What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found in grapes
Location: Southeast Michigan
June 1, 2017 7:28 pm
My wife was bitten in the finger as she was packing some grapes in a bag. We live in southeast michigan but not sure where the grapes come from
Signature: Bill Lowry

Brown Widow Spider

Dear Bill,
This sure looks like an immature Brown Widow Spider,
Latrodectus geometricus, to us, but viewing through the plastic bag is somewhat distorting.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  The Brown Widow is a recently introduced species According to BugGuide:  “World wide in the tropical zone. It was introduced in Florida and has since been observed moving north through Georgia, and into South Carolina; it has also been officially recorded in California, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas.”  If the grapes were imported from California, it is entirely possible that a Brown Widow was imported with them.  BugGuide also notes:  “Widow Bites:  NOTE: It is recognized that this particular species of widow is most likely not medically significant (not an immediate medical concern to those who are bitten).  The brown widow produces clinical effects similar to that of the black widow but the typical symptoms and signs being milder and tending to be restricted to the bite site and surrounding tissues.   Brown widow spiders usually curl up into a ball, and drop to the ground as a primary defense. It is highly recommended that people leave this spider alone; observe, but don’t touch.  The brown widow is an extremely timid spider which has rarely been reported to bite.”

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

2 Responses to Brown Widow bites woman eating grapes in Michigan

  1. Cesar Crash says:

    Our literature says the same. But I’ll try to translate three cases of adults who was biten by L. geometricus:

    “After about 8 hours I felt chills and started an intense pain, I continued using antiallergics and ointment, after about 12 hours I sweated constantly, much sweat, abnormal, and after the sweat passed the pain extended for some 3 days.” Ítalo Dias, adult male, the mildest case.

    Well, I was bitten by this spider, and I was in a lot of pain for 24 hours, and even taking analgesic, the pain did not pass, it only softened. I had a sweat, a vomiting, and a lot of pain in the groin with strong cramps in the bottom of my belly. The bite was in the leg, knee height. Thank you for your attention.
    Carla, adult female.

    “About 5 minutes after dressing my shirt, I began to feel some very bad pain in my belly and I just put my hand to relieve it, believing it to be no big deal. It was then that the pain became very strong and I turned on the lights to see what it was: my belly was very reddish, and on the bed, to my fright, a dead spider (I think I rolled over it).
    I did not know what to do and went to an emergency room. But only one hospital in a city of approximately 1 million is “able” to meet insect bites. At that moment my belly ached heavily and began to swell …
    I got to the hospital indicated by the emergency room, and even taking the spider (they did not even see it, the nurse even mocked the situation), all they gave me was an anti-allergy and an analgesic (because I asked for it) and they sent me home.
    The strong pain lasted for 3 days. A pain like a burn. The spot around the bite turned very sweaty red during the 3 days. I can not tell if the place was cold or hot … But it was a strange sensation. Today, day (4-5 days after), I still feel pain when I put my finger on the spot.
    Djalma Filho, adult male, 6’11” tall, 176Lbs

    The only mild case was a male L. geometricus bite.

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