All to Know About Spider Bites

Most spiders are typically not hurtful when they bite. However, the black widow and brown recluse, mostly found in the U.S., have bites that hurt a lot, but their bites aren’t deadly.

READ ALSO: First Aid for Bites and Stings

What Spider Bites Look Like

Most spider bites are just like any other insect bite. You may not actually be able to tell if you’ve been bitten by a spider bite from your symptoms. Symptoms of a spider bite may include;

  • A little bump
  • Bump may be red, itchy, and swell a bit
  • It may hurt, just like a bee sting
  • Pain may last for about an hour.

Symptoms may be severe if you were bitten by a venomous spider.

Black Widow

The major revealing sign of black widow spider is the red hourglass shape on the bottom of its big, round abdomen — the back part of the body. Black widows are shiny and black and about half an inch long. They are mostly found in the southern and western areas of the U.S. Black widow likes quiet places like garages, woodpiles, closets, and sheds.

READ ALSO: Tick Bites: Everything You Need to Know

What a Black Widow Bite Looks Like

A person may not notice the bite of a black widow because it feels like the prick of a pin. Early signs might include small, red marks with some swelling which may worsen within an hour. The pain might spread to your belly, chest, and back. It may be associated with stomach cramps. You may have increase heart rate, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting.

Brown Recluse

Most spiders have eight eyes in two rows of four, but brown recluse have six eyes: two in front, and two on each side. These spider looks like a small violin shape on the part of the body where the legs attach. They are mostly found in the southern Midwest and parts of the South. They like to stay indoors, in your basement or attic.

How a Brown Recluse Bite Look Like

When a person is bitten by a brown recluse, they might feel a little sting which may not hurt, but it’ll become more painful over the next 8 hours. You also might see a small white blister that has a red ring around it. The skin in the middle of the bite can turn blue or purple, and you may have an open sore that gets bigger for up to 10 days. Symptoms may include upset stomach, rash, fever, and chills.


These spiders are big and hairy and their bites are painful, it can even last up to a week. Some tarantulas can also flick fine barbed hairs from their belly at you, and these hairs can cause irritation, itching, and swelling if they stick in your skin.

False Black Widow

As the name implies, they look a lot like black widow, but they lack the red hourglass. Also, their color ranges from purplish-brown to black. The bite of a false black widow may be painful and may last up to one hour. Some blisters may appear around it. Other symptoms of the bite may include upset stomach, nausea, and headache.

Hobo Spider

Researchers have debunked the initial reports that hobo spider are harmful. After a research that lasted for 15 years, it was discovered that these species that have a light stripe running down the middle of their bodies, are quite harmless. After a bite from hobo spider, you might experience mild pain and redness. They’re mostly found in the Pacific Northwest, in places like woodpiles and retaining walls.

What to Do after a Spider Bite

The first steps are the same for all spider bites, including a black widow or brown recluse.

  • Clean the area with soap and water
  • Apply some antibiotic cream.
  • Then take a cloth and wet it with cold water or wrap it around some ice and put that on the bite.
  • If you were bitten on your arm or leg, raise it up.
  • You can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and an antihistamine to ease the swelling.

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