Overview of Black Widow Spider Bite
The venom of the black widow spider contains toxic chemicals. A black widow spider bite can make a person very sick.
Cause of Black Widow Spider Bite
Black widows are found throughout the United States, mostly in the South and West. They are usually found in barns, sheds, stone walls, fences, woodpiles, porch furniture, and other outdoor structures.
This genus of spider species is found worldwide. They are most plentiful in temperate and subtropical climates, especially during the summer months.
Symptoms of Black Widow Spider Bite
The first symptom of a black widow bite is usually pain similar to a pinprick. This is felt when the bite is made. Some people may not feel it. Minor swelling, redness, and a target-shaped sore may appear.
After 15 minutes to 1 hour, dull muscle pain spreads from the bite area to the whole body.
If the bite is on the upper body, you will usually feel most of the pain in your chest.
If the bite is on your lower body, you will usually feel most of the pain in your abdomen.
The following symptoms can also occur:
- Difficulty breathing
- High blood pressure
- Increased saliva
- Increased sweating
- Light sensitivity
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Numbness and tingling around the bite site, then sometimes spreading out from the bite
- Seizures (usually seen just before death in children who are bitten)
- Very painful muscle cramps or spasms
- Facial swelling in the hours after the bite. (This pattern of swelling is sometimes confused with an allergy to the drug used in treatment.)
- Pregnant women may have contractions and go into labor.