Alleviate A Bad Spider Bite Naturally

A couple of weeks ago, my five year old, Ty, woke up from his nap with a sore on his elbow that we hadn’t noticed earlier in the day. My husband and I asked him what had happened to him, but he was just as puzzled as we were.

a spider bite
a spider bite

At first glance I thought he’d just skinned his elbow playing, but upon a closer examination I realized it was definitely not a scrape. This was most certainly some kind of a bite. I put my money on a spider bite. There were two distinct puncture holes, and it was very red, and ulcer-ish.

Yep. A BAD spider bite.

I drew a circle around the bite to note any increase in size, then immediately jumped online to research poisonous spiders and treatments. Of course, that led me to all kinds of gruesome pictures of nectrotic bites which totally freaked me out.

Luckily, the majority of spider species in the United States – about 3,000 of them in total – aren’t poisonous. While their bites can leave behind itchy, painful wounds, you are unlikely to develop any kind of severe, long-lasting, or life-threatening reaction.

Most bites heal within a week, and most spiders don’t even have fangs that are large enough to puncture human skin. Knowing that, I felt a little bit better – but still wanted to figure out what kind of arachnid bit my son.

Brown recluse spiders are generally non-aggressive, only biting when trapped against your skin. These spiders are about an inch long and live in dark, secluded spaces.

Who knows how my son managed to come into contact with one! They live in most midwestern and southern states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kansas.

Spider bites can produce symptoms like swelling, a red welt, itching, rashes, pain, muscle cramps, blisters, sweating, and difficulty breathing. My son wasn’t showing a ton of symptoms besides the bite itself, so I wasn’t panicked – too much, at least.

Brown recluse bites can be asymptomatic at first, but start to develop problems within about eight hours. They produce reddish purple rings (like a bullseye) and begin to itch and hurt.

On seriously rare occasions, these spider bites can also cause comas, seizures, and kidney failure – scary! I was comforted, however, in learning that these reactions are super rare.

We have two dangerous spiders common to our area: Black Widows and Brown Recluse. Black Widows cause pain when they bite, but a Brown Recluse bite is rarely ever felt. Both, however, cause rapid tissue damage and can become very serious if not treated immediately.

I had no idea what kind of a spider bit him, but it likely wasn’t a Black Widow. And Brown Recluse bites aren’t usually deadly, so that was at least a little comforting to know if in fact it had been a recluse.

Of course, this happened over the weekend when the doctor’s office was closed. Even if they had been open though, I wouldn’t have gone straight to the doc. Their response would have been antihistamines and antibiotics, and that definitely wasn’t what I wanted our first course of action to be.

I try to avoid antibiotics at all costs, as there is more scientific evidence turning up that they may not be the best course of action for all ailments. They can cause different strains of bacteria to become resistant, making them less effective against new kinds of diseases.

Plus, the more antibiotics you take, or give to your children, the fewer healthy bugs they will have in their guts, and the more difficult it will be for them to have good digestive health.

Antihistamines work well, however, but luckily you don’t need to have a prescription to use them. I had a good stock at home. Antihistamines regulate your body’s immune response by basically telling your “histamines” to back off, so that you don’t become itchy and inflamed.

I was going to be on high alert and pay close attention to the bite and Ty’s reaction until it began to noticeably improve or worsen.

Since Titus wasn’t feeling badly, he had no fever or pain or anything, I opted to begin treating the bite at home first. If his condition worsened, we would take him to the hospital.

First, I used my Extractor Snake/Insect Bite Kit (HIGHLY recommend!) to suck any possible venom out. I did this a couple of times, and Ty was a champ through it all.

Next, I disinfected the wound with my favorite herbal spray- Healing Tree All Natural First Aid Spray. It has tea tree oil, myrrh, comfrey and goldenseal, and is non-stinging.

Cleaning the area first is extremely important. Most spider bites themselves aren’t problematic or life-threatening, but you do run the risk of infection with any kind of skin lesion. You can use simple soap and water, or a more health-based disinfectant, to get this job done.

I then made a paste from activated charcoal, and plastered it onto the wound. Activated charcoal will draw toxins out, but is only beneficial for the first couple of treatments. I covered the black goop with a piece of plastic wrap, went around that with an ace bandage to hold it on, and left the dressing on overnight.

The next day it was hard to tell if the sore was any better ’cause it was stained black from the charcoal. I had Ty soak his elbow in warm Epsom salt water for about 15 minutes. We used a cottonball to wipe the black away as much as possible.

a plantain plant
Plantain growing in my backyard.

I then made a poultice of plantain by washing a freshly picked leaf, chewing it up (yes, that’s right), then putting it onto the bite. I covered the plantain with sterile gauze (later using Wooly Lamb’s Ear as a dressing cover), then wrapped the poultice with an ace bandage. {You can read more about how I use Plantain HERE.}

We made a trip to Whole Foods that day to pick up some Bentonite Clay. This was to be used like the charcoal paste, to draw out the toxins and promote healing. I also picked up a jar of organic raw honey for healing as well. I was hoping to get Manuka Honey, but they didn’t have any with a strength of 16+ or more, unfortunately.

While we were there I also bought a bottle of Sambucus (Elderberry Syrup) to help support his immune system. Echinacea and Vitamin C are also recommended.

In the book Be Your Own “Doctor” by Rachel Weaver M.H., she recommends the following “antihistamine duo”: Pantothenic Acid (a natural antihistamine) and Maximizer (an enzyme supplement). I didn’t get any, but I thought the information was worth noting.

So, for the next three days I alternated between using the clay, the plantain poultices, the honey, and soaking in salt water 1-2 times per day, and by day five it was almost completely healed.

spider bite almost healed
spider bite almost healed

I think the adhesive on the band-aid we used broke his skin out, so I switched back to the gauze/lamb’s ear leaves and self-sticking wrap.

It looked so much better by this time. Once it had healed over, I applied honey often so as to reduce the scarring. I also rubbed vitamin E on it.

Now, the easiest way to avoid a spider bite is to avoid the spider altogether! While I couldn’t exactly do anything about this after the fact, I did want to share some tips so that you can hopefully avoid being bitten in the future as well.

Spiders don’t feed on humans, and they’ll only bite when they feel they are being attacked. By avoiding places that spiders like to hang out, such as in garages, sheds, wood piles, or empty containers, you can drastically reduce your likelihood of being bitten.

Spiders are also frequently found under rocks, inside tree stumps, and any other places that are out of sight and out of mind. When a spider does bite you, it is likely that it will inject venom into your skin as a defense mechanism.

To avoid being bitten, shake out your footwear, avoid secluded areas, and make as much noise as possible or create vibration to scare any of these eight-legged lurkers away.

If you are unlucky enough to be bitten, try my home remedy above. If that doesn’t work, or if you are looking for alternative solutions, consider a few of these. They work well on their own or when used in conjunction with each other.

Ice helps reduce swelling. Apply an ice pack for about ten minutes at a time, several times a day, to reduce the likelihood of frost bite. Ice will help calm the skin and make it a bit less itchy.

Just like any other type of injury, elevating the area (if it’s located on an extremity, like an arm or leg) can also help decease swelling.

Baking soda paste is another popular old-time remedy. This works by drawing out some of the toxins in the skin. Make a paste of baking soda and water (or use toothpaste in a pinch!) and apply it three times a day to the bite.

Another thing that my work well is lavender essential oil. It may help to calm inflammation and redness, and to promote healing. Combine several drops with coconut oil, and apply as often as you’d like.

Plus, it smells a lot better than most of those expensive antibiotic creams! Witch hazel, too, is an awesome treatment, because it serves as an astringent and anti-inflammatory agent. Apply on its own a few times a day.

One bizarre remedy that I wanted to share – but have not yet tried! – is a potato poultice. This is really popular among old-time homesteaders because potatoes are usually in good supply on the property.

Potatoes help reduce inflammation, so all you need to do is grate a peeled potato and put the shreds into a thin piece of cloth, making a “tea bag” of sorts. Apply the poultice to the area until the potato dries out.

Salt also acts as a good astringent. Salt water is a more powerful cleanser than soap and water alone, and it also has antiseptic properties. Soak a rag in saltwater and cover the bitten area for a few hours. It may sting a bit.

Turmeric, too, has toxin-fighting compounds and reduce the pain caused by a spider bite. Mix a dash of turmeric powder with olive oil, and leave the paste on your skin for about an hour. You can do this a few times a day.

Two more popular treatments are aloe vera, and peppermint essential oil (not together, though, of course!).

Aloe vera can be applied several times a day, and could help reduce inflammation and itchiness due to its high content of vitamins, enzymes, and other helpful ingredients.

Mint essential oil (any kind, but peppermint is probably best) may be a great topical treatment for some, but should be mixed with a carrier oil to avoid irritation.

Whatever you do, don’t scratch! This should go without saying, but it’s harder than it seems, especially if you are trying to convince a little one not to itch an uncomfortable welt. Itching makes the spot itchier, and can also lead to infection.

It’s nothing but a slight scar now, about two weeks later:

spider bite healed plus scar
spider bite healed plus scar

I’d prayed and prayed that he wouldn’t end up like those horrific skin graph operation photos! Geez! I’m so grateful it healed up so nicely and he experience no other side-effects.

Of course I have to say that if you have a spider bite and you are having symptoms of an infection or bad allergic reaction, seek medical help right away. If your spider bite is severe, the doctor may prescribe medical treatment like steroid pills to reduce inflammation. He might suggest that you take painkillers to deal with the pain, or even have a tetanus booster to reduce the likelihood of infection. 

Therefore, while my home remedies are great for taking care of spider bites with mild symptoms, if you start exhibiting severe symptoms of an allergic reaction or infection, hightail it to the doctor’s office right away.

Don’t spend another second worrying about encountering a spider in your homesteading experiences. Know how to prevent and deal with the effects of a bite before one happens, and you will be prepared for whatever comes your way. Happy exploring!

Have you ever had a bad spider bite? How did you go about treating it?

46 thoughts on “Alleviate A Bad Spider Bite Naturally”

  1. I read the whole article, but only the first few comments, so please forgive me if I repeat info. I would like to say (from experience) two things and I hope they help. 1) brown recluse spiders (again, in my experience in TX) hunt. They hide in dark, cooler places, but also in rarely used drawers, cabinets etc. If you are bitten in close succession, you need to be proactive you may be the subject of a hunt. 2) Cedar oil not only kills then- and black widows and scorpions and other things- it also repels them. After being stung in the taint by a scorpion I started fogging my house every 3 months with cedar oil fog and ALL the bugs are gone!

  2. Your comment on chewing up leaves brought back childhood memories for me! Whenever we got stung (there were a lot of yellow jacket nests in the ground around here), my dad would tear open one of his Lucky Strikes, chew the tobacco, and apply it to the site. It took out the pain!

    This isn’t very “Homestead-ish” but in a pinch I’ve used band-aid brand blister band-aids. My husband had a spider bite on arm and the band-aid really pulled the venom out. I replaced it daily until the swelling went down. We also use those blister band-aids, cut up, for splinters we can’t pull and pimples.

    Thanks for the great info on spider bites!

  3. I’m dealing with a brown recluse spider bite right now. The second time I have been bit by one in 3 years. For the first bite, I was in the hospital for 4 days, simultaneously on 2 of the strongest antibiotics intravenously and once released, had to go back every night for 4 hours to continue having more antibiotics, for 4 more nights. I didn’t know much about natural stuff then. I waited so long to go to the emergency room, that the doctor said I was about 2 heartbeats away from a heart attack. The doctors didn’t even drain my wound which was about 6″ long and 3 or so inches wide. Now I’m using a poultice of baking soda and Arrowroot, which is working great so far, as well as liquid colloidal silver. Hoping it heals without incident this time. I also plan to use raw organic honey ?. Thanks for all the great tips.

  4. FYI, all spider bites take approximately 1 week to heal unless you have a bad reaction. Sounds like you just wasted a bunch of money for no reason. Easy remedy … Soak it in Epsom salt and watch for infection.

    • Contrary to Amanda’s comments, brown recluse spider bites can take months to heal. Especially if the doctor you see is clueless about treatment. Twice I’ve been bitten, and since it was 15 years apart, I didn’t recognize the second bite any quicker than the first time. The first bite was treated by a doctor with spider knowledge, heavy steroids, and healed in about 8 weeks. This bite was not treated aggressively, steroid cream and silver cream, and it’s now in the 5th month of not healing. Went to hospital clinic and am on Doxcy antibiotics with nothing on the actual necrotic tissue, which is now a crater on my shin. Going to look for an old country doctor with some sense.

    • Amanda you could kill allot of people with your grossly ignorant comment. No two people expierience the bite same. I was lucky I knew what spider bit me, I started teatree oil and antibiotic creme right away, 5 days later it was necrotic. I went to the Burn and Wound hospital in Phoenix AZ.
      Treatment: tetnis shot, 10 days antibiotics, weekly direct steroid shots stopped venim from spreading, weekly removing dead tissue, antibiotic creme rotated with silver sufidine. Bandage from toe to thigh for 4 months for dime size bite. Healed w scar, and now three months later scar turned black the size of a quarter and is sensitive to touch.

      I take high grade curcumin, ginger, shirked and reishe mushroom powders in addition to organic diet and high food grade supplements and good probiotics. I heal very fast, I know I was lucky with this bite.

      If you know you got bit and soaked it with Epsom salt and ROOM TEMPATURE water it could help, but most people never feel or see a brown recluse bite for 3 to five days and the venim and bacteria have already started.

    • Healing through nature is always the best option. What did wise people do before man-made medicines? Today’s man-made medicines are only good for an emergency but never for long-term care since they only address symptoms and not treat the root cause, and often they cause more problems along the way. When a natural treatment course is started, the healthier the lifestyle and eating habits you have, the faster and better your body will heal from things like a Brown Recluse bite. Everyone is different though so one might have better progress with a treatment than another. A back up plan to get to the E.R. could be a good plan B in case of shock/breathing issues, but for a regular trip to the hospital, keep in mind the for a BR bite, there is no anti-venom so you will only get antibiotics and something for inflammation, and maybe pain pills; all which come with a side effect concern. Those three man-made medicines all have natural counterparts that will often work far better, cheaper, and safer. GOD’s natural pharmacy is still the best.

  5. The active compounds in Aloe Vera are anthraquinones, lectins, acetylated mannans, ploy mannans, and salicylic acid. The compounds anthraquinones have antibacterial properties whereas the phenolic compounds barbaloin, emodin, anthrone-C-glycosides, chromones, and anthracene exhibit antimicrobial agents.

  6. Thanks for the tips. I used lavender essential oil on a bite my three-year-old had that was getting hot, red, swollen, and speading. I applied a drop a couple times a day for 2-3 days, and it healed completely. But I am sure it was not a brown recluse. Just a regular old spider. (I did it undiluted at the time, but now I recommend always diluting it.) And tea tree oil healed a growing infection my husband had in his knee from a suspected spider bite. His knee was swelling up and getting hot and red, and so he applied drops of tea tree oil. It took a week to heal completely. Lavender oil also began immediately healing a mosquito bite that turned into cellulitis on a two-year-old neighbor, and a blood infection from a burn on a friend’s knuckle. She had a black line running up her arm about eight inches. And we applied a couple drops along the vein, and within the hour it was almost completely gone.

  7. I have been battling with a brown recluse bite (I think) for 3.5 months. Nothing seems to be working. The area on my rt. lower inner leg above my ankle is 3″x 4″ and is still very red and intensely itchy. It never got necrotic.
    I have tried benonite clay, with magnesium crystals in bath every night with essential oils, and bebonite clay applied as a mud pack, essential oils custom blend that I made up for bites and itching. I have had 9 hyperbaric oxygen treatments and 5 IV’s. Very costly!
    I had 2 antibiotic shots just to make sure it wasnt infected.
    The culture came back – for staph.
    I will start the Manuka Honey 20+ bioactive tonite.

    My alternative doc. sent to to a wound care specialist.The traditional wound care Dr. wants me to use Cloetasol Propionate corticosteriod Cream which states it may cause skin thinning and skin discoloration. I only used it twice and decided I didnt want a large area on my lower calf to have permanent skin discoloration.

    Thank you all for your suggestions. Hoping for some relief soon.

    • I hope you healed well! Just a note re the steroid cream: it doesn’t heal you, it just suppresses the body’s immune response, which is the last thing you want. That prescription for corticosteroid cream is tremendously irresponsible. It’s a good thing you stopped using it.

    • I use clobetasol for eczema and haven’t any problems. But, try oil of oregano for the infection. I had a very bad mrsa infection, came back about a month after taking a round of antibiotics, took oil of oregano and I was healed with in week, it’s been about four months with no recurrence.

    • Please post an update on how the Manuka honey turned out. My botfriend recently was bitten by a black widow while we were on vacation. I didn’t have my medical kit with me so all he could do was put antibiotic ointment on it until we got home 4 days later.
      By then it had become a 2.5 inch open sore and the skin around it was red for another 2 inches. I put tahi brand UMF 10+ raw manuka on the entire surface of the sore and left it uncovered for about 5 hours. At bedtime I made him a dressing with guaze, a few drops each of organic lavender and organic tea tree essential oils with a dab of the honey.
      Next morning we took the bandage off and put more honey on. Repeated this cycle daily, by day 3 the wound was reduced to about an inch with the red skin just bordering the sore. By day 6 the sore had sealed except for a scab the circumference of a pencil eraser.

    • Anyone here ever consider using the lining of an egg shell? I’m using it on a week on brown recluse bite and it is reversing things quite rapidly. Lots of info online about it. All swear by it. Hope this helps

  8. Great article,
    I was bit by a spider a few days ago. Before going to the doctor I rubbed a clove of garlic on the bite, the bite went away but my foot continued to swell up and turn red. I did not want to take any antibiotics as I know they are not necessarily good for your gut lining but unfortunately the infection from the bite was traveling up my leg. I decided to go ahead and take the antibiotics to be on the safe side. The doctor prescribed 4 daily for 7 days. So far I have only taken a few and I am not sure if I should continue taking them as I have ready so much negative things about the use of antibiotics.

    Is there any type of food/supplement to detox the body from the spider venom/poison?

    Thanks for your help and time

    • I had a brown recluse bite on my right elbow. I was by myself and ran s fever and could not get to the doctor. I could barely move. I had Manuka Honey
      And applied it to the bite with gauze. Then I used I epacks 24/7 for five days. I took aspirin for the fever.
      After five days I could get to the doctor who lanced the wound and gave me antibiotics. I took them for thirty days.
      The initial bite spread so quickly that my forearm was red as was part of my upper arm. The honey and ice pack helped reduce the infection to a small section just above my elbow Fortunately I had no necrosis or loss of function.
      I took charcoal capsules to remove the toxins from my system after the antibiotic regimen.
      I will have these other suggestions on hand.
      We were in Mexico and my brother who is highly allergic to bee/wasp stings got stung. We were out in the jungle without Epipen. I grabbed a handful of mud- we were stay natural cave spring. I slapped it on the wasp sting. It dried. He never had a reaction. Usually he ended up in the emergency room.

  9. HomeINsteader Walgreens brand band aids are made in the USA! I know this post was a couple years ago but thought I would share if you still hadn’t found one!

  10. What has worked for me above everything is TerraSilk or Terramin on Amazon. Minerals are the foundation of what we are built from and just don’t get from food anymore with soils so depleted. There are 57 micron sized IONIC minerals and can get TerraSilk for skin or just get Terramin powder and use inside and out. I keep Terramin tablets and powder and use with my animals also. They have another one for them call Nutramin. There has been nothing that felt more healing. Would not have made it though eight dental implants and two sinus lifts without it as took away pain for even toothaches as didn’t have all the money for over three years and had to hang on. Would get toothaches so bad that head would explode. Took 20 min, but would stop when packed mineral powder around tooth. Brush teeth with them everyday and my receded minerals are growing back. Sometimes end with coconut oil for extra clean feeling. Good for teething babies too. This is the way healing was supposed to happen.

  11. Hi! I am going to strongly suggest you look into using ‘Slippery Elm’ for multiple uses, but one grand use is to ‘suck out’ that which has found its way into the body : spider bites venom, splinters ,glass …. I just finished treating a bad spider bite -April 2014. It was noted at the end of the day, was purple, very sore and bruising had begun to the size of a quarter. Multiple bites could be seen. I was digging around in a closet that doesn’t get much activity…. I made a poultice of the slippery elm – about 1/8 tsp to make a slippery paste, covered with a band aid and went to bed. The next day after my shower at night, I retreated the area, and, went to bed. The area stayed sore for this time, but the bruising was better and it appeared to be healing. Third day the sorness was subsiding and the area continued to look better. I am healed after a couple of days. I am 60ish and don’t heal as quickly as the young.
    When my son was 8 he went on a trip to the shore, ran foot first hard and fast into buried drift wood. What a mess that foot was when i saw it. I told him I could treat,albeit with the same pain as he’d get going to the hospital, but I could do it. He allowed this. We scrubbed the area, picked out all the (obvious) splinters and finished with warm salt soak. It looked good doing soaks for a couple of days. He had no pain. We stopped the soaks. It healed over, he had no pain. For a day ….. We soaked again in warm salt water, I pricked open the area and applied slippery elm. Mind you, bottom of his foot and he’s 8 years old. He would be still for about 10 mins. then he’d have to get going. I did this for three applications- soak then apply slippery elm for 10 mins. The last time we were talking and I told him i could BARELY see a tiny bit of black in the area. “I am going to apply some pressure on either side of this and I want you to stay still….” OMG! I saw the darn thing FLY out and land on the floor. It was a thick piece of wood, 1 inch long that came out of his foot!!!!! OMG> Praise God! It healed after that without incident. Long story, good report 🙂

  12. My sister’s 6 year old son was bitten by a brown recluse spider at a deer camp in their trailer that he was sleeping in. He was with his dad and it was two days before he arrived home. My sister immediately took him to the doctor as his arm was very swollen and the skin was rotting at the bite sight. The doctor put him on an antibiotic and said to come back in 2 days and he would start removing the necrosis. My sister knew of a lady who practiced natural health remedies so she called her. This lady told her not to worry that she would come right over and take care of it. She mud packed the bite using Premier Research Labs Medi-Body Pack and had him take some Garlicidin, which is a specific type of garlic that works like an antibiotic in the body. Because the bite was so serious due to not being treated right away, she also used castor oil packs on it. Lots of infection came out of the bite sight, but it all healed very nicely with no scar remaining.

    I also got bit by a brown recluse on my leg right under my knee. It was only about an hour after I got bit that I felt this extreme pain on my leg and I knew that something was not right. We were also traveling but arrived home in about an hour. I immediately used the Medi-body Pack as I keep this stuff on hand now. And also started taking the Garlicidin capsules. The bite was very painful for about a day, but healed very nicely within 3 days with no scar remaining.
    The Medi-body pack is a premium grade Volcanic and Kaolin clays with other healing herbs in it. We now live in Kansas and brown recluses are very active here. So I pay attention to my family members for any spider bites. The Clay works very well on all insect bites. I definitely recommend keeping this in the house. I don’t know what I would do for a very young child or baby besides the mud-packing. In fact I think I am going to call a few natural health doctors including the Dr. Bob Marshall’s office who makes the Medi-Body pack and ask about what to do for a baby or toddler in this situation.

  13. I was bit by a brown recluse spider (in 2001), on the neck and back while sleeping, in a hotel room. I am a very light sleeper so I woke up and saw the spider but did not realize I had been bitten. 2 days later I started experiencing flu-like symptoms and hurting all over. We returned home on Friday, two days after the bite, and by Monday the bite on my neck was starting to necrose. My doctor got me right in and diagnosed it as a brown recluse bite. She started me immediately on high doses of Dapsone (a drug used for patients with Leprosy). The horror story then started. I was allergic to Dapsone and my reaction to it was reduced oxygen in my system which caused respiratory failure and spent four days in CCU. After leaving I was on O2 for 2 months at home.

    I then started treatments for the bite. I had 6-7 stellate ganglian treatments which gave me some relief and confirmed that I had developed a disease called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. The doctor doing the procedures injected the bite sight on my neck with cortisone to reduce the necrosis, which worked.

    The spider venom did not attack my skin ( I had a dime sized area of necrosis), it attacked my sympathetic nervous system which caused the RSD. I also developed Fibromyalgia due to the RSD.

    I had to retire from my job due to extreme fatigue and pain which continue to this day. What this shows is that a brown recluse spider bite affects each person differently. I fall into the 1% of 10% of people who have been bitten on the neck and have developed sympathetic nerve damage.

    DO NOT ASSUME that because it is gone its done…according to scientists that study only brown recluse bites, the venom attaches itself to your cell structure and stays there. They have patients that have developed bite issues 10 years after their last episode.

    A horror story, definitely…an extreme, yes…but it can happen and does. Everyone’s system is different and everyone responds differently. Some respond well, as your son (thankfully) and others not so much. If you are bitten and you are sure it’s a brown recluse bite, there is a anti venom available that needs to be given within 24 hours. The problem is that most people o not realize they have been bitten.

    If you think this is too much or too extreme for your readers, please just delete it. I am very happy that your son is OK.

    • The statement about the bite returning is for real! I was bitten 11 years ago on my little finger which caused redness, swelling, and severe joint pain. After about 3 months, it seemed to have gone away….BUT every year the symptoms and pain returns just about the same time as the initial bite! I thought this was total BS when I first heard about it, but it’s TRUE! Usually the venom spreads to the other hand and also causes pain, redness, and swelling. Sometimes a little top layer of skin will peel off. I’ve tried a million and one remedies but nothing seems to help…guess I’ll be dealing with this for the rest of my life! (60 something now).

      • Same symptoms did spread to my other hand but much milder so I really thought it didn’t bite me here too did it…Same blisters and everthing just smaller.

    • Wow!!! Came across this thread. My bites from brown recluse spider bites are necrotic. I thought after I get through this that would be it. Thank you for the information.

  14. We’ve dealt with spider bites a few times. The first time my son had one we thought it was a boil and treated it for 4-5 days with raw honey and echinacea. It got worse and started bleeding which we had a hard time stopping. He went to emergency room, had surgery…lots of money and trouble involved with that. They said it was either a spider bite or staff, the wound was so clean from our treatments that they couldn’t tell for sure. After researching on internet I ordered Manuka Honey and also a spider bite kit ( which contains activated charcoal powder and liquid herbs to mix with the charcoal. I’ve used the kit twice on my children with fast growing spider bite wounds and it has worked wonderfully. The sooner you get it on the wound the faster it heals.

  15. I had a spider bite this past fall. I went to the doctor and had him look at it and he put me on Dapsone. Well you shouldnt take that if you have asthma (side effect). I started to have breathing problems. I took myself off that and researched what to do. I found the activated charcoal, but didnt know where to get it around where I live. So I used the baking soda paste and that seemed to work. I told my doctor what I had done, he asked if it worked and so I showed him my arm. Not even a very big scar. He was impressed. (He is very much for herbal medicine or alternatives other than pills).

  16. I’m allergic to the glue on band aids and any other stick to the body patches (birth control)…always have been some people just are…my mom was too

  17. My husband was bitten about twenty years ago by a brown recluse that was hiding in his jeans..he went to the emergency room where he was given antibiotics,pain med. and antihistamines and sent home to be seen by his doctor in two days. By then his thigh had swollen twice the size and there were purple streaks all around the quarter size hole..he was rushed to surgery the plastic surgeon removed the size of and orange completely down to the muscle and wanted to do skin graffs but my husband refused to stay for 6 weeks. he had a slow recovery. What I learned about these bites is depending on the size and age of the spider and the amount of venom they put out will determine the damage to tissue.They told us at the hospital if my husband had waited much longer the venom would have reached his bloodstream and he would have died. Brown recluse bites should always be seen at a hospital that knows how dangerous they can be. Lucky for you yours was a small spider, but you should consider that wherever your son got bit there are more of these spiders that should be killed, usually live in dark damp places, usually kill off other species of spiders have a malformed web walk up on tip-toes.

  18. Just last week my 9yo son was complaining of an itchy bug bite. I glanced at it and it just looked a little red from scratching and I brushed him off. Lesson learned. Later he was still complaining and now saying he thought it was a spider bite. That got my attention. There was a huge red swollen area and it was hard and hot to the touch. He had had it at least a day before telling me. Add my brush off and that makes at least two days before treatment. Thankfully it didn’t look anything like Ty’s bite and he didn’t have any other symptoms so I’m like you, I didn’t think a trip to the doctor was needed. I jumped online and the quickest things I could find that I had on hand were plantain and echinacea tea and an ice pack. So I started with ice for 20 minutes then the chewed up plantain. I had him chew it then spit it on a paper towel. Then we used another paper towel to wrap around his arm (where the bite was) and duct taped it tight enough it wouldn’t fall off. The extra paper towel was to keep the duct tape off his skin. He wore it until it loosened up and started falling off. Maybe 30 minutes? The plantain takes the itch away almost immediately. Later (when the itching came back) we repeated the ice then put a paper towel soaked with echinacea tea, mint, & honey on for about 15 min. He drank some of the echinacea tea as well. Then he went to bed. Next day did the plantain bandage in the morning then put one on overnight and he drank a couple more glassed of the tea. Thankfully that was all it took. Just a little note, my son is highly intelligent, with a huge vocabulary….but he still has trouble communicating anything that has to do with feelings and sometimes other things. Like just whining about a bug bite instead of explaining that it felt different than any regular bug bite. My daughter would have described it in detail, but when he is hurt or upset, my son tends to be vague and whiny. So I am going to have to work harder to pay attention and make sure I get specifics from him in the future so that I don’t over look something extremely serious. I typed all that hoping maybe it would help someone else. Sorry for the length!

  19. Brown recluse are, unfortunately, quite common. Yes, I’ve been bitten by them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t using holistic approaches to such at the time, so, won’t go into treatment.

    One thing I do want to point out, however: I have been trying to sound the alarm on the bandages and “band-aids” coming out of China (it seems they’re all coming out of China now). There is something in the adhesive that is not safe. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know whether the brand makes any difference.

    I developed the nastiest skin infection I have EVER had from a “band-aid”; it wasn’t the most well known name, but, it was a known name, as I recall. The infection was EXACTLY the same size and shape as the band-aid; about four inches wide and three inches high; I had a time cleaning it out and getting it to heal. The wound, itself, was not nearly so big as the band-aid or the infection that resulted.

    If you can find a “band-aid” product that is still made in the USA, please share it. I haven’t been able to find one.

    “CAVEAT EMPTOR” – Let the Buyer Beware!

    • HomeINsteader-

      That is fascinating. You know, I’ve wondered about the adhesive. Our three year old daughter also broke out in a rash like Ty did the last few times I put band-aids on her. I don’t know what brand they were. I think they were J&J. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I’ll definitely be more cautious of what I use and buy, and will look into this more!!

  20. So glad you were able to treat it and give him some relief. With brown recluse you have to be so careful as
    It spreads very quickly. My best friends mom almost lost her leg to a brown recluse bite within a few days but thankfully the doctors were able to save it. Spider bites are so nasty. Every bit of knowledge can help you. Thanks for all the tips:-)


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