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Article: Black Widows in My Garden: Not as bad as a Brown Recluse

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jimNvegas
Las Vegas, NV

May 11, 2009
2:55 PM

Post #6533624

I bow to the expertise of a vet for I assume they are suppose to know their stuff. However, since he has admits to never being bit by a BW and I have, not once but twice, I will speak from first hand knowledge. Indeed it is painful, about like a wasp sting, but only in one instance did I seek a doctor. It is my opinion that the Brown Recluse, or fiddleback as they are most commonly called, are far worse. The largest problem with fiddleback bites is its deception. Most fiddleback bites occur without the person even knowing it. Mine occured in my sleep and looks a lot like a misquito bite. If treated within the first 24 hours they are usually taken care of quite easily. However most people tend to ignore it, as I did, and only later do they realize the extent of the injury. The wound will swell and cause pain and you start to experience flu like symptoms. At which point a doctors visit IS REQUIRED! You will not recover on your own and failure to see a doctor can result in death. Treatment usually requires antibiotics and rest. Later a specimen will be required from the pus of the wound to be sure the antibiotics have killed the infection the venom causes. Upon healing the wound will usually fall out leaving a ugly hole where the bite occured. If the anitibiotics have been effective all that is required of the wound is keeping it covered and treating it like most other wounds. Expect a scar. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ANY OF THIS AS MEDICAL ADVICE. I am only speaking from experience since both me and my son have suffered the bite. Best advice is to avoid the fiddleback if possible. Unlike the BW I know of no benefits of the brown recluse.
pooshka
Flower Mound, TX

May 11, 2009
6:06 PM

Post #6534441

you guys better stop this thread or I'm going to be afraid to go out in the garden!! ha
bobbi56
Greenville, TX

May 11, 2009
6:56 PM

Post #6534654

My older brother was bitten on his chest by a brown recluse while trimming a bush. His wife rushed him to the Dr. where he collapsed in the entry. They had to give him an anti-venom shot while he lay there on the floor. He recovered but much to his chagrin, he lost all his teeth. The Dr. attributed it to the spider venom.
jimNvegas
Las Vegas, NV

May 11, 2009
9:01 PM

Post #6535338

Never heard of anyone losing their teeth but it doesnt suprise me. They are very nasty creatures! Its rare to hear of anyone being bitten while outside since they prefer dark areas like closets and beds. I'm no expert but I would venture an opinion saying that for their size they have to be one of the most deadly spiders there are. Awhile back I had some medical test ran and my liver reading were screwy. Went to a liver doctor and he couldnt find anything wrong and gave me a clean bill of health. Later I was talking to a guy at work and he has had the same experience. Guess what we have in common? You got it. We both had been bitten by a fiddleback and didnt get it attended to until we were pretty sick. I'm convinced it gives bad readings on the liver test.
morrigan
Craryville, NY

May 12, 2009
1:29 AM

Post #6536573

I spent five days in hospital on a cocktail of IV drugs, and almost lost the outer three toes of my left foot, from the Brown Recluse. It IS very serious, and painful, and yes, people tend to ignore it at first, until they collapse or are too sick to ignore it. There was a woman that same summer in the Northwest (Oregon I think) who was bitten on the cheek (upper) and she died. Not to be taken lightly.
jimNvegas
Las Vegas, NV

May 12, 2009
2:50 AM

Post #6536990

And I thought I had it bad! I was one sick puppy but nothing like what you discribe. When I awoke one morning I had what looked and itched like a mosquito bite on the inside of my thigh. I put some stuff on it to keep it from itching and went on about my work. I should have suspected something when it didnt go away by afternoon but I let it slide. Next morning I felt like crap. Again I thought I attributed it something else. Catching a cold. By that afternoon I noticed I had red streaks from the bite going toward an area I didnt want red streaks going toward. If you get my drift. So I went to the doctor and he wanted to put me in the hospital. Instead he gave me two shots and a prescription. Next morning I felt better but still not great. Red streaks had diminished somewhat. About a week later the bite spot, now about the size of a quarter fell out and left an ugly looking wound. About a month later the almost exact same thing happened to my son only his was on his arm. He didnt say anything about until two days had passed. We rushed him to the doc and went through the same thing with him.
thistlesifter
Vista, CA

May 12, 2009
7:23 PM

Post #6539815

I was bitten by Recluse.

First Doctor I saw denied that these critters lived in my area. I happened to have a copy of an authoritative web article that cited the number of reported recluse incidents in my county in the preceding 12 months (50+). Boy was he surprised.

Luckily, my immune system is very strong. Even though my elbow swelled to the size of my knee and my fingers were inflated like small bananas, with antibiotics and constant ice packs, elevation of my arm and complete bed rest for several days, I overcame the attack and within a couple of weeks was back close to normal doing daily workouts.

It is a sneak attack for sure. I am told the Recluse's tactic is to make multiple visits to the same prey during a series of a few days allowing its venom and infection do its damage. When magnified there were several punctures in the wounded area. I remember in retrospect, the morning after the attack noting what I thought was a mosquito bite. I have a prescribed medication for minor exzema condition that works real well on mosquito bites. It stopped the itching, but within 48 hours the swelling began.

Many people have died from Recluse encounters. They are carnivors and live on dead insect as well as carrion. As such they carry diseases that may likely enter a victim's bloodstream. So result of an attack may vary. It can be a horrible ordeal. I consider myself fortunate, as was jimNvegas.


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