What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: good or bad spider?
Location: southern indiana
November 15, 2015 12:42 pm
Southern Indiana. November 15. In the house.
Signature: Niki

Immature Northern Black Widow

Immature Northern Black Widow

Dear Niki,
We don’t really like to think of spiders as good or bad, but without waxing philosophically on the matter, we can tell you that this is an immature Northern Black Widow, and that the bite of a Black Widow Spider is considered to be potentially dangerous, especially to young children and the elderly.  According to BugGuide:  “Caution: This spider is venomous and can harm people. However, the female injects such a small dose of venom that it rarely causes death. Reports indicate human mortality at well less than 1% from black widow spider bites. While Latrodectus variolus is not aggressive and does not have the instinct to bite, her venom is neurotoxic, which means that it blocks the transmission of nervous impulses. If the spider bites, most likely it has been pressed against human bare skin, and this causes a natural reaction, a bite in self-defense. For the most part, the black widow’s bite may be felt only as a pin prick, during which the spider’s fangs inject a minute amount of highly toxic venom under the skin. The severity of the victim’s reaction depends on his or her age and health, and on the area of the body that is bitten. Local swelling and redness at the site may be followed in one to three hours by intense spasmodic pain, which can travel throughout the affected limbs and body, settling in the abdomen and back (intense abdominal cramping, described as similar to appendicitis), and can last 48 hours or longer. Elderly patients or young children run a higher risk of severe reactions, but it is rare for bites to result in death; only sixty-three having been reported in the United States between 1950 and 1959 (Miller, 1992). Other symptoms can include nausea and profuse perspiration. If left untreated, tremors, convulsions and unconsciousness may result. When death does occur, it is due to suffocation.”  There should be a telltale red hourglass mark on the ventral surface.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Indiana

3 Responses to Immature Northern Black Widow

  1. Nancy says:

    I appreciate your efforts to answer these questions! It’s good to know this spider is poisonous, and even if not likely to cause death, it does sound very, very painful if a person is bitten.
    It’s interesting, as well. Thanks again.

  2. Hunter says:

    This spider bit my dog and my dog died I’m very sad???????????

  3. Margaret says:

    I am so sorry about your dog. I believe myself and my dog were bitten by a northern black widow spider. May I ask your dogs symptoms? My dog is having a hard time breathing she is hot , her ears are twitching and her stomach hurts. My symptoms are profuse sweating, severe cramps under my ribs and I can barely breathe. My voice is hoarse and I can only speak soft. Ive been to the doctor but they are not taking this serious. And say there are no poisonous spiders here in northern Wisconsin. I have a bite on my arm that was excruciating pain swelled up and now just is a slight pain. A month later. And I still can hardly breathe. Any help would be appreciated!!!! Thank you!! I’m on antioniotixs and prednisone for 3 weeks now and inhalers.

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