Found in the yard of an Oklahoma home, a black widow, with a potentially dangerous bite

If you took a poll of which spider people are most afraid of, undoubtedly the black widow would top the list. They’re big, creepy-looking, and known for having an extremely painful and potentially lethal bite. But how worried should you actually be? In this article, we’ll discuss the dangers of black widow spider bites.

Can a Black Widow Kill You?

Let’s get this out of the way first. Yes, it is possible for a black widow spider bite to kill a person. The black widow is the most venomous spider in North America, but fortunately, it only injects a very small amount when it bites. The bite can cause extreme pain and a variety of other symptoms, but it’s very rare for a bite to be lethal.

How Many People Die from Black Widows?

When we say it’s very rare for a black widow bite to be lethal, we mean it. In the United States, there hasn’t been a recorded death from a black widow bite since 1983. There are highly effective antivenins available to treat black widow bites, so if you do get one, you can head to the emergency room and feel confident that aside from some lingering symptoms you’ll be just fine.

With that in mind, it’s important to note that children, the elderly, and pets are more vulnerable to black widow bites than adults, and that, regardless of the success rate of treating black widow bites, it’s a situation you should always take seriously and seek medical care if you feel like you need it.

Black Widow Bite Death Rate

It’s estimated that approximately 1% of people who are exposed to black widow venom will develop major symptoms that could be life-threatening. However, in the United States, these almost never turn out to be fatal because of good access to effective treatment.

Are Black Widows Aggressive?

No, black widow spiders are shy by nature and will generally only bite when they are provoked or feel threatened. They will never seek you out or try to attack you.

Black Widow Bite Symptoms

In the event of severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

  • The bite area may start to turn red with dull pain
  • Swelling
  • Burning sensation
  • Headache 
  • Development of a rash on other parts of the body
  • Increased saliva production
  • Chest pain
  • Respiratory problems

How Do You Care for Black Widow Bites?

With many black widow spider bites, there is no venom injected at all. In these cases, there are unlikely to be adverse effects and simply cleaning the bite with soap and water will be sufficient.

Here’s what you should do immediately after a black widow bite:

  • Clean the bite area: Soap and water are enough.
  • Continue monitoring or seek medical aid: Pay close attention to how the person is feeling. If they begin to experience symptoms like chest pain or respiratory problems, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Apply ice: If redness, swelling, or pain are an issue, a local ice compress can help.
  • Be cautious: It’s better to be safe rather than sorry. If at any point the person feels like they need medical attention, don’t wait. Early treatment will help alleviate the severity.

Need Black Widow Control?

If you are struggling with a black widow problem at your home or business, give us a call. The spider control experts at Arrow Exterminators can recommend the best course of treatment to get rid of it. 

We’ll create a custom pest control plan to make sure we eliminate every last one from your home and keep them away for good!

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Dangers of Black Widow Spider Bites Serving Broken Arrow OK & Oklahoma City OK

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