Spider bites: All you need to know

Getting bitten by any type of insect is something you should take light-heartedly and spiders are no exception. While some species can cause you only mild discomfort, others can be very dangerous. The key to knowing how to handle a spider bite is to hourly inform yourself about the different spiders and the symptoms that follow their attack.

Do spiders actually bite?

Many insects on this planet bite with the intent to feed, but spiders aren’t one of those. These 8-legged creatures bite only to defend themselves in a threatening situation. For example, a spider may attack you if you unintentionally touched it or corned it. Generally, most spiders that you can find crawling in your home have really small fangs, meaning that they will have a time biting you.

Which spiders bite in the UK?

There are many spiders species in the UK, but there aren’t many spiders that have the tendency to bite. But those who do are the cellar spider, the false widow spider, and the woodlouse spider. Their bites are famous for not being the most “pleasurable” things that you can experience and can cause some swelling for a couple of hours.

Now, let's talk a little bit about the actual venom.

Spider venoms that require medical assistance contain different combinations of necrotic agents, serotonin, and neurotoxins. You will be surprised, but on this whole planet, only two spiders bites can actually affect your health - the window's one and the recluse’s. Still, poisonous doesn’t mean deadly. Venom from a widow spider or recluse almost never has fatal consequences. That being said, there are dangerous spider types that possess neurotoxins venom, which is proven to be lethal - the funnel-web spider in Australia and the wandering spider in Brazil. Check out other dangerous spider species.

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What does a spider bite look like?

A spider bite is no different than a general insect one. Most of the time, you won’t even understand that a spider actually bit you, even with symptoms. The bite mark itself is a bit raised, red, itchy, and can get swollen. This is the basic scenario unless you got attacked by a venous type - physical signs are a whole nother story there.

Now that we’ve covered the physical characteristics of a spider bite, here are the symptoms to watch out for if you suspect you got munched on by such a creature:

  • Skin damage
  • Swelling
  • A red bump
  • Itching
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle cramping
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chills
  • Red or purple blisters
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Halloween lymph glands

How can you tell if a spider bite is poisonous?

It may come as a surprise, but spiders generally don’t bite that much. Like we said earlier, you might get attacked if the creature feels threatened in some way. Non-poisonous spiders can cause slight redness, irritation, paint and some itching with their bite. Also, these types of spider bites don’t require a trip to the ER. That being said, let’s discuss the venomous bites...

How to treat a spider bite?

If you’ve been attacked by a non-venomous spider, you can treat the wound at home, following these steps:

  1. Place an ice pack of the mark for about 10 minutes
  2. Keep the injured area elevated to reduce the swelling
  3. If you experience itching, take an antihistamine pill
  4. Cleanse the spot with water and soap
  5. Buy an antibiotic cream and apply it to the bite to stop blister development

The same steps apply to bites caused by venomous spiders as well.


Note: If you suspect that you’ve been attacked by one of the below-listed spider species, visit your doctor immediately:

  • Black widow
  • Brown recluse
  • Tarantula
  • Hobo spider
  • Brazilian wandering

Prevention tips

Fully avoiding a spider bite can’t be 100% guaranteed, but you can always try to prevent such scenarios. Here are a few suggestions on how to avoid spider bites:

  • Read more about the different dangerous spider types and their way of living.
  • If you have to clean or rearrange your shed, garage, basement, attic or basically any place that has the potential to host a spider family, protect yourself by wearing long-sleeved clothes, gloves, boots, and a hat.
  • Spray your clothes with insect repellent.
  • If you have piles of rocks or wood placed near your house, make sure to remove them or store them far from the property.
  • Avoid storing any items under the bed or other furniture.
  • Regularly vacuum your property and remove existing spider webs.
  • If you have a pet tarantula, always wear gloves and mouth and eye protection when cleaning its terrarium.

In conclusion

So, the surest way you can protect yourself and your family from the spiders' bites is by not letting them into your house. And the most effective way to keep them out is with the help of a professional spider treatment. We at Fantastic Pest Control offer you a full service including survey, treatment, observation and prevention. The specialists use a powerful insecticide that spiders hate.

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We only provide valuable information regarding spider bites and the possible dangers they can cause. But we as a commercial service provider cannot give you a medical advice. So, if you've got bitten by a spider immediately look for medical care. 

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