The symptoms following the bite of a black widow spider are similar to the pain inflicted to a person by a pin, though severe pain is soon evidenced.


The patient is suddenly overwhelmed by a general numbness and specially, a deep pain in the bitten area. Cramps in shoulders, back, thighs, abdomen and thorax are common symptoms. Great swelling follows, as well as salivation, difficulties to breathe and to swallow, high pressure, anxiety, general weakness, headache and stomachache.

Warning : in pregnant women, the symptoms following the bite of a black widow spider may bring about early delivery.


  • Apply ice in the bitten skin for 10 minutes; then leave the injury alone for another 10 minutes;
    Repeat the process.
  • Victims should be immediately carried away to an emergency room for proper treatment.

Before calling the emergency service, you should gather the following information:

  • Age of patient
  • Time of bite
  • Area of the body where bite/bites happened.
  • Type of spider, whenever possible*.

*It would be very useful to trap the spider for proper identification.

Death in a normal and healthy patient is rarely the case, but it is prone to occur if the victim is a very young child or a senior adult. The symptoms following the bite of a Heavy black widow disappear within 2 or 3 days, but lesser symptoms may endure for many weeks.

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