Preventing Spider Bites

Ohio's Biting Spiders | What to do if Bitten

The best protection against spider bites is vigilance. I and my assistants have handled thousands of living spiders in the first five years of the Ohio Spider Survey, yet none of us have ever been bitten. It seems that we are safe primarily because we are paying attention to the spiders. People who do get bitten were almost always unaware of the spider beforehand. Few spiders are truly aggressive, most are timid and will retreat if given a chance. Bites occur because someone inadvertently invades the spiderís space. Some bites occur, for example, when people put their hands in garden or household gloves that have been laying in a disused area, or when someone (particularly children) picks up and dons an article of clothing that has been laying on the floor or in a closet. Walking in bare feet, particularly at night, can lead to an unfortunate encounter with a spider. On such occasions the spider lashes out as it is about to be crushed. Some recluse and widow bites occur because people unwittingly reach into or bump their webs and stimulate an attack. Unpacking long-stored cardboard boxes is one frequent method of encountering spiders and therefore it is prudent to use gloves when doing so.

Ohio's Biting Spiders | What to do if Bitten


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last revised 28 March / prepared by Clay Harris