How Dangerous Is a Wolf Spider Bite?

Ice packs may be used to reduce swelling associated with a spider bite.
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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2014
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A wolf spider bite is generally not dangerous, but it can cause some uncomfortable and painful symptoms. A bite from a wolf spider might additionally be more serious in children, and there are some people who are naturally more sensitive to spider bites than others. Most of the time, a wolf spider bite can be treated at home without the need for a doctor visit. If a bite from a wolf spider occurs, the bitten area of the skin should be closely monitored for at least 24 hours to ensure that it doesn't get any worse.

Wolf spiders are usually fairly large in size, and for this reason their bites can be painful. People who have been bitten often notice swelling, inflammation, and some itchiness on the bitten site. The venom from the spider in the body might also cause lymph nodes to swell up temporarily. The bitten area could also necrotize, or turn black, in some individuals who are overly sensitive to spider bites. Dizziness, nausea, and increased pulse rate after a wolf spider bite are symptoms that should be considered serious, and medical attention is probably necessary if these symptoms occur.

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Treating a wolf spider bite at home typically involves cleaning the wound out thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Antibacterial soap should be used if it is on hand to help prevent infection from setting in. Minor swelling from the bite can usually be controlled with the application of an ice pack, which should be removed every 20 to 30 minutes so that frostbite doesn't set in. In addition to cleaning the wound and using an ice pack on it, it's also generally considered beneficial to elevate the bitten area. Elevating a spider bite wound might help keep it from swelling.

If a child suffers a wolf spider bite, it is probably a good idea to seek medical attention even if symptoms do not seem severe just to be on the safe side. Serious symptoms in anyone, including children, like vomiting, nausea, or increased pulse rate, should also be evaluated by a medical professional. Using pain relievers, either topical or in pill form, on a wolf spider bite is generally acceptable, but it might not be a bad idea for a person to consult with his doctor before using them. Some people also use antihistamines after they have been bitten by spiders to help with inflammation and swelling, but it is probably also best to ask a doctor before using these as well.

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ZipLine
Post 3

@MikeMason-- It may be necessary, especially for children. It's also necessary if the bite becomes infected or doesn't resolve within a few days.

I was given a tetanus shot as well as antibiotics when I got bit by a wolf spider bite. My bite was infected and basically turned into an ulcer. But the doctor at the hospital said that not everyone develops an infection after a spider bite.

So you should look out for signs of infection. If the bite is very swollen and inflamed, if it becomes ulcerated and starts oozing pus, you need medical attention.

stoneMason
Post 2

Is it necessary to get a tetanus shot after being bit by a wolf spider?

literally45
Post 1

I spotted a wolf spider in my living room this morning. I looked up pictures online and I'm sure it's a wolf spider, although it might be a baby one because it's not very big.

I'm hoping it won't bite me when I'm sleeping but I'm relieved to know that I won't die if I do get bit. I had a spider bite when I was a child. I was bit on my neck at night, the spot was red, swollen and painful for more than a week! My mom would apply a pain-relieving cream on it so that I would stop crying.

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