Most spiders couldn’t bite people even if they wanted to. Of approximately 3,000 different spiders in the U.S.,

only a small number have fangs that are long enough and strong enough to break skin. Of those biters,

only four spiders are thought to be of any danger to people: recluse spiders, widow spiders, hobo

spider, and yellow sac spider. Experts don’t even agree on whether all of these spiders have dangerous

bites. The widow spiders have neurotoxic venom that can cause serious illness while the others are

blamed for necrotic (open, ulcerated, slow-healing) bite wounds.

There are very few spider bites that results in a necrotic lesion, yet physicians, especially, continue to blame such wounds on

spider bites. The much hyped brown recluse spider is usually blamed. These spiders are shy and

rarely bite. Their bites usually heal on their own but can sometimes result in a necrotic bite. In

Australia, a study of 750 verified spider bites from a number of different species, found that none of them resulted in a necrotic lesion.


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