I am very nervous of spiders, they have too many legs, it freaks me out. So I do all I can to avoid them. My adventurous son however, managed to get bitten by one within the first 18 months of his life. This was the first time, and only time, really, that Jesse has ever been ill, and it was rather frightening. He was bitten by a suspected jumping spider, and although it seemed to be healing very well, he reacted oddly to the venom which resulted in a rush to the emergency room and his first dose of antibiotics... we later realised that the reason he was so ill and listless was due to a secondary infection (a throat infection) as his immune system was down.
After all this drama, and my normally ecstatically healthy boy being unwell for near on two weeks, I did plenty of research on spider bite care for next time.
The treatment for all spider bites is to prevent infection and promote healing. We can do this in many ways:
- Only when a person is bitten by a button spider do they need to go to hospital for anti-venom, with all other bites (in South Africa) you should manage with home care or a visit to the GP if you are worried.
- Wash the bite well, and apply an ice pack.
- You can neutralise the venom by applying a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water and allowing to dry.
- Wounds should be kept clean, use diluted tea tree oil for its antibiotic properties.
- You could apply a clay salve to draw out the venom further.
- Apply an antiseptic cream, preferably including ionic silver, or lavender tea tree oil to prevent infection. Coconut oil could be used topically and orally to further fight infection.
- Plenty of rest and water if the victim is feeling poorly, avoidance of sugar and processed foods as this inhibits the immune system and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable juices to keep the body nourished and hydrated.
No post on spider bite care is complete without mention of the ones to watch out for!
There are some 2000 identified spiders in South Africa, and now, in the warmer months, is when seem to be everywhere. We need only worry about a few however, and these are them:
Six-eyed Sand Spider / Six-eyed Crab Spider / Sand Crab Spider
|Sand Crab Spider [Source]|
|Violin Spider [Source]|
|Sac Spider [Source]|
Button Spiders / Black Widow Spider
|Black Button / Widow Spider [Source]|
|Brown Button Spider [Source]|
Next time we hope to avoid the emergency room entirely! What is your favourite treatment for spider bites?