Insect and Spider Bites

Bees, Wasps and Yellow Jackets: Bees and wasps normally avoid human contact however, if they are disturbed or provoked, they can provide a painful sting that produces swelling, itching, hives, or even more severe reactions. If you are stung, gently remove the stinger and add ice or a cool compress. Yellow jacket stings can be more toxic because they feed on dead animals so you should have a higher awareness for an allergic reaction. Seek medical attention for any symptoms greater than minor itching and / or swelling.

Black Widow Spiders: Black Widows have a shiny black body that is about the size of a pea, have a yellow or red hour glass on their underside, and are about an inch long with legs extended. Although the venom of the black widow is more toxic than a prairie rattle snake the amount of venom injected is very small, and deaths are quite rare, occuring at rate less than 1%. In fact, no one has died in the U.S. from a black widow bite in over 10 years. Small children and the elderly are more likely to have a severe reaction to the venom. Symptoms include local and abdominal pain, headaches, rashes, sweating, nausea, and dizziness. You should seek immediate medical attention if bitten.

Brown Recluse Spiders: These spiders are light tan to dark brown in color and have the distinctive violin shaped marking on its back. Like the name suggests, the brown recluse prefers dark undisturbed places such as fire wood, rock piles, leaves, or indoors in dark closets or cluttered basements. They are normally non-aggressive, however will bite if disturbed. Brown Recluse spider bites don’t always hurt right away and you may not know that you are bitten until symptoms appear. These bites can be serious and you should seek medical attention if you experience mild to intense pain, itching or open sores.

Poison Centers across the country now have a national emergency phone number: 800.222.1222.