We recently talked about all the different types of spiders you might encounter in Maryland. Luckily, most of them are relatively harmless. Most spider bites cause minor bruising or swelling. But not all of them! Some spider bites may require immediate medical attention—as in a trip to the emergency room! (Side note: This is another reason to do everything you can to prevent an infestation).
So what should you do if you’re bitten? Here are the steps you should take to ensure your safety and health.
When to seek emergency care
There are two types of spiders whose bites can be deadly—the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse spider. If you’re unsure of whether a bite came from either of these, or another type of spider, it’s best to seek medical care immediately, just to be on the safe side. Additionally, if you (or someone who’s been bitten) experience any of the following symptoms, we highly recommend going to the emergency room:
- Severe pain
- Abdominal cramping
- Immense swelling
- Trouble with or lack of breathing
How to care for a spider bite
If you are not experiencing any of the above symptoms, you can treat the spider bite at home, following these steps:
- Clean the wound with mild soap and warm water.
- Apply antibiotic to the wound
- Apply a cold compress such as a towel filled with ice or dampened with cool water. This will help reduce swelling.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication if needed. If the wound is itchy, take an antihistamine or apply calamine lotion.
How to identify deadly spiders
Of course, it’s best to know how to identify deadly spiders so you can avoid them in the first place. As mentioned, the two main ones you might find in Maryland are the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse spiders.
The Black Widow is famous for its black body and bright red hourglass marking on its bellow. However, this is only true of the females; the males and babies tend to be brown. Plus, some females have red spots instead of the more hourglass marking.
The Brown Recluse spider might be a little more difficult to identify. As the name suggest, it’s brown—but so are many other spiders. The main distinctive feature of the Brown Recluse is the violin shape on its back, though this can be difficult to see. Typically, Brown Recluses have only two tone pigmentations on their back. If it has stripes or spots, it is not likely a Brown Recluse.
If you spot these pests and need assistance, don’t hesitate to call us
If you see either of these spiders, or a large infestation of any type of spider, be sure to call a professional to handle it. That call might just save you a trip to the ER!