Spiders

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Oklahoma Poison Control Center
940 NE 13th Street
Suite 3850, Nicholson Tower
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104

  • (800) 222-1222 Toll Free
    For ALL poison/drug questions, exposures, emergencies
  • (405) 271-5062 Phone
    Administrative line (business hours)
  • (405) 271-1816 Fax

Drug Identification

The Oklahoma Poison Control Center answers pill identification calls for healthcare professionals and law enforcement officers/agents only. The general public can use the following resources to help with pill identification:

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Brown Recluse Spider (Fiddleback Spider)

The Brown Recluse spider is usually light brown in color. The spider's body is delicate, and its thin legs are longer than its body. This is not a fuzzy spider! The most prominent marking is a darker brown violin shape on the top side of the spider's middle section. Unlike other spiders, the Brown Recluse has three pairs of eyes on its head that look like three tiny black dots. Brown Recluse spiders like to hide, and they can live for long periods of time without food or water. These spiders are difficult to exterminate. Prevention includes picking up clutter, avoidance of wearing clothes that have been on the floor, and checking bed sheets before retiring, if the home is heavily infested. Control of spider food supplies, such as crickets, etc., is also helpful.

Bite Of The Brown Recluse

  • Victim is often unaware of the bite and has little early pain.
  • Mild to severe pain usually develops in the bite area after two to eight hours.
  • One or two tiny puncture holes may be seen at the site of the bite surrounded by a whitish and a reddish halo.
  • Blisters usually form within 24 hours, and a dark purple center may be seen by the third or fourth day - pain and itching usually increases - do not break blisters because it increased the chance for infection.
  • The bite area also feels hot, swollen, and firm to touch.
  • In one or two weeks, the tissue dies and sloughs away as an open ulcer may form. If the wound is very large, it may become chronic and heal very slowly. Plastic surgery may be required.
  • Early treatment is very important.
  • If back pain and a rash develop within 24 hours seek help immediately.
Besides local skin effects, within 24 to 48 hours there may be a fever, chills, weakness, nausea, vomiting, joint pain, and a rash. Death is rare, but is a risk with serious reactions. If back pain, fever, or dark urine develops, consult a physician immediately. Serious symptoms may occur, particularly in children.

Black Widow Spider

Adult Black Widow spiders are easily identified by their jet black, patent leather appearance and their marble shaped body. Markings on the underside of the abdomen are red, yellow, or orange and often shaped like an hourglass. They favor undisturbed areas around work sheds, garages, etc.

Bite Of The Black Widow

  • The bite may be a sharp, pin-prick like pain which may subside and reappear as a dull, throbbing ache
  • Within 30 - 120 minutes severe muscle pain and cramps begin
  • Board-like rigidity of abdomen or back is common
  • A bite from a black widow is serious and medical attention should be sought immediately
  • There is an antivenin for the Black Widow bite