Thursday, October 16, 2008

Black Widow Spider "Identification, Spider Bite Symptoms and Treatment"

The black widow is one of the most well known and feared spiders there is. But they actually avoid living where humans do. It is not common to find them in your house. They are usually encountered in garages, wood piles or sheds. The best way to keep them out of your house, is to clean up piles of debry. Move wood piles away from your house or anything else you might have stacked next to your house. Fill cracks on your house, so they won't have places to hide and live.

The black widow is about a half an inch long. It is a false belief that the female will kill the male after they mate, that's where the name black widow comes from. There are 2 common black widows in the United States.

  • The southern black widow has a shiny, black, round abdomen with a red hourglass on the belly. This the one most people think of when they hear black widow.

  • The northern black widow has a row of red spots down the back and a cross on the belly. These markings can be yellow or white also. This species of spider may be brown or have red legs.

Black widow spiders are active at night. They usually live in dark corners. Only the female black widow bites humans, and she bites only when disturbed, especially while protecting her eggs.

Bite Symptoms
The black widows spider bite affects the victim's nervous system. Their venom is one of the most potent made by an animal. Some people are lightly affected by the venom, but others may have a very bad response. The first symptom is pain at the site of the bite. It usually takes 20 minutes to one hour after the bite for symptoms to occur. This can be very painful. More severe symptoms are nausea, vomiting, fainting, dizziness, chest pain and breathing difficulties.

Age and physical health play a big part in determining whether the bite victim will have a severe reaction or not. It affects children and the elderly worse than young people. Although, people rarely die from a black widow bite.

If symptoms are mild, you can treat them at home with cold and warm compresses and hot baths. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used as pain relievers in mild cases.

If you have a serious reaction to a black widow spider bite, your local doctors office and urgent cares will not be able to help you. You will need to go to the emergency room of the hospital. If symptoms are extreme, you will want to call 911, so you can get treatment faster. You may need to use narcotics and a drug used for counteracting the venom. If you are experiencing severe pain or whole-body symptoms, this would be considered a serious reaction.

Early treatment is essential. So when in doubt of what to do, head for the hospital. It's better safe than sorry.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Brown Recluse Spider Invasion" Getting Rid Of The Spider

Seeing spiders in your home is an unsettling thing. It's not something you dwell on until you pick up a shirt off the floor to put in the laundry and a big ugly spider jumps down to the floor and runs away. The natural response is to scream and jump away. Every hair on your body stands on its ends. Suddenly you see every teeny tiny creature that you might not have noticed before and you feel like they are crawling all over your body. It can take days to get over an incident like that. You find yourself shaking out your pants before you put them on and looking in every box before you stick your hand in it. When really, these should probably be regular practices.

Many spider are harmless, but on of the most dangerous is the brown recluse spider. They are called the brown recluse, because they like to hide out during the day. Hence the name recluse.
They generally occupy dark and undisturbed areas. They can be found indoors or outdoors. Indoors they are commonly found in attics, basements, crawl spaces, cellars, closets, and heater vents. They will find a storage box, shoe, clothing, folded linens, or even your sheets to hide. Outdoors they like to live under logs, loose stones and stacks of lumber. They are not aggressive spiders by nature. Some common ways people have been bitten is by rolling over one in your bed while sleeping, touching one accidentally while cleaning out your storage area or putting on an old pair of shoes that a brown recluse spider has made a home in.

Preventing Spider Bites
There are steps to avoid getting a bite from a brown recluse spider.
  • Shake out clothing and shoes before getting dressed.
  • Inspect bedding and towels before use.
  • Wear gloves when picking up firewood, lumber, and rocks, but be sure to check the gloves for spiders first.
  • Bed skirts are nice looking, but they are great for spiders to crawl up.
  • Move the bed away from the wall slightly.
  • Storage under the bed are handy, but they make a great dark place for brown recluse spiders to live.
  • Be careful when picking up cardboard boxes. Recluse spiders like to hide under the folded cardboard flaps.

Keep Spiders Out
The best way to avoid brown recluse spider bites is to keep them outside and away from your house.

  • Windows and doors must be tight-fitting. Door sweeps are a must.
  • Use seal or caulk cracks that the spider can use to get into your house.
  • Your lights outside can attract bugs and spiders like to eat bugs. So the best kind of light bulbs are yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs. They attract less bugs.
  • Seal off the edges of your cardboard boxes to keep the spider out or use plastic bags that can seal to store things in your garage, basement and attic.
  • Get rid of trash, old boxes, old clothing, wood piles, rock piles, and other things you don't want.
  • Clean your closets out. Throw away and organize them.
  • Move your wood away from the side of the house. Stack it as far away as you can.
  • Brown recluse prefer to eat dead insects, so clean them up as soon as you notice them.
This is the best defense with the brown recluse spider. You have the knowledge and know how, now you just have to put these practices into place. Whether you have brown recluse or not, this will help with all spiders and you might just have an organized house as a bonus. So put you gloves on and get to work!

If you are nervous about the affects of using pesticides in your home here are some homemade remedies for getting rid of spiders:>