Black Widow Spider Bite

Female black widow spiders can attack humans when they are provoked. The quick bite of the black widow spider has the power to paralyze large prey.

Venom & Toxicity
The black widow spider delivers the most toxic spider bite in the United States. The venom of the black widow spider is comprised of neurotoxins that affect the nervous system.

Symptoms
The initial bite of the black widow is only like a pinprick.

After being bitten, the area surrounding the bite may become reddened, and local swelling may occur. Within one to three hours, intense, spasmodic pain affects the limbs, abdomen and back of bite victims. This condition can persist for more than 48 hours and may be accompanied by nausea and profuse perspiration.

Pain and cramping can spread rapidly to the arms, legs, chest, back and abdomen. Swelling is often experienced in the extremities. In severe cases, victims may experience delirium. Other general symptoms include restlessness, panic attacks, heavy breathing, difficultly speaking and profuse sweating. Symptoms may diminish within two to three days. However, some symptoms may continue for much longer after recovery.A victim’s age and health condition are important factors in severity of symptoms. Small children and elderly patients are more at risk, as well as those with compromised immune systems and heart conditions.

Some individuals believe themselves to be having a heart attack while experiencing the effects of a black widow spider bite. Blood pressure and heart rate may also be elevated.

Harm inflicted by the black widow spider is unlikely fatal. Most people recover with medical treatment which can include antivenin injections.

Individuals who are bitten should seek medical attention immediately.