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Spiders. They have quite the reputation for being the scariest pest at the top of the pest list – barring the mosquito with its new virus scare. They are used in movies to create fearful moments where most viewers are peaking through their fingers to wait for the scene to be over. They are so notorious in Hollywood, they received their own movie aptly titled Arachnophobia, a word created for those who suffer extreme fear of spiders. More recently, they’ve made appearances in the second installment of the Harry Potter series, Chamber of Secrets, as well as The Hobbit. In both instances, the spiders are 10 feet tall, larger than life, and ready to devour any living thing in their path. Putting the Sci Fi and Fantasy interpretation aside, we do tend to view spiders as creepy, crawly dangers lurking in their webs just waiting to enter our homes and scare the living daylights out of us.

While most genres of spiders are an annoyance, their bite is not a kiss of death. However, there are some fears and beliefs that are not unfounded. Enter the black widow and brown recluse.

Black Widow Spiders

The name “black widow” has crawled its way into Hollywood characters, movies, and TV shows. The moniker is derived from the characteristics of the female black widow, known for her lethal treatment of her lovers. Black widow spiders are identified by the red hourglass shape on their undersides. The males aren’t much to worry about. If you’ve been bitten, it’s the female who’s done the job.


The bite may feel like a prick of a pin. There will most likely be redness and swelling around the bite. The symptoms can feel much worse.


  • Chills or feeling feverish
  • Cramping and stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluses can be identified by the violin shape on their heads – not that you would want to get close enough to find out. Despite their reputation, they’re not aggressive in nature.


It’s hard to even notice the bite in the beginning, but it will sting soon after first contact. Symptoms are similar to a black widow’s bite, but a brown recluse bite – if left unchecked – can eat away at the skin.


  • Blistering
  • Nausea
  • Cramping and stomach pain
  • Swelling


Solutions for the black widow and brown recluse bite

If bitten and unaware of the origin of the bite, follow these steps:

  • Clean the bitten area
  • Place ice in a cloth and keep on the bite for 20 minutes on and off until swelling goes down
  • Wrap the area in clean bandages so it doesn’t come in contact with anything that might irritate it
  • Take IBUprofren/Motrin to relieve inflammation

These are just initial first contact things to do to help eliminate infection and symptoms. It’s important to seek medical attention and indicate to the medical professional where the bite is located, how long you’ve had it, and how you received it. If you think you may be having an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. These bites are very rarely deadly, but they may cause serious symptoms.

Command Pest Control’s mission is to prevent this from ever happening in your home or business. If you’re interested in eliminating the chance of spiders in your area, have a chat with us and we’ll get you on the schedule!

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