Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spider Bites
by Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy
Anyone spending time in the outdoors is subject to the risk that they might encounter a creepy-crawly or two during their travels. In survival situations, you can expect that risk to be multiplied if you’re bugging out and hiking through the wilderness.
Although large spiders, such as tarantulas, cause painful bites, most spider bites don’t even break the skin. In temperate climates, two spiders are to be especially feared: The black widow and the brown recluse.
The black widow spider is about ½ inch long and is active mostly at night. Southern black widows have a red hourglass pattern on their backs, but other sub-species may not (example below). They rarely invade your home, but can be found in outbuildings like barns and garages. Although its bite has very potent venom damaging to the nervous system, the effects on each individual are quite variable, unless you’re a male black widow. By the way, it’s isn’t always true that the female will eat the male after mating. READ MORE
Treatment for spider bites:
Wash the area of the bite thoroughly
Apply ice to painful and swollen areas
Pain medications such as acetaminophen/Tylenol
Enforcing bed rest
Warm baths for those with muscle cramps (black widow bites only; stay away from applying heat to the area with brown recluse bites)
Antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infection