Wolf spider bite


Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Wolf spider facts

The moment the word spiders come to your mind, the first thing that strikes your mind is an insect with eight legs.  Wolf spiders are one step ahead and not only have eight legs but also have eight eyes.

Another thing uncommon in these spiders is that they do not spin webs to hunt their food, but in fact hunt their food with their agility and powerful eyesight.  They generally live a solitary life and can be found among fallen leaves and grassy areas in the woods.  They adapt to various environments and can also be found in our houses such as in garages, basements, sheds, and lofts.  The appearance of these spiders may be terrifying but they are generally harmless and are not venomous.

How do I identify a wolf spider?

These spiders are relatively large and may grow up to two inches long.  They have a brownish coloration and may vary depending on the habitat.  They have the distinctive eight eyes, four small, two medium, and two big.  These eyes are situated on the frontal portion and cover a wide range.

Brown recluse spiders are quite similar in appearance with the only difference being that brown recluse spiders have only six eyes with the same size.  Brown recluse spiders are venomous and can cause serious damage when they bite humans.  Some of the important physical appearances of a wolf spider are described below.

  • Wolf spider has a camouflage look with a combination of multiple colors. They have an orangish-brown to gray and sometimes black.  They also have stripes on them that vary depending on the color combination.
  • They have the distinctive eight eyes that are placed in three rows. The four small eyes are situated at the bottom, above them come the two big eyes, and finally, two medium-sized eyes that are placed more towards the sides.
  • Apart from the regular eight legs, it also has two appendages called pedipalps situated in the front.
  • Young wolf spiders ride on their mother’s back until they are ready to venture out independently.

Are they dangerous?

Wolf spiders are not considered venomous and they generally do not bite a human unless they are provoked.  You just feel a stinging sensation when the spider bites.  The bite site appears to have two puncture wounds.  Since the spider is not venomous, you would only end up having some inflammation and redness around the site.

As a matter of fact, you would hardly notice the spider biting you.  Since wolf spiders are quite agile, they tend to bite and move away to safety.  You may experience the following symptoms after a spider bite and these include swelling at the puncture site, which may sometimes lead to blistering with itchiness.  In a few cases, rashes may erupt at the puncture site.

Causes and risk factors of spider bite

People generally do not get bitten by a spider.  Of course, the spider does not prey on humans and it is highly unlikely that the spider would make the first move to bite any human.  In a scenario where you are bitten by a spider, the environment in which you are living may play an important part.

Few types of spiders tend to live in a particular environment such as the black widow spider is more common in the southwestern United States.  In the case of a wolf spider, they generally are found in grassy areas or around some fallen leaves.  Since humans are fast reducing the natural environment and the habitats for such creatures, these spiders make their way into our homes and start living in garages, sheds, etc.  The only reason a spider would bite you is when they feel they are in danger or if you have unknowingly stormed into their living area.

Spiders like to stay in an environment that is far from normal activity.  They may live in your home but prefer places that are untouched such as behind the dressing shelf, kitchen cupboards, basement, garage, etc.  So, if you do not want to be bitten by a spider be careful while going to their habitat.

Does a spider bite require medical treatment?

The answer to this question would generally be no unless and until it has caused any serious complications.  As discussed earlier, it is highly unlikely that you would notice a spider biting you.  You would realize that you have been bitten by a spider only after looking at the puncture wounds on the skin.  A venomous spider bite can cause complications such as more intense pain associated with swelling and stiffness may occur after a few hours.

A venomous spider generally has neurotoxins in its venom and it is important to identify the spider which has bit you.  Suitable anti-venom would be administered to treat this condition.  In the case of wolf spiders, they are non-venomous and only cause slight redness and swelling at the bite site.

Few individuals may be hypersensitive and may experience more redness, inflammation, and pain as compared to a healthy individual.  In such cases, over the counter painkillers and antihistamines are prescribed to relieve the pain and inflammation.  For a more severe case, oral steroids may be prescribed along with topical steroid cream.  There is a rare possibility that a spider bite could be infected.  In such a scenario, you may be prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection.

Natural treatment for spider bite

Natural treatment for a spider bite is the most common treatment rendered.  They are straight-forward and are not complicated.  Since a spider bite can cause swelling and pain, it generally should subside on its own within 24 to 48 hours.  Some of the natural treatments to reduce these symptoms are discussed below.

Icing the area

It is recommended that the spider bite area be cleaned thoroughly with flowing water.  Next, apply an ice pack to the area for 10 minutes and repeat this multiple times until the swelling subsides within 24 to 48 hours.  Icing the area greatly reduces the swelling associated with a spider bite and reduces the pain as well.

Apply activated charcoal

Activated charcoal has the ability to absorb toxins and is considered as the most appropriate natural treatment for any type of spider bite.  A charcoal paste can be applied to the affected area, which absorbs the toxins from the area and relieves the pain and inflammation associated with a spider bite.  Application of charcoal paste can be continued until the symptoms subside.

Use baking soda paste

Baking soda is one of the readily available options at home.  You can mix three parts of baking soda to one part of water and make a paste which can be applied to the affected area.  The alkaline property in the baking soda absorbs the toxins and reduces the inflammation and pain.

Elevate the area

If you are bitten on your leg or arm by a spider, elevating the arm or leg can help you greatly.  This treatment is particularly effective when you are bitten by a venomous spider.  Since the spider venom contains neurotoxins, elevation prevents the toxins to affect other parts of the body rapidly and delays the process.  This gives you ample time to obtain treatment in the form of anti-venom.

Avoid scratching

This can sound silly, but the actual truth is that it is highly advisable to avoid scratching since it may exacerbate your symptoms and in some cases can even lead to infection.  If you are scratching with a fingernail, there is a possibility that the puncture site becomes more irritated, which can lead to infection.

Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil is known to provide a soothing effect on the affected area.  Redness and inflammation associated with a spider bite can be calmed down with the use of lavender oil.  The essential oil needs to be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil which can then be applied to the affected area to relieve the symptoms of redness and swelling.

Apply potato poultice

Everybody knows that French fries are yummy, but it should be noted that potatoes can be used more wisely to reduce the inflammation associated with a spider bite.  You can make a potato poultice by scraping the potato and wrapping it in a cloth.  Apply the potato poultice until the potato becomes dry.  This can reduce the inflammation and this method has been in use for centuries.

Try witch hazel

Witch hazel is another essential oil that is known for its antioxidant and astringent properties.  You can apply witch hazel to the affected area to relieve the symptoms of redness, inflammation, and itching in particular.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has been used to treat various skin conditions due to the presence of numerous antiseptic agents such as urea nitrogen, lupeol, cinnamic acid, salicylic acid, phenols, and sulfur.  Aloe vera contains antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, and E which helps in relieving pain and inflammation from the affected area.  A piece of aloe vera leaf can be placed on the affected area or aloe vera gel available in the market can be used to provide a soothing effect to the skin.

Wintergreen essential oil

Wintergreen essential oil again has a good reputation in treating topical skin problems.  It has been found that wintergreen essential oil has analgesic properties and can reduce the irritation and pain associated with a spider bite.  Mix wintergreen essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil and apply the mixture to the affected area.

Precautions

As discussed earlier, spiders do not come after you to bite and it is actually we tend to disrupt their habitat and end up getting bitten by a spider.  Few simple precautions can save you from that stinging bite.

  • Avoid grassy and wooded environment where there is a high chance of encountering a spider.
  • Wear full sleeved shirts and pants along with shoes and socks so as to prevent any type of spider bite.
  • If you are visiting your house basement, garages, or any other uncommon places, make sure to expect this eight-legged creature at any dark corner.
  • Identify the spider that has bitten you. This would make the treatment easier if you were bitten by a venomous spider.
  • Take prompt medical treatment if the symptoms of a spider bite rapidly increase over time.

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Anti-Hepatitis B Core Antigen (AHBc) Total Anti-hepatitis B core antigen (AHBC ) is a blood examination and the only serological marker of infectious blood…
woman with abdominal pain holding ovulation calendar
Ovulation – facts to know about ovulation Learn how and when ovulation occurs, demystify common misconceptions, identify symptoms, methods of detection and right period for…
Optavia diet
The features of an Optavia diet The Optavia diet endorses pre-packaged meals and snacks called "fuelings" that are tasty, low in calorie, and incorporates…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
Experts reveal the safest ways to perform an enema at home The idea of pushing some up your rectal area might make you queasy but an enema could actually…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
pilonidal sinus
Pilonidal sinus Pilonidal sinus is more common in young men than women. Learn about treatment options, surgical management, risks, and…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too? This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding on the plant…
Rick Simpson’s Oil: The truths and controversies of this cannabis product Rick Simpson's Oil is an extract from the much-controversial plant, Cannabis. What is the actual truth behind the…
Epley maneuver: Why is this the best protection from the symptoms of vertigo? Epley maneuver is an exercise that can treat the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).  It was…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how healthy can a…
Carb Cycling: Weighing the pros vs the cons of this diet routine Completely discarding carbs from your life will do you more harm than good. Read more about carb cycling,…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that is flexible enough…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find a list of…
dandelion weight loss
Caralluma Fimbriata: How to eat this cactus to lose weight Caralluma fimbriata is a miracle cactus that can be safely consumed by most for losing weight and boosting…