It is always possible to be bitten by a spider as they are very good at hiding. That means you can disturb them without realizing they are there. If a spider feels threatened and is effectively cornered it will bite, it’s their main defence mechanism.
Of course, your first concern if you’re bitten is whether the spide is venomous or not. There are approximately 3000 species of spider in the US. Thankfully, there are only ten types that you need to be concerned about. This includes the Brown Recluse and the Wolf spider.
The odds of dying from a spider bite are high. On average, only 11 people in the US die from a spider bite per year.
That means, in most cases, prompt treatment is the key to surviving these bites. It should be noted that they can be painful. It’s also important to be aware of spiders in your home and yard, if you appear to have a dangerous one living with you or an infestation of spiders you should contact your local experts in pest control.
Check The Spider
In many cases, you are bitten and the spider quickly retreats, its only intent in biting was self-preservation. If this is the case you are unlikely to be able to see the spider. However, it is worth looking at, being able to identify the spider bite makes it easier to treat.
Naturally, you shouldn’t risk another bite while looking.
The next step is to clean the bite area. You can use soap and water for this. Cleaning removes bacteria around the wound and reduces the likelihood of infection.
It’s also a good idea to place some ice on the bite, this will help to reduce blood flow, slowing the spread of any venom or infection and reducing swelling in the vicinity.
Spider bites are usually painful. To help you function properly it’s advisable to take some painkillers that also have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. Benedryl is a good example. Take this to ease the discomfort.
Secure The Wound
If you have a bite on an arm or leg secure a bandage above the bite and pull it tight. It shouldn’t be tight enough to cut off your circulation but it should slow the spread of any venom.
See Your Doctor
The next step is to see your doctor. Take the spider, secured in a box, if you have caught it. They will be able to advise if the spider is venomous and how your wound looks. It’s likely they will redress the wound and give you tips on monitoring the bite.
When To Get Urgent Help
If the bite area is swelling rapidly or if your symptoms have subsided within 24 hours, go to the emergency department and seek urgent medical assistance. This is also true if the area is still red, and has pus, circles, or even a black spot at the centre. The hospital with have any necessary anti-venom and prescribe other medication as required.