Of all the creatures you may find in or around your home, coming face-to-face with a spider is particularly startling. Though most arachnids will do their best to avoid you, many homeowners can’t help but be concerned when these uninvited guests make an appearance. After all, isn’t a spider bite dangerous?
Spider Bites: Danger or Delusion?
Speaking with the University of Utah Health Sciences Radio, emergency physician Dr. Troy Madsen states that most spider bites are harmless and may itch or sting similar to a mosquito bite. Bites from venomous spiders, like the dreaded black widow or brown recluse, however, may cause more serious symptoms. The stigma associated with spider bites, and their potential health risks, plague many of us with fear. If you discover a bite on your body, it’s important to know how to determine if a spider or other pest is to blame.
Venomous Spider Bite Symptoms
Use this quick reference guide provided by the Boston Children’s Hospital to determine if you or your loved one has been bitten by a venomous spider:
Brown Recluse Symptoms
- Delayed burning, itching, pain, or redness at the bite site
- A purple or deep blue area around the bite, surrounded by white and red rings mimicking a bulls-eye
- Blister or ulcer that becomes black
- Body and headaches
- Vomiting and nausea
Black Widow Symptoms
- Immediate redness, pain, swelling, and burning at the site
- Cramping pain/muscle rigidity in the stomach, chest, back, and shoulders
- Sweating, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, anxiety
- Salivation, eyelid swelling, tearing of the eyes
- Weakness, tremors, or paralysis, particularly in the legs
Spiders in Arizona
There are a variety of arachnids common to Arizona, including the black widow and the Arizona brown spider; in fact, almost half of all recluse spiders native to the United States can be found in Arizona. Though these species are less likely to reside in urban areas, they may occasionally find their way into your home by mistake.
Arizona recluse spiders prefer dry, dark places like scraps of dead wood, dead cacti, and wood rat nests. In or around your home, there’s a chance they could take refuge in cinder block wall crevices, storage spaces, wall voids, attics, wood piles, and clothing or linens left on the floor. However, infestations of these spiders are unlikely in Arizona.
To further decrease chances of encountering these pests, reduce woody debris around your home, wear gloves when working in storage units or sheds, stack firewood away from your home, and properly store your clothing.
Take Bites Seriously
Though you may never encounter some of these creatures, the discovery of any bite on your body should be cause for concern. While common mosquito or ant bites will typically display delayed symptoms of redness, itchiness, and mild pain, any other symptoms may represent more serious health issues. Muscular pain, fever, nausea, or discolorations of the skin are warning signs that should not be ignored. Quickly treating a spider bite can prevent further health complications. If you believe that a spider bite may have occurred, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
To continue keeping spiders and other critters out of your home, call University Termite & Pest Control for a free inspection today!