Mosquitoes flying around

What Do Spider Bites Look Like: A Guide to Identifying Different Spider Bite Symptoms

February 09, 2024

By Rachel Maldonado

What Do Spider Bites Look Like: A Guide to Identifying Different Spider Bite Symptoms

Ugh – spiders! While they might be fascinating creatures to some, for many, they are a source of fear and anxiety. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 15% of the population has arachnophobia – and with good reason, as some spider bites can be painful and even potentially dangerous. 

But how can you tell if you’ve actually been bitten by a spider when you come into contact with one – or if it’s just your imagination playing tricks on you?

From redness and swelling to blistering and necrosis (yep, you read that right), we’ll clue you in on all the telltale signs of an actual bite. If you’re wondering, “what do spider bites look like?” then this post is for you!

Types of Spiders to Watch Out For

Spiders, those creepy-crawly creatures that can elicit shudders of fear from even the bravest among us. 

While not all spiders are harmful, there are a few that you should be on the lookout for. Here are some types of spiders that you should watch out for:

Black Widow Spiders

Named for their distinctive black bodies with a red hourglass shape on their abdomens, black widow spiders are venomous and can be very dangerous. They are found all over North America and typically hide in dark, enclosed spaces like closets or sheds. 

Their bites can cause intense pain, nausea, and muscle cramps, and in severe cases can lead to hospitalization. If you suspect that you have been bitten by a black widow spider, seek medical attention immediately.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders are another venomous species that you should be aware of. They are typically found in the southern United States and have a characteristic violin-shaped dark brown marking on their backs. 

Brown recluse spider bites can cause tissue necrosis, or the death of skin and other tissues in the area around the bite. Seek medical attention if you suspect that you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider.

House Spiders

While many people assume that all spiders found in their homes are dangerous, this isn’t actually the case. In fact, the vast majority of house spiders are non-venomous and pose no threat to humans. 

Common house spiders are typically small and brownish-gray in color, and can usually be found spinning webs in corners or nooks and crannies around the house. While they may be a nuisance, house spiders are generally harmless and can even be helpful in reducing the population of other pests like flies and mosquitoes.

Wolf Spiders

Wolf spiders are another non-venomous species that are commonly found in and around homes. They are typically large and brown or gray in color, with distinctive markings on their backs. 

While their appearance can be intimidating, wolf spiders are generally harmless to humans and can even be beneficial in controlling other pests like cockroaches and earwigs.

Identifying Spider Bite Symptoms

So, you’ve been bitten by a spider – now what? The first step is to identify the type of spider that bit you, if possible. This can help you determine whether or not the bite is likely to be harmful and what sort of treatment you may need.

Regardless of the type of spider, there are a few common symptoms that you should be on the lookout for:

  • Itchiness and swelling: Most spider bites will cause some degree of itching, redness, and swelling around the bite site. This is usually a sign that your immune system is reacting to the spider’s venom or saliva.
  • Redness around the bite area: Redness is another common symptom of spider bites, particularly in the hours and days following the bite. If the redness spreads or becomes more intense over time, this could be a sign of an infection.

If you are bitten by a venomous spider like a black widow or brown recluse, there are a few additional symptoms that you should be aware of:

  • Muscle pain and spasms: Abdominal and limb muscle pain and spasms can occur within a few hours of being bitten by a venomous spider.
  • Fever and chills: In severe cases, spider bites can cause fever and chills as the venom spreads through the body.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Some people may experience nausea and vomiting after being bitten by a venomous spider.

If you experience any of these symptoms after being bitten by a spider, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.

Spider Bite Treatment

If you’re dealing with a run-of-the-mill spider bite (and by that, we mean one from a non-venomous species like a house spider or wolf spider), you can usually treat it at home with a few simple remedies. 

First up: ice. Applying ice to the bite area can help reduce swelling and numb any pain you’re experiencing. Just be sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid direct skin contact. 

Second: elevation. Elevating the affected area above your heart can also help reduce swelling and promote blood flow. So if you were looking for an excuse to lay down and put your feet up, now you’ve got one.

If your spider bite is causing more discomfort than you can handle, over-the-counter medications can be a good next step. 

Antihistamines (such as Benadryl) can help reduce itching and swelling, while pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with any pain you’re experiencing. Just make sure you follow the recommended dosage and read all labels before taking any medication.

Now, let’s talk about the scary stuff. If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a venomous spider (such as a black widow or brown recluse), you need to seek medical attention immediately. 

In severe cases, antivenom medication might be necessary to counteract the spider’s venom. This medication is typically administered in a hospital setting, where you can be monitored for any adverse reactions. 

In even more severe cases, hospitalization might be necessary to manage symptoms such as muscle pain, spasms, fever, and nausea.

The Takeaway

Now that we’ve spun you a web of knowledge about spider bites, you should be all set to identify (and treat) spider bites with ease. 

Remember, it’s important to seek medical attention if you notice any severe symptoms. And, of course, prevention is key when it comes to dealing with spiders. 

That’s where Hawx Pest Control comes in! Our team of experts is dedicated to keeping your home and surroundings spider-free. Don’t let those arachnids creep up on you – join our family of satisfied customers today and schedule a consultation.

Spread the love

Ready to protect your home or business from pests?

Schedule today and get a service plan tailored to your property. Receive a detailed report with pictures after each service is completed.