Most of us have been bitten by a spider at some point in our lives, and I think we can all agree that it sucks. However, fatal spider bites are a different matter altogether. For one thing, dying from a spider bite is extremely painful. Perhaps you've wondered what deadly spider bites feel like. Rather than experience it yourself, why not let us help you out learn more, safely?
Spider bites are not only intensely painful, they can severely damage your skin and muscle tissue, sometimes even resulting in paralysis. And of course, they can definitely kill you. That's not to say that every spider that bites you is going to lead to death, but it's enough that the mere idea of spiders makes people's skin crawl.
Let's take a closer look, in detail, at what exactly happens to your body as a spider bite kills you. But if you're an arachnephobe (or just have a weak stomach), be advised that some of these images and descriptions are graphic.
You'll Probably Feel the Sting of the Initial Bite
Unlike a mosquitos or fleas, spiders pack a little bit of a punch when they decide to dig in to your flesh. Not all spider bites are intensely painful, and the majority only leave a little bump, some redness, and maybe an itch. However, we're talking about deadly spider bites here, and those are a different story. In the United States, dying from a spider bite nearly always means that you've been nipped by some sort of widow or recluse, and with those, you know when you've been bitten.
In some cases, the bite is intensely painful right away, and you'll feel the venom in the bite within moments. However, in other cases it feels like an unexpected pinprick. In other words, it'll hurt, but you might not expect that something pretty serious is about to happen to you.
The Area Will Turn Red and Swell
All spiders are venomous to some degree, because that's how they hunt. Because of this, if you're bitten by a spider, there are some very common symptoms that you'll feel regardless of the spider species. The first ones are always redness, swelling, and of course, some amount of pain. The initial pain will likely be minor, and the redness will be localized to the bite itself. The swelling, however, may be all over the limb or area surrounding the bite, depending on where you've been bitten. For example, if you were bitten on your finger, your whole finger may swell up.
Because this is a common reaction, you might just shrug off the bite at this point or put a little ice on it. After this, however, things are going to start to get weird.
It'll Start to Itch
Itching around spider bites is pretty common, actually. However, the itchiness you feel from a deadly spider bite, such as a that of a black widow, is a severe sensation, and is often accompanied by a rash. You may feel itchy on other parts of your body besides just the bite area, too. This all-over itch is a sign your body is starting to try to fend off the venom that's beginning to move through your muscles and veins.
In a minor bite situation, the symptoms may not progress past this point, but if a spider got you with a lot of venom, and you're having a reaction to it, this is the last symptom that's not genuinely distressing. After all, while itching is annoying, it's hardly deadly, so you might not exactly be rushing to the hospital. Yet.
You'll Start to Hurt, And Not Just Near the Bite
As the venom begins to move through your body, it's going to start doing horrible things to your nerves. You see, most spider venom is a neurotoxin (including that of the black widow), because it uses that toxin to paralyze its insect prey. Of course, we're not insects, and while we're not instantly rendered immobile, the venom still attacks our nervous system.
The biggest reaction we have to these neurotoxins is pain. Initially, it'll just be around the bite, but then it may spread to joints, limbs, hands and feet, and other unexpected places. In fact, you may start feeling achy all over, and the pain is likely to persist through the entire experience.