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Black Widow: Most Venomous Spider in North America

  1. The Black Widow and the Brown Recluse Spiders | UniversalClass
  2. The Bottom Line
  3. Causes: Why do they bite?
  4. What happens after a black widow spider bite?
  5. The world's most dangerous spiders (WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES)

Sometimes, two red puncture marks will be visible. Some people may not realize the spider has bitten them until later. But, 30 to 40 minutes later redness, swelling, and pain might start to radiate from the site.

The Black Widow and the Brown Recluse Spiders | UniversalClass

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers , not all black widow bites are venomous. Firstly, only the females will bite. In addition, venom is precious to a spider. The spider will choose when to inject venom and how much, if at all. The black widow saves its venom for when it feels its life is in danger.

A nonvenomous bite may not cause symptoms. The symptoms of a venomous bite may not be visible at first, but they can develop later. Along with some pain and swelling at the bite site, the following symptoms can occur with a black widow's bite.

The Bottom Line

OSHA note that pain may continue for 8 to 12 hours, but other symptoms can last for several days. In , people reported around 1, black widow bites to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Only 14 of them resulted in severe symptoms, and none were fatal. If someone begins to experience symptoms or notices they have been bitten by a black widow, they or someone who is with them should contact the emergency medical services immediately.

If possible, people should put the spider or any remnants of it in a secure container. Giving this to a doctor can help them to provide suitable treatment.

After arriving at the hospital, a doctor or nurse will take vital signs, including their temperature, blood pressure, pulse , and breathing rate. This type of medication contains antibodies that help treat the effects of a poison.

The Full Story

However, it can sometimes cause severe allergic reactions, so the doctor may prefer not to use it. In , authors of a case series published in The Permanente Journal noted that a new antibody based antivenom was being developed that should have a lower risk of sensitivity. Black widow spiders do not usually live in people's houses, but they are relatively common in the United States in yards, woodpiles, sheds, and so on.

They may also be present at campgrounds and other outdoor locations. People who work outside should be careful to avoid them. Even with treatment, a bite can be life-threatening for younger children, those who are already unwell, and older people.

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Article last updated by Yvette Brazier on Wed 26 September Visit our Bites and Stings category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Bites and Stings. All references are available in the References tab. Black widow spider bite [Fact sheet]. Mowry, J. Clinical Toxicology, 52 , — Nelsen, D.

Causes: Why do they bite?

Poke but don't pinch: risk assessment and venom metering in the western black widow spider [Abstract]. Animal Behaviour, 89 , Offerman, S. The treatment of black widow spider envenomation with antivenin Latrodectus Mactans: A cases series. The Permanente Journal, 15 3 , 76— Palermo, E. Black widows' bad rap: 4 misconceptions about the spider. MLA Mehta, Foram.

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    What happens after a black widow spider bite?

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    Even though it's usually easy to identify black widows, you'll want to make sure that's the kind of spider that bit you. The spider can be killed first before you bring it with you; just be sure not to squish it so much that no one can tell what it is. Doctors treat people who have been bitten by black widow spiders with medications to help relax the muscles and reduce pain.

    The best way to avoid getting bitten by black widow spiders is to be careful in areas where they like to spend time.

    The world's most dangerous spiders (WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES)

    Don't play around in rock piles or woodpiles. If you are working outside in the yard in big piles of logs or leaves, wear gloves. Be sure to shake out blankets and clothing that have been stored in the attic or the basement, or if they have been in a closet but not used for a long time. If you are cleaning behind furniture, look carefully behind it before reaching around.