquito.

As a result, you’ll want to take some time to figure out for sure whether you’ve been bitten by a spider or are dealing with something else entirely. That way, you can use the proper treatment. 

Impetigo, for example, is a bacterial skin infection that causes red sores on the face, arms, and legs, which can be itchy and contagious. 

Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are types of plants that can cause an allergic skin reaction, resulting in red, itchy rashes with small blisters. The rashes can spread over the entire body, and the severity and duration of the symptoms depend on the person’s sensitivity to the plant oil.

And if you’re dealing with bug bites from other types of pests, they may be quite similar to those of spiders. However, you usually won’t have the two puncture wounds from the fangs as you do with spiders – that’s one notable difference to pay attention to. 

When to Seek Medical Attention for a Spider Bite

In general, you can treat spider bites at home by cleaning the wound with warm water and soap, applying a cold compress to reduce inflammation, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. 

However, some situations require medical attention, such as in cases when:

  • The bite occurs in a sensitive area, such as the face, genitals, or eyes.
  • There are indications of a secondary infection, such as fever, pus, or increasing pain.
  • A bite is known to be from a venomous spider, such as a black widow or brown recluse.
  • The bite develops into a large, open sore that takes longer than a week to heal.
  • The person bitten experiences any of the severe symptoms listed above.

Prevent Spider Bites with Hawx

By understanding what a spider bite looks like, differentiating it from other skin conditions, and knowing when to seek professional medical advice, you can stay safe and healthy. As for the spiders themselves, well, that’s a whole other topic – but let’s just say we prefer them outside of our homes!

If you’re experiencing frequent spider bites, it’s worth looking into pest control services to help manage the infestation. 

At Hawx Pest Control, we’re committed to keeping your home and family safe from unwanted pests. Join our family of satisfied customers today and say goodbye to spider bites for good!

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