The brown widow spider has a characteristic hourglass mark on the underside of the abdomen and colored yellowish to bright orange. These spiders like to live in dark and woody areas and they can also be found in urban areas such as areas around the house and in the backyard.
The brown widow spider is less aggressive than black widows and only bite when threatened, cornered and while protecting their eggs. In addition, they are less venomous. The coloration of the brown spider is a combination of brown and tan with a black accent. They lay eggs about 120-150 eggs per sac with a total of 20 egg sacs of the entire life.
Symptoms of brown widow spider bites
- Pain and redness of the area that is bitten
- Itching and tingling sensations
- Development of a small bumps on the affected area of the skin
- Headaches, nausea and vomiting
- Muscle contractions
- Wash thoroughly the bitten area using cool water and mild soap and then apply an antibiotic ointment.
- Apply an ice pack to the bitten area to prevent pain and swelling. Place ice cubes in plastic bag and wrap it with a towel and then apply it to the bitten area.
- If the bite is on the arm or leg, elevate the affected area above the level of the heart to minimize inflammation and pain.
- Avoid performing strenuous activities since these can cause the spread of the venom of the spider in the skin.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medications to relieve pain and itchiness such as acetaminophen, antihistamine or ibuprofen. An anti-itch spray that contains benzocaine can also be used to lessen the itchiness and pain.
- Apply an anti-itch cream such as hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion
If the affected person has symptoms such as difficulty breathing, muscle tremors, muscle cramps, sweating, development of rashes, pus or ulcers, nausea, vomiting and pain, seek medical help immediately.
- Perform routine cleaning of the house and the surroundings
- Remove all firewood, other building materials and debris from the foundation of the house.
- Wear gloves and shake the shoes and other articles of clothing that have been kept in the attic or in the garage before wearing them or bringing outside.
- Be aware that spiders can also be found in unanticipated areas such as the tip of a planter pot and mailboxes.
- Use caulk in sealing windows and door frames, screen on all windows to prevent spiders from entering the house. A caulk is a flexible material that is used in sealing leaks through gaps, cracks and joints.
- Use pesticides in eliminating severe infestations. Be sure to read the labels on the pesticides especially when there are pets which can be very dangerous to them.