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What Spiders Have Deadly Bites?

what-spiders-have-deadly-bites

All spiders are poisonous.  Venom is the weapon with which they paralyze and kill their prey.  Most spiders are innocuous to humans as some are incapable of biting because their fangs are too short or too weak to penetrate the skin, or their venom has little to no effect on humans.   A person’s reaction to a spider bite will depend on the victim’s sensitivity level and the amount of venom injected.

Brown Spiders: Spiders from the brown family include black recluse spiders, which carry a cytotoxin in their venom.  Cytotoxins cause necrosis, or tissue death. The spider bite may not even be felt at first but will begin to turn red and sting.  Within 8 hours, intense pain may set in.  The symptoms can last from twenty-four to forty-eight hours and can be deadly to those most vulnerable.

Widow Spiders: There are five species of widow spiders in North America.  The widow spider bite is red and will sometimes swell.  The venom is a neurotoxin and attacks the nervous system.  It takes only a few hours for the venom to take effect and pain and stiffness begin to set in.  The victim may also feel faint, nauseous, chills, and severe abdominal pain. The victim may experience pain up to 48 hours if the anti toxin is not given.  Children and the elderly are most susceptible to the more serious side effects including death.

Tarantula: The native species of the tarantula are much smaller than those sold in pet stores.  These spiders have venomous hair and when agitated will throw them at their victims.  The resulting reaction can be as mild as a skin rash in the case of an allergic reaction anaphylactic shock is possible.

Sac Spider: There are very few reported incidences of sac spider bites, as this species tends to inhabit areas with little population.  The few cases reported the bite burned and caused pain.  The welt that formed was mildly itchy.  In some cases the victims reporting nausea and muscular discomfort that last for a few hours.

Funnel Web Spider: Also known as Tegenaria agrestis, common house spider, or the hobo spider the funnel web spider’s bite is generally not felt when it occurs.  The venom begins to take effect about 30 minutes after the bite when the bite site will begin to turn red and expand.  In about 15 hours, the wound blisters and ultimately breaks creating a volcanic-like wound.  These lesions may take many months to heal and may leave a permanent scar.

 

Resources

“EB1548: Spiders.” CAHNRS and Extension Computing and Web Resources. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/eb1548/eb1548.html.

“Spider bites: First aid – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-spider-bites/FA00048.

“Potentially Dangerous Spiders.” University of Minnesota Extension. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/dd6962.html.

“EB1548: Spiders.” CAHNRS and Extension Computing and Web Resources. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/eb1548/eb1548.html.

“Spider bites: First aid – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-spider-bites/FA00048.

 

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