What Does a Spider Bite Feel Like?

A spider bite can be quite painful, especially considering the fact that there are over 20,000 spiders found in the United States and most of them are poisonous. Fortunately, the fangs of most spiders are so small that they cannot penetrate deep into the skin, which is the reason why they do not cause serious harm. You may still feel some pain after being bitten and even have to deal with an itchy, red wound.

What Does a Spider Bite Feel Like?

The answer usually depends on what type of spider has bitten you in the first place. In most cases, you do not feel pain more than a bee sting, and the pain may go away in 5-60 minutes if a non-venemous spider has bitten you. The pain may take up to 24 hours to go away if a venomous spider bites you. There is less than 1% chance that you will develop a bacterial infection because of a spider bite.

1. What Does a Black Widow Spider Bite Feel Like?

  • About the Spider: Found throughout North America, black widow spiders are more common in the western and southern areas of the US. Male widows are usually smaller but are not as dangerous as the females. They are non-aggressive but may bite when they feel threatened. Dark colored female spiders are usually more dangerous.
  • What Its Bite Feels Like: The bite of black widows may feel like a pinprick. You may also develop some swelling and red marks around the bite. The pain becomes severe after a few hours. You may also begin to experience other symptoms such as muscle cramps, fever, chills, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain.

2. What Does a Brown Recluse Spider Bite Feel Like?

  • About the Spider: Also called the violin spider, the brown recluse spider is common in the mid-western, south-central, and southern states of the U.S. They have a violin-shaped marking on their head and have six eyes. They usually live in garages, attics, closets, and under beds.
  • What Its Bite Feels Like: You may experience redness and a stinging pain after a brown recluse spider bite. The pain becomes intense within 8 hours with a fluid-filled blister appearing at the bite site. The blister sloughs off and leaves you with an enlarging ulcer. You may also experience other symptoms such as a rash and mild fever with listlessness and nausea. Brown recluse spider bites are relatively more common as compared to black widow bites.

3. What Does a Tarantula Bite Feel Like?

  • About the Spider: Commonly found in southwest states, tarantulas love desert climates. They can be up to 5 inches long and have visible fangs as well. Their hairy texture makes it easier to identify them. You can find them under tree trunks, under logs or stones, and in burrows or tunnels.
  • What Its Bite Feels Like: What does a spider bite feel like? In terms of initial pain, it will be nothing more than a bee sting. Tarantula bites may cause redness and some swelling as well. The pain increases with time and other symptoms also appear, such as itching, eyelid puffiness, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, and trouble breathing.

4. What Does a Hobo Spider Bite Feel Like?

  • About the Spider: This large brown spider is quite common in the Pacific Northwest region. These spiders can run fast and look like monster trucks. They are quite aggressive and usually found in the garages and window wells. You may also find them in closets, under baseboards, and behind furniture.
  • What Its Bite Feels Like: What does a spider bite feels like? In terms of a hobo spider, you may not experience anything at first. Eventually, you will experience pain along with some other symptoms such as a purple/red blister, muscle pain, rash, headache, difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, fever, vomiting, and nausea. It may leave a blister that turns into an ulcer and takes some time to heal completely.

5. What Does a Wolf Spider Bite Feel Like?

  • About the Spider: It is found throughout the United States and can be up to 4 inches long. They are called "wolf spider" because they stalk their prey. They look quite like tarantulas but they hunt on the ground and are usually found around the bases of the windows and doors, in sand and gravel, or in house plants. They have two large and six small eyes.
  • What Its Bite Feels Like: The wolf spider bite can be quite painful because it can tear the skin. You will also experience swelling and redness. Some people also develop swollen lymph glands after the bite. Although it is rare, the bite can sometimes cause tissue damage. It may take up to 10 days to recover.

6. What Does a Jumping Spider Bite Feel Like?

  • About the Spider: They are common household spiders and are usually no more than a half-inch long with a stout, hairy body. Black jumping spiders with white spots on top are the most common ones found in the U.S. It gets its name due to its erratic jumping gait. They usually live outside in gardens or indoors near windows.
  • What does a spider bite feel like? When it comes to jumping spiders, they are venomous and their bite may feel like a wasp bite at first. You may experience serious pain, redness, and itching with significant swelling.

First Aid When Getting a Spider Bite

You usually require no medical assistance after spider bites but a few spiders can be venomous and dangerous too. Here are some steps to take when you get bitten.

  • Use water and mild soap to clean the bite site. Apply an antibiotic ointment as well.
  • Fill a cloth with ice or dampen it with cold water and place it over the wound to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Elevate your leg or arm if the bite is on these areas.
  • Take OTC pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen – you may also take an antihistamine for relief.

Although these steps may help, you should consider seeing your doctor if you are not sure if the bite was from a poisonous spider. Similarly, you should seek immediate medical attention if you have severe abdominal cramping with pain and a growing ulcer at the bite site. You may have to take a tetanus booster shot if you have not received any in the last five years.

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