Bit by a spider while cleaning the attic? Do not panic. Most spider bites are not fatal. Many of the bites resolve on their own. The main objective when bit by a spider is to rid the body of any venom that might have been infused during the bite.
Except for a few species of spiders like Black Widow and Brown Recluse, the rest of the spider species are non-toxic. Yet, care should be taken to identify the species of the spider that had caused the bite.
The symptoms of a spider bite include:
- Redness and sensitivity in the area of bite.
- Swelling and inflammation.
If the spider has bit in the extremity, it is better to keep the limb at an elevated position to prevent the spread of venom, if any, into the body. The area should be washed clean under running water. Then, it can be washed with a medicated soap solution. Doctors, if they feel that it is a venomous bite, may administer an anti-venom injection. Pain killers are also prescribed in case of unbearable pain. Some topical antiseptic lotion / ointment is recommended for application on the affected area.
Some very effective home remedies for spider bites are discussed here. If symptoms do not subside despite following the home remedies, consult a doctor immediately:
- Ice pack:
Wrap an ice cube in a cotton cloth and press it against the area of bite. Keep the ice pressed against the affected area for a few minutes. Now, release the pressure and reapply. Applying icepacks brings relief from pain and inflammation caused by a spider bite.
- Mint Leaves:
Take some fresh mint leaves. Crush them into a paste and apply on the bit skin. Mint being anti-inflammatory, it cures possible infection and inflammation.
- Neem Leaves:
The procedure mentioned for mint leaves can be followed with neem leaves also. Neem is anti-inflammatory and cures the bite. Also, as it possesses highly valued healing properties, it clears the venom, if any, and reduces pain.
- Baking soda:
Take about half a teaspoon of baking soda. Mix water and make a paste of the same. Apply on the area of bite. After the paste dries up, wash the area under cool water. Repeat thrice during the day until the symptoms subside.
- Apple Cider Vinegar:
Take a few drops of apple cider vinegar and with the help of a small cotton ball, apply on the affected skin. Leave on. Safely repeat several times during the day to get relief from the symptoms.
Wet a little rock salt ( which is finely powdered). Apply this on the area of bite and make a thin cotton bandage over the area. Salt helps in curing the infection and enables faster healing.
- Activated charcoal:
Break a few capsules of activated charcoal. Mix a little water. Apply on the area of bite. Repeat two more times during the day.
A better idea would be to loosely bandage the area with a cotton bandage after applying the activated charcoal extract.
- Turmeric + Holy Basil:
Take a few holy basil leaves. Wash them under water and crush them to extract a few drops of juice. Mix good quality turmeric powder in this juice and apply on the affected. Wash after the paste dries up.
Some tips to avoid spider bites:
- Use fully covered garments, like full-sleeved tee-shirts and track pants while spring cleaning.
- Ensure the windows of the house are netted fully to avoid the insects entering the house.
- Close all crevices and cracks in the bathroom / other doors, which can prevent spiders from entering the house.
- Use a vacuum cleaner often to clear dust and spider webs. When the house is cleaned frequently, spiders will be discouraged to take up permanent residency in the house!