One Voice Illinois

Spider Bite Do’s and Don’ts

Arachnophobia—fear of spiders—is pretty common, but spiders generally avoid humans unless threatened. As a result, most spider bites happen when webs are disturbed or torn down or when the spider is about to be crushed such as when it is trapped in a glove or boot. While most spiders in Illinois have bites that only cause a little pain, a little itching, and perhaps a little “Ewww!” shiver down the spine, there are two spiders that can cause a bit more trouble: the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse.

The Illinois Poison Center has an informative article on these two spiders and what to do when bitten. Black Widow spiders are generally found in southern Illinois and have a black body with red markings (often in an hourglass shape). Their bite is painful and can cause muscle cramping, twitching, and spasms within a few hours, but the bite is rarely fatal.

Brown Recluse spiders are generally found in central and southern Illinois and are much harder to identify since they are a plain brown color. They make their homes in dark corners, basements, and storage areas. The bite can cause swelling and actually destroy tissue around the wound. Other symptoms include fever, muscle aches, and a rash.

Should you get bitten, the article highlights these do’s and don’ts:



Be sure to check out the article, and if you want more on Black Widow spiders, Brown Recluse spiders, and their bites, the Official Brown Recluse Spider site has information including pictures of bites for both spiders.

Photo courtesy Chuck Evans under Creative Commons License.