Bravo”!! to KCPQ 13 for their recent story regarding arachnophobia.
If I had a nickel for every person that said they had black widows or brown recluse I could have retired years ago! I have been very fortunate to have personally seen Mr. Crawford speak about spiders at several seminars. I am pleased to see some of these spider “misconceptions” put to rest (a little bit) by education via stories such as this and through social media.
I thought I would add my two cents in and speak to some of the findings and experiences I have had throughout my nearly 30 years of experience in the industry (and beyond).
Contrary to popular belief
Spiders are not aggressive bloodsucking creatures in search for its nearest victim to bite. They are quite shy, solitary creatures that tend to hide away and let their prey come to them and fall into their trap. As Mr. Crawford states, there are many types of spiders who have individual characteristics and different types of webbing traps.
Though most spiders do not display aggression like biting, this does not mean they are not capable of, and won’t actually bite you. Take the hobo spider for example. It has been known to bite people and inflict a considerable adverse reaction. The most likely scenarios for people getting bitten by this spider are completely accidental. Maybe it was in a pile of clothes someone picked up, or perhaps it was in the bed with you and became trapped between you and the sheet or blanket. It could have been hiding in a shoe you decided to wear. In all of these types of scenarios, the spider was exhibiting a defensive reaction.
Feeling trapped, a spider will protect itself and that automatic reaction would be to strike.
A spider bite can affect each one of us very differently.
The severity can vary. There are many variables between each spider and each human individual.
Hobo spiders do contain a level of venom, and if you are more susceptible to that venom, you are going to have a worse reaction than another individual. That being said, this doesn’t mean you would have the same reaction every time you get bitten by a spider. It is going to vary by the individual spider. It is much like a sting from a wasp and each individual’s tolerance and chemistry, if you will.
Ever been stung by a yellow jacket? I have been stung on several occasions. Sometimes I feel nothing more than an initial discomfort while other times I’ve swelled up considerably. I remember one particular time when I got stung on the wrist while I was golfing. My hand swelled up for a week! My hand and forearm looked like the INCREDIBLE HULK!!!
We flat out don’t know what each individual’s reaction is going to be from a spider bite. I have seen people swell up considerably and have necrosis around the wound where the cells of the skin have died and left a pretty ugly wound. As with every other type of wound, the importance of keeping it clean and away from infection, is of the utmost importance.
Stay tuned for additional insights and spider stories…