Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ew ew, poisonous spiders

Don't even ask where hubbie is.
When I was a tot, they found a black widow spider under our sandbox--turned it over, and there were tons of them! So that was charming. My dad collected they up and put them in a jar and the milkman saw it and wanted them (yes, they had spider-loving milkmen in those days).

Still, there are some poisonous spiders around--in many temperate areas of the US. Suparna Kumar, MD, of the Tennessee Poison Control Center at Vanderbilt, says knowing what they are and how to treat the bites is important.

Brown recluse spiders are native to the southern and midwestern states. They are medium-sized, light yellowish brown to dark brown in color--and have a violin-shaped mark on their backs. They like dark, warm, dry areas--attics, closets, porches, barns, basements, woodpiles, old tires.

If you get bitten by a brown recluse, there may be mild stinging pain that worsens in 2-8 hrs.  The bite may be itchy and red, then becomes an extremely painful area blue or purplish in color, surrounded by a grayish ring. They call this a bullseye.

Wash the area with soap and water, apply ice, maybe get a tetanus shot.

But some people can get the breakdown of red blood cells, fever, rash, muscle pain. A urine test will determine if blood cells are breaking down (don't wait on this with kids under 12). Call a doctor then and you may be be hospitalized.

Black widows are glossy black with a reddish or orange hourglass shape on the abdomen. They are found in dark spaces, electrical boxes, crawl spaces, piles of firewood.

The bite is sometimes not noticeable at first. If it is just a little red, wash with soap and water, maybe apply ice or get a tetanus shot.

But some black widow bites can cause much worse effects. Two to four hours later, you may experience headache, nausea, vomiting, changes in heart rate and BP, muscle cramping, muscle twitching. This requires hosp care.

Sooo...this sounds like fun--watch it reaching into dark places, I guess. Or playing in sandboxes.

No comments: