We write about products and services that we use. This page may contain affiliate links for which we receive a commission.
Black widow spiders are considered the most venomous spiders in North America.
They are found in every state in the U.S. except Alaska, and they’re most common in fields, woodpiles, and unoccupied dwellings.
Black widow spiders are carnivores. There are a lot of stories attached to black widow spiders; one of them being that their bite can kill.
Here’s how to tell if you’ve been bitten by a black widow spider and how to treat the spider bite if you have…
First off, black widow spiders are fairly easy to identify thanks to a colorful hourglass marking.
Here’s what to look for.
While it is possible for the bite of a black widow spider to be fatal, it is highly unlikely since a female black widow spider doesn’t inject much venom when she bites.
Another thing to keep in mind is that less than 1% of all black widow spider bites are fatal. That being said, you should always take spider bites very seriously because small children and the elderly are more susceptible to spider bites than a healthy adult, and fatalities can be more likely in their case.
If You Get Bitten By A Black Widow Spider…
Here’s what you should do first:
1. Wash the area where the bite is with soap and water, developing an infection can be a problem if this is not done.
2. Apply an ice pack to help with any swelling.
3. To further inhibit infection apply an antibiotic cream or ointment.
4. If the bite is on an arm or leg, elevate that limb.
5. If you develop any of the more severe of the symptoms listed next, go the emergency room of your closest hospital or call an ambulance. Generally speaking, if a child or elderly person has been bitten by a black widow spider, it is a good idea to seek medical attention right away since they are more susceptible to black widow spider bites.
Signs & Symptoms Of A Black Widow Spider Bite
Some things to watch for:
1. Severe muscle pain and spasms in the back, abdomen and thighs.
2. Headaches, dizziness, excessive sweating, as well as, vomiting and nausea.
3. A rash and swelling around the bite area and in some cases a lesion where there is a mild infection.
4. Spontaneous abortion (severe cases).
5. Shock, coma and even death, although this is usually in victims who are children because they have so little body mass, or the elderly. If you think your bite victim is going into shock you should call an abulance immediately.
6. Any changes in heartbeat, blood pressure or breathing should be considered as very dangerous symptoms of being bitten by a black widow spider and the victim should be taken to the hospital right away.
More About Black Widow Spiders
There are 3 different types of black widow spiders, but they are for the most part treated as one since the symptoms engendered from their bite are so similiar.
While black widow spider bites are not typically fatal, it is always a good idea to error on the side of caution. If you have been bitten by a black widow spider and you are sure it is such, then it is best to seek medical attention after you clean the bite as instructed above.
If you can, put the black widow spider that bit you in a jar and take it with you so that the medical personnel can check it out. Do this even if you’ve already crushed and killed the spider. Since the symptoms of a black widow spider bite can mimic many other conditions, having the actual spider that bit you can make it easier for the doctors to treat your bite.
My favorite things to write about are topics that have to do with pregnancy, weddings, saving money, living green, and life with dogs. When I’m not writing, I love to spend time with my husband, read, create 3D artwork and Native American beadwork.