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Which Spiders Bite Humans?

Most people think spiders are pretty nasty. But if you have a fear of spiders, otherwise known as arachnophobia, you might spend hours and hours every night trying to learn more about them. This is especially true if you want to avoid any poisonous spiders that like to bite.

If you’ve stumbled upon this article, it’s because you want to know which spiders do bite. The truth is, almost all spiders will bite if they feel threatened. 

It’s their natural defense mechanism from predators. However, similarly to bees, a spider’s first instinct isn’t to bite a predator. In fact, most spiders will generally try and steer clear of predators like humans as much as possible

This is why you’ll find most spider nests in more secluded places in your home like the attic or basement. It’s incredibly rare that a spider will actually bite a human. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between a spider bite and something else.

That’s Not a Spider Bite

Many people wake up to see a bite on their ankle or arm and just assume it’s probably from a spider. However, as we mentioned, it’s really unlikely a spider will ever want to go anywhere near you unless there’s food or water around. That “spider bite” you may have found is probably from something else like bed bugs or ticks. 

Although their bites are incredibly similar, it’s rare you’ll see spider bites in clusters. Bed bugs, mosquitos, and ticks live off human blood, which is why you’ll see their bites form in clusters.

How to Tell if It’s a Spider Bite

Spiders use their bite as a warning or defense mechanism. That’s why, if you do get bit by a spider, it will be pretty painful and will only leave one or two bites. 

Spider bites will normally leave two distinct holes from their fangs. The affected area will immediately begin swelling if the holes are too small to see. After a spider bite, inspect the bite for the following:

  • Swelling or inflammation around the bite
  • Irritation and red discoloration 
  • Itchy rash 
  • Purple or red blister where the bite was

Now, there’s no need to panic if you do get bit by a spider. There are only three spiders in America that are deadly and poisonous. After you’re bit by a spider, you should:

  • Wash the affected area with soap and water to prevent infection
  • Apply an ice pack or a cold compress to help the swelling
  • Take an ibuprofen to help with the pain and swelling

Be sure to monitor the bite for the next couple days to see if you have an allergic reaction. Most spider bites are harmless unless they become infected. So the best thing you can do is track the bite and keep it clean. While monitoring your bite, you should look out for:

  • Cramping in chest or stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Intense stomach pain
  • “Bullseye” mark around the bite
  • Infection or pussing around the bite

Poisonous Spider Bites

There are only three spiders in America that can be deadly to humans: the hobo spider, the black widow spider, and the brown recluse spider. If you do get bit by one of these guys, contact a healthcare professional immediately and call the Poison Help Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or text POISON to 797979.

Victims of poisonous spider bites will almost immediately begin feeling extreme symptoms of a normal spider bite within 20 minutes. Aside from the regular symptoms of a spider bite, victims of a poisonous spider bite will also experience: 

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Cramps
  • Numbness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive sweating and salivating

What Should You Do After a Spider Bite

Try to find the source of your spider infestation. Spiders will wander into homes looking for food, shelter, and water. So you’ll often find spider nests in:

  • Bathrooms and laundry rooms
  • Pantries and kitchens
  • Deep in closets
  • Basements, attics, and crawl spaces
  • Sheds and garages 

Unlike most pests that infest your home, spiders aren’t looking to snack on your food, but are looking to hunt other insects. So if you do find spiders in your home, you could potentially have another infestation at bay. The best way to prevent spiders and other infestations is to keep your home clean and free of clutter. If you are concerned about an infestation, you can always call one of our Pest Brigade partners for free at  (833) 431-0401.

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