Mom: Black widow spider that was in daughter's jeans did this

How to handle venomous spider bites

A mother thinks a black widow in her 5-year-old’s jeans bit her. It happened in Massachusetts and a lot of you are talking about this online.

With a quick glance at the picture, managing director of Florida Poison Control Alfred Aleguas noticed a few red flags.

"You'll feel an immediate stinging sensation.  You might see a mark or area that you've had a bite,” he said.  “it'll be red initially but it doesn't really turn black and blue."

The girl's parents say their daughter never felt a bite and it took a few days before turning black.

"The bruise starting turning black a few days later. If you got bit, you would know in a few minutes,” he said.  Hypothetically it could have been a recluse bite.  That looks like some sort of bite that got infected."

Aleguas says while black widow spider bites happen often, it's not the most common call they get.
So far this year in Florida, 19 black widow bites have been reported. Last year, there were 57.

"The venom works on nerves and muscles and is a neurotoxin and causes a significant amount of pain,” said Aleguas.  “It will eventually radiate to your trunk and you can get a lot of muscle spasms."

So what does a black widow spider bite look like?

Look for a small bite, similar to a mosquito bite, but it'll hurt a lot more. And be careful not to confuse it with a brown recluse bite.

"They have a very distinctive bite that progresses to the skin around will die,” said Aleguas.  “It starts off as a small blister. gets black and develops like a red white and blue; rings. then the tissue can break down."

So what do you do if you get bit?  Call Florida Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or go the emergency room.

There are two main types of venomous spiders in Florida. Widow spiders and Recluse spiders.
 
There are four types of widows: The Northern black, southern Black, Brown and red widow.

The Department of Agriculture says most bites by black widows happen in outhouses.  But bites happen more often when the spider is trapped against human skin, so they bite in self-defense.

No species of recluse spiders are native to Florida, but three species have been found here -- The brown recluse, the Mediterranean recluse and the Chilean recluse.

Only the Chilean recluse has been found in our area.  It was found in Polk County.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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