Are most spiders poisonous?
The majority of the 3,000 spiders in the United States aren’t poisonous. Even if most spiders did bite, their fangs are too small or weak to puncture human skin. Their bites may leave itchy, red wounds that heal within a week or so.
The spiders that do manage to bite through our skin and insert toxic venom can cause serious health complications. Read on to learn what spider bites look like, what spider varieties leave certain bites, and how to treat spider bites.
What do spider bites look like?
Identifying a spider bite is easier if you saw the spider that bit you, but it’s possible that you won’t notice the wound until hours later.
Look for things like:
a red welt
any troubling symptoms that accompany the bite
Other possible symptoms that may accompany a spider bite include:
itching or rash
pain around the area of the bite
muscle pain or cramping
blister that’s red or purple in color
nausea and vomiting
anxiety or restlessness
swollen lymph glands
high blood pressure
Spider bites often take longer to heal than other insect bites, and they may affect skin tissues. It’s important to keep the bite clean to reduce the risk of infection.
How to treat a spider bite at home
In some cases, you can treat spider bites at home. For nonvenomous spider bites, follow these steps:
Apply an ice pack on and off the bite for 10 minutes at a time.
Elevate the area to reduce swelling.
Take an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), to help with itching.
Clean the area with soap and water to prevent infection.
Apply antibiotic ointment to the area if blisters develop.
Seek medical attention if you’re showing symptoms of a spider bite or if the symptoms don’t go away over time.
Always seek medical attention if you suspect you’ve been bitten by one of the following species:
Brazilian wandering spider