View Full Version : Brown Recluse Bite?

04-24-2008, 12:43 PM
Has anyone here had a bite from a Brown Recluse? My daughter has some sort of wound on her elbow...It looked like a big (grossness coming up...lol) pimple and I put peroxide on it and it started to drain. Today it looks better than it did last night but there's still redness on her elbow and you can still see where the pimply looking bump was.

I know we have Brown Recluses in our house and we're going to get our house sprayed again...I've seen 2 Brown Recluses so far this spring.

The only reason I'm hesitant to take her to the dr. right away is because my hubby just got a new job and the insurance doesn't kick in for 90 days, so, until June, we have no insurance, and, we're really hurting for money right now.

I've been keeping a close eye on it, and, sent a note to school with her so the nurse has been watching it as well. The nurse called today and said it doesn't look any worse and she's not running a fever, but, she complained of feeling weird, then said it might be just because she was hungry...lol...

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone has any experience with a bite from a Brown Recluse, and, if so, what were the symptoms?

Thank you!

04-24-2008, 12:59 PM
From this website: Brown Recluse Spider (http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2061.html)
Initially, the bite may feel like a pinprick or go unnoticed. Some may not be aware of the bite for 2 to 8 hours. Others feel a stinging sensation followed by intense pain. Infrequently, some victims experience general systemic reactions that may include restlessness, generalized itching, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or shock. A small white blister usually initially rises at the bite site surrounded by a swollen area. The affected area enlarges and becomes red, and the tissue is hard to the touch for some time. The lesion from a brown recluse spider bite is a dry, blue-gray or blue-white, irregular sinking patch with ragged edges and surrounding redness--termed the "red, white, and blue sign." The lesion usually is 1 inches by 2 inches or smaller. The bite of the brown recluse spider can result in a painful, deep wound that takes a long time to heal.
Hope this helps. I think both you and the nurse keeping an eye on it will keep it from getting too serious. Just watch it because they can get ugly. Hope she's feeling better...

04-24-2008, 01:26 PM
I don't know anything about brown recluse bites, but I did want to say that I hope your daughter feels better :hug:

04-24-2008, 01:34 PM
I once went to a dermatologist because I thought I had a spider bite on my cheek. I went in the day after I noticed it. The doctor said that it wasn't a brown recluse bite, because if it was, it would already be a little hole like a cigarette burn. So if this is the day after, and it's just a little red, it's likely not a recluse bite.

However, he also told me that if I ever suspected a brown recluse bite again, that I should not delay in getting it looked at. They can treat them if you come in within hours of the bite, so that it shouldn't progress any further.

04-24-2008, 01:37 PM
I had a friend of mine get bit on the shin while riding in an airplane from Denmark to Iowa. He said he felt the initial prick, reached down and kind of scratched a little and didn't feel anything else. By the time he got home he felt like he had the flu. When he got home his leg was pretty puffed with the tell tale bullseye bite mark. From what he said the whole thing goes pretty fast from bite to knowing you're in trouble. He had a real rough time with it and spent some days in the hospital, if it starts to look funky or she complains of feeling cruddy by all means move on it.

Jan in CA
04-24-2008, 04:36 PM
:zombie: I wouldn't even stay in the house with a brown recluse. If it looks better today and doesn't look like this then you're probably good, but keep an eye on her!

Hope she feels better!

04-24-2008, 06:00 PM
Thank you for your replies, and, Jan, for the pic link! The "bite" my daughter has looked like the very first picture, but, it has been at least 3 days, and, it's looking even better now than when she left for school this morning.

After seeing those pics and reading stitchwitch's reply, I don't think it is a Recluse bite, I truly think she'd be feeling terrible, and, after 3 days, the area would look a ton worse instead of better.

I'm just at a loss as to what it is then...I don't know if it was maybe just a boil, or, a bite from something else. I'm definitely keeping a close eye on it regardless!

04-24-2008, 06:13 PM
Just saw this post... My daughter was bitten by a Brown Recluse. She had to have the area surgically removed. A great deal of pain, and about 2 weeks to complete heal. It did leave a scar.

It continually became worse, and only after the surgery did she finally start receiving relief.

I'm so glad your daughter is doing better.

04-24-2008, 06:52 PM
Gah! Those things are just evil aren't they?! Here's another site with some poor guy who got bit on the thumb, by day 3 it looks like he's pretty involved. http://www.ascendedhealth.com/brown-recluse/bite-picture.htm
So, so glad your daughter is improving!!! Hopefully it was just an infected hair or oil gland.

04-24-2008, 06:57 PM
If it is a brown recluse bite she needs to be seen.

04-24-2008, 07:22 PM
Yeah, they're nasty! Normally I don't mind spiders, but, I don't like spiders that can do that much damage, especially with 2 kids running around!

When we first moved into this house, it was infested with them. The house had been vacant for about 6 months and those Brown Recluses thought this house made a great home...lol...We've been here for 4 years now and for the first 2 or so we had the house regularly sprayed, then, last year we didn't see a single one and decided to save the money since hubby had taken a big pay cut. We're going to reschedule the spraying though since we've seen 2 already, one adult and one baby.

Hopefully the spot on my daughter's elbow will continue to look better...After reading the replies and doing more online research, I think it's probably some kind of spider bite, but, not a Recluse bite. I just can't imagine if it were a Recluse bite that it would be looking better instead of worse, and, she'd have some other symptom whether fever, chills, lethargy, or itching in the area of the wound.

04-24-2008, 07:42 PM
It woud be getting worse and not better. She would have a rotten hole in her arm if it was a recluse. It sounds like a bite. Is she up-to-date with tetanus shots?

04-24-2008, 10:25 PM
Yeah, she's good on all her shots, she had to be up to date on all of them before starting school last August. She definitely does not have a rotting hole thank goodness! There's still some minor drainage, but, it hasn't puffed back up and the surrounding skin, though still a bit red, is not swollen, and, I don't see any fang marks. Whatever it is, I just hope it heals with no problems!

04-24-2008, 10:27 PM
I totally get the waiting to go to the doctor. I have to think I'm dying first! I lost my job in November and got bad flu & bronchitis the weekend that my insurance ran out. My mom kidnapped me and took me to the ER. I have a big bill. I'll start paying on it when I start working. What are they gonna do to me? Seriously, we don't go unless there is fever involved that won't go down.

04-24-2008, 10:36 PM
Yeah, it's insane how much an ER visit is, and, I'm so tired of doctors who don't have the time or willingness to sit down and really discuss symptoms and go through a process of elimination.

Like the other day I had to go to the dr. because of an earache I've had for a while now and thought my ear might have been infected...Then, I had some kind of nasty sinus cold...I go to the dr., wait forever, he finally gets in the room, looks in my ears and nose and says, no, no infection, it's probably just allergies! I guarantee, it's NOT allergies! I have no other allergy symptoms, and, the cold has finally gone away on its own! And, the allergy medicine I did take didn't help in the least...I think it was either a minor sinus infection, or, a sinus cold, but, he was so quick to push allergy medicine on me...and charge me $60...I know if I took my daughter to the dr., all he'd do is look at her elbow, tell me to keep it clean and if it doesn't look better in a week to bring her back in.

We're so behind on dr. and hospital bills as is it's not even funny...The insurance hubby had at his last job was terrible and we've paid hundreds upon hundreds of dollars out of pocket, and that's not including the $400 that was being taken out of hubby's check every month!

If my daughter must go, of course I'll take her, but, I just don't want to rush her there prematurely and pay out the a** just to have the dr. do nothing, ya know?

04-24-2008, 10:39 PM
I recommend garlic tablets. They might not cure what you have but they will help prevent something else. I take them and have never had a single problem with vampires.

04-24-2008, 10:42 PM

04-24-2008, 10:43 PM
I've never had a bite, but I used to be big into internet tarantula communities.
I recall someone saying to put Desenex on recluse bites. I guess the poison that rots the skin is similar to athlete's foot. This was to be used as a stop gap measure while you got to a doctor.

Now the person who told me that said she was bit by one, but she was also bitten by a bird eating tarantula and she handled them without bad effects other than the puncture wounds and those are supposed to be some pretty potent spiders for tarantulas. So I think she was pretty immune to spider bites.

If I get bitten it will be by hobo spiders, problem is although I swear that is what is in my shed we don't have them allegedly so I'll have a time convincing them that's what it is.

The only one that actually looked like a real recluse was in a hotel room in GA on my sister's pillow.

It could be a wolf spider. They're the same type as the hobos and recluse so I imagine they would leave a mark. I've also seem some wolf spiders that were pretty aggressive.

Jan in CA
04-25-2008, 12:35 AM
Sheesh! You need a new doctor! HMO's can be a pain, but I'm glad we have something. I don't know where you live, but there are a lot of places now in drugstores with set fees. I haven't been to one though.

04-25-2008, 06:08 AM
I learned in my EMT training that the bite of a beown reclue is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY and can result in tissue necrosis and even loss of a limb. It usually progresses to very painful very fast.

I wouldn't stay in house known to have them, they tend to bite you in your sleep and the bite itself is not painful, you wake up in the midest of real trouble.

04-25-2008, 10:07 AM
Unfortunately we didn't know there was an infestation until after we bought the house and moved in, and by then, it was too late...lol...At first the infestation was really bad, but, after having the house sprayed and living in it for 4 years now, the numbers of Recluses we've seen has greatly decreased, thank goodness!

I've read the Recluses really aren't aggressive spiders and don't bite unless threatened, which, I believe. Of all the Recluses we've seen, none of them have shown aggression (even when I took a rolled up piece of paper and kept nudging one to see what kind of provocation would cause it to attack). However, I know they can hide out in bedsheets, clothes, shoes, anything really and if you roll over onto one, or put on clothes with one in there, they will of course bite.

My daughter's wound is looking about the same today, not worse, not much better. Still keeping a close eye on it, though, she has no symptoms of a Recluse bite. She's been very active and no nausea or vomiting, no fever or chills, nothing except a weird wound on her elbow...lol...

04-25-2008, 12:42 PM
Look up brown recluse spider bites. If you see all the pictures, you will see that it is very serious. It eats up the flesh. Don't take any chances. Hope it's not that at all.

04-25-2008, 01:10 PM
I think they're called recluses because they tend to mind their own business and they like small, dark places.

04-25-2008, 03:05 PM
That's exactly right...I've read they come out of "hiding" to eat, and, usually only at night...I've rarely seen them during the day.

04-25-2008, 03:24 PM
I think I shook one out of a throw on the couch once. I didn't get a real good look as he scampered off pretty quickly but I didn't sit on the couch for a couple of weeks!

Jan in CA
04-25-2008, 06:07 PM
You guys are brave. :zombie: Seriously, knowing the damage that one spider can cause I wouldn't stay in the house till it was properly fumigated.

04-25-2008, 09:57 PM
:hug: I'm glad she is doing better and hopes it continues...I'm terrified of spiders so I just got brave enough to click in here...now I don't want to go to sleep in my bed till JD beats it down :teehee: ...even though they say this part of OH doesn't have them....:rofl:

04-25-2008, 11:10 PM
Ok, update...We think it might actually be a splinter! My poor daughter accidentally scraped her elbow on the edge of the table at dinner tonight and ended up scraping off a layer of skin...I cleaned her elbow again and noticed a little brown sliver that looks like a small thin splinter, but, it looks way too deep to try to pull out. If it hasn't surfaced any by Monday, I'm going to take her to the dr. to see if he can remove it. I would try, but, even just lightly dabbing her elbow with a cotton ball makes her cry because it hurts so bad...Poor thing!

Oh dustinac, one night a few years ago I was lying in bed (I sleep on the side closest to the wall) and for some reason I decided to open my eyes...I saw a big 'ol Brown Recluse climbing up my wall, at eye level! Man, I jumped up and ended up waking hubby in the process...lol...Normally I don't kill spiders, I just get a cup and put the spider outside, but, the Brown Recluses, well, they meet the shoe. Needless to say, the one climbing up my wall got the boot...lol...Yeah, I had a really hard time falling asleep that night!

04-25-2008, 11:12 PM
Oh, thank God for splinters! What a relief!

04-25-2008, 11:20 PM