How to Identify Spider Bites

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Think you might have a spider bite, best to make sure. Some quick things to look for if you think you might have a spider bite

With all the little critters running around in our lives it is amazing how many times we have been bitten by a spider and don't even know it. 

Most infectious spider bites

There are several common spider bites that we typically see. Those bites will come from a wolf spider, brown recluse and a black widow. 

The worst of the bunch is the brown recluse. The when a bite has occurred from a Brown Recluse, a small bump will appear.  The area will begin to itch slightly and then a larger patch will begin to appear around the initial bite area.  If left untreated it can grow into an enormous open wound.  If you believe that you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider, see a doctor immediately for treatment. 

The bite from a wolf spider appears to look like two small fang marks. The skin will become slightly irritated around the bite area.  If swelling occurs and the area appears to be growing in size, it is best to seek medical attention.  You may be having an allergic reaction.

Wolf spiders look much more scary than they really are, they are not poisonous.  

The black widow spider also will leave two small marks when they bite; however, the fang marks aren't as noticeable.  The first thing you may see if bitten is a small read dot, then it will appear to have a white head on top, which looks like a pimple.  However, the area will feel as if it is burning slightly.

You can also receive bites from common garden spiders, the bites will appear in similar fashion that of a small bump that can become irritated. 

There are many cases when people aren't sure what type of spider has bitten them.  But, it is best to be able to identify that of the more deadly spiders. 

Treatment of spider bites

If you feel that the bite isn't serious, a simple home treatment will do.  You can begin by using warm water to clean the bitten area.  This will help to wash away any venom that may have been left behind.  Next, use a bit of peroxide or rubbing alcohol to clean out the area this will help to kill off any possible infection that could develop. 

If the area looks to be swollen and red and growing in size, it is best to seek medical attention immediately, you could be allergic and develop other issues. 

Location and information on Brown Recluse

The Brown Recluse likes it warm.  So this spider is mainly found down around the lower parts of the United States, if you live in the state of Texas, you have probably seen a few of them.

They are also found in many other states of the United States, including all southern states, Midwestern states, and states in the south western states that include New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.

A mature brown recluse spider is the size of a quarter.  A juvenile is about the size of a dime.  They do not spin webs but do make silk retreats of sorts to hide in to catch their prey.  They also create a similar environment when they lay their eggs. 

The brown recluse has no visible markings on it. It is simply the brown color.

Brown recluse spiders love dark quiet places and will avoid humans at all costs, but, if they encounter a human, they will become defensive and will attack.  In many cases you don't even know you have been attacked until you feel the pain or itch from the bite.

Many places you might find a brown recluse include:

  • Rotting bar
  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Sheds
  • Barns
  • Closets
  • Woodpiles
  • Shoes 
  • Coats that have been in storage
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Hiding in unused beds
  •  Behind pictures
  • Toilets

Just like any insect that we are unsure about, it is best to be cautious.  There are a great many sites on the web that will help give you additional information about spiders in your area.  You can check with the USDA and Forestry department. 


As with any spider bite, the best treatment is to wash the area with a mild soap and water, apply a cool compress to reduce any swelling and elevate the arm or long if the bit occurred there. Rubbing alcohol can also help the area of the bite, to cleanse it, and a solution of baking soda and water can reduce the itching.

Once again, the only toxic or poisonous spiders in the United Stated are the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse.

Spider Bites

If any spider bite has a skin lesion that turns red, becomes painful, blisters or turns black, should require a trip to your doctor’s office. Even if you do not have any venomous or poisonous spiders in your area, you still might be allergic to any bug or spider bite.