What You Need to Know About Spider Bites in Oklahoma

The summer and fall months provide the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Whether you prefer biking, canoeing, fishing hiking or some other activity, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in Oklahoma. In addition to applying sunscreen and staying hydrated, you’ll want to remember another safety issue: keep an eye out for spiders to avoid getting bitten.

According to the journal American Family Physician, there are more than 3,000 types of spiders in the United States, but few of them bite and an even smaller group are poisonous to humans. The only poisonous spiders that reside in Oklahoma are the black widow and the brown recluse.

Symptoms of a Spider Bite

Here are some of the key symptoms to be aware of if a spider bite needs medical attention.:

  • Swelling
  • A red welt
  • Skin damage
  • Pain around the area of the bite
  • Itching or a rash

Can I treat a spider bite at home?

There are times when you may be able to treat a spider bite at home. If you’ve been bitten by a non-venomous spider, follow these steps:

  • Place an ice pack on the bite for about 10 minutes at a time, off and on
  • Elevate the area with the bite to reduce swelling
  • Take an antihistamine to help reduce itching
  • Clean the area to prevent any infections

If you have symptoms of a spider bite and they don’t begin to go away within a week, or you suspect you’ve been bitten by a brown recluse or black widow spider, seek medical attention.

What does a black widow spider bite look like?

If a black widow spider has bitten you, your skin will react immediately. Symptoms of black widow bites include a headache, numbness, muscle cramping, and pain and burning at the puncture site.

What does a brown recluse spider bite look like?

The symptoms of a of a brown recluse spider bite take longer to develop. The site will begin to itch, hurt and turn red hours after the bite. Seek immediate medical attention for a brown recluse spider bite as it can quickly kill surrounding tissue.

Be sure to have your spider bite concerns addressed by your primary care provider or the health care providers at Utica Park Clinic Urgent Care at 9245 S. Mingo Rd. in Tulsa.