Are young spiders more venomous then a full grown adult?
May 10, 2015 7:27 AM   Subscribe

I've spent the past week packing up all my belongings in preparation for moving to a new house tomorrow. A few days ago I discovered a large brown recluse spider under my staircase with numerous young or smaller spiders. I sprayed pesticide on them and continued packing upstairs... I never located any dead spiders and unfortunately I was dumb enough to sleep about 5feet away from where I originally found them. Up until this morning i didn't think much of the itchy bumps on my back...then my fiancée noticed them and clarified 3 bites on my lower back all matching the descriptions found online for the spider in question. Before I freak out and go to the ER could anyone enlighten on the venomousness of baby spiders compared to adults. Also how would multiple bites factor in? They've steadily have gotten worse and now appear red with a blister ... I'm assuming I was bitten 2-3 nights ago... Help!
posted by isopropyl to Science & Nature (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's excerpts from a journal article by a brown recluse bite expert who claims they're much less dangerous than they get credit for. No info about the effect of multiple bites, or bites of juvenile spiders.

Why not go to a walk-in, urgent care center today, instead of the ER, if they're blistering and getting more uncomfortable? I'd think it would be worth the peace of mind (and no one on the internet can diagnose you.)

Bring a (bagged, dead) spider, if you can.
posted by blue suede stockings at 7:41 AM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

The brown recluse has a venomous bite, and anyone bitten should seek immediate emergency medical help, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Treatment according to WebMD

I would say that since your bites match the descriptions found online, whichever spiders bit you are as venomous as adult brown recluses. You could get a nasty infection and you're best off getting treatment ASAP.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 7:55 AM on May 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

My mother got bitten by a non venomous spider, not a brown recluse and got a very nasty infection, think multiple courses of antibiotics & needing IV antibiotics type of thing. Her doctor informed her spider bites are full of bacteria & go to see a doctor when bitten for preventative antibiotics if nothing else. This was in Australia, I would hit up an urgent care centre at least. the red & swelling might be infection if not poison or an allergic reaction and better safe than sorry.
posted by wwax at 8:30 AM on May 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

3 bites in a row is a classic symptom of might want to check for those first. Brown Recluse, like Black Widow, don't hunt down human victims in their sleep...they run away 99.99 times out of 100.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:11 AM on May 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Go get checked out. A kid here (in the news) got bit by what turned out to be a brown recluse but his parents did not take him to get treatment until his whole leg was swollen and bruised. They used "home remedies" for the bite for three days. Kid almost died....don't remember if they had to amputate the leg.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:39 AM on May 10, 2015

Mefi's own pjern nearly died from a spider bite. Get it checked out pronto.
posted by brujita at 10:58 AM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Speaking as someone that has raised tarantulas, true spiders (including Black, Brown, and Red widows), centipedes, and scorpions for the last 18 years, no, I can't see how an immature spider could have a worse bite than an adult; indeed, it is unlikely that the bite of a spider as small as an immature L. reclusa could penetrate human skin.
posted by 8LeggedFriend at 12:46 PM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nthing: Bring a bagged dead spider (if possible). Get checked.

I used to pay insurance claims. Sometimes brown recluse bites lead to MRSA. Better safe than sorry.

I did bring a dead spider in a Ziploc bag to the ER once when my husband was bitten. They took one look at it and assured us he was in no danger. It was huge but harmless.
posted by Michele in California at 1:58 PM on May 10, 2015

I believe pjern ended up getting necrosis and a wound pump from a spider bite . Go get help now. You're not a medical doctor or nurse and you can't think or AskMetafilter your way out of this if you end up with the worst case scenario.
posted by discopolo at 9:58 PM on May 10, 2015

Yeah, what brujita said. You want to light that fire under your ass, search thru metafilter for the pics!
posted by discopolo at 10:00 PM on May 10, 2015

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