Very few spiders are dangerous to humans, but it’s a good idea to be aware of spider bite symptoms. A knowledge of symptoms can help you better identify a bite and treat it. The United States, especially the southern states, are home to two common dangerous spiders: the black widow and the brown recluse. These spiders prefer warm climates, and you can find them in dry and littered areas like wood piles, closets, and even under sinks. Black widow spiders are black with a red hourglass marking on the belly. Their bites are serious but rarely lethal. Brown recluse spiders are identified by the violin-shaped marking on the back. Their bites cause serious reactions and, on rare occasions, death. However, what most people think are spider bites, are actually bug bites. If you think you were bitten by a spider, here are the signs and symptoms to watch for.
- A mild sting. A spider bite feels like a pin-prick or a mild sting. At first, you may not even know you were bitten.
- Red, swollen skin. After a bite, you may notice faint red marks on your skin near the bite. Swelling can also occur, and the bite may turn into a rash.
- Pain and stiffness. Pain begins within a few hours. Black widow and brown recluse bites cause intense pain and stiffness.
- Fluid-filled blister. Brown recluse bites cause blisters to form at the bite. These fluid-filled blisters slough away into a deep, growing ulcers.
- Fever and chills. Spider bites can produce chills and fever in some people. The fever is usually mild.
- Nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting. Black widow spider bites cause severe abdominal pain.