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TOPIC: White tail spider bites?

White tail spider bites? 03 May 2010 08:55 #22867

The white tail spider 'season' is almost over and the number of sightings drops off in cooler weather. But they will still be found in heated homes.

I regularly come across articles, comments and people that contact me directly saying that they or a family member has been bitten by a white tail spider and suffered a severe reaction including infection of the bite site, pain and considerable ulceration and scarring. A new example can be found here.

Studies carried out on hospitalizations of people who think they have been bitten by white tails suggest there is little evidence that white tails have been involved.

I am not sure what the truth is. My suspicion is that some bites from white tails and biting insects can become infected and the infection can cause the reactions described. What proportion of these reactions are due to white tail bites is not known.

Has anyone here had an experience with a white tail?
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White tail spider bites? 03 May 2010 10:22 #327694

Yes, I pulled out a file I had not opened in quite a while the other day and a big spider jumped out. I caught it in my hand to throw it out of the window and it proceeded to give me a bite which really hurt. Unfortunately selfpreservation kicked in and I dropped the critter!! I did however maintain my facilties to see that it was big and had a white spot on its rear end. He/She is now back amongst the dark unmentionables down there!. I immediately did a Google search to see what action to take and was assured that there was no danger and so got on with life. There has been NO reaction thankfully, however I wonder if the fact that it was a bite on the finger which gets constantly washed, hence stopping other infection, might be a factor. I shall now clean out my file shelf and hopefully find the monster.
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White tail spider bites? 03 May 2010 12:16 #327713

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I had a bite soon after arriving in NZ. I didn't see the thing bite me at the time, but I caught a spider on the wall within a few minutes. It was a whitetail. Perhaps a coincidence, but its the first and only time I've seen one and the first and only time I have been bitten. It got my arm, which ended up twice the size and very painful. No other symptoms.

Did not seek treatment other than over the counter anti histamine.
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White tail spider bites? 03 May 2010 12:33 #327721

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Our neighbour's son was bitten by a white tailed spider. He needed to be seen by a GP and the GP looked at the bite with a magnifying glass and showed his mother the two holes side by side in the skin. That's how they can say that it definitely was a white tailed spider. Insects only leave one hole in the skin.

The boy had a badly swollen and very painful leg for a week or so and the swelling subsided after a fortnight if I remember it correctly. He required antihistamines, cortison and antibiotics.
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White tail spider bites? 03 May 2010 13:10 #327725

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I had a bite on my arm recently, very painful and itchy, my normal remedies had little effect. Swelling about the diameter of a tennis ball. I resorted to Telfast which dealt with the histamine reaction, there was no infection and the swelling went away after 3 days of Telfast. 7-10 days all up and it was gone.
I am very careful to keep insect bites clean after my sister almost died of blood poisoning when she was 18 having been bitten on the ankle by something on the way to the airport in Auzzie and not having anything to treat it with whilst in transit, by the time Mum got her to the doctor 24hours later the infection was almost to her groin. He said she was lucky...
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White tail spider bites? 03 May 2010 16:32 #327754

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Have had a few over the years and as Simkin says there are two puncture holes but mine have been easily visible, even with my failing eyes! Always bitten on my feet. Only once did I have any reaction and that was a hot, red area that spread over a week or so. The bite was on the side of my big toe and the "rash" covered around 1/2 of the front part of my foot. Over a period of about a month the skin went all thin and papery looking and then peeled off leaving new, pink skin. Took around 2 1/2 months before everything returned to normal.

There was a case down here on a friend's orchard where one of his pickers got bitten and ended up in hospital. Touch and go if his leg was going to be taken off. Swelled up as far as above the knee and turned black. Fortunately mega doses of antibiotics saved it but he was off work for 4 months and didn't fully recover for a few more months after that.

Seems like there are no rules with these beasties. Some people get a bad reaction and some don't even notice.
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White tail spider bites? 03 May 2010 19:29 #327772

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I know someone who ended up in hospital for a week with cellulitis from a bite - the doctors who attended were experienced with white tails and were very suspicious that one was responsible for the bite and resulting infection.

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White tail spider bites? 03 May 2010 21:21 #327784

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It probably depends on what the spider had feasted on prior to biting the human being. When biting the spider injects saliva and if that is contaminated with bacteria then an infection is very likely.
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White tail spider bites? 03 May 2010 22:18 #327794

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Simkin;314159 wrote: It probably depends on what the spider had feasted on prior to biting the human being. When biting the spider injects saliva and if that is contaminated with bacteria then an infection is very likely.
That, and also if the spider is squeezed (e.g. sat on, squashed by clothing) when the bite occurs as this will eject juices from its gut into the bite wound [xx(]

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White tail spider bites? 04 May 2010 09:08 #327809

Hi All,
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White tail spider bites? 04 May 2010 13:28 #327875

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I find this information very useful:
http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biosystematics/invertebrates/spiders/white_tail.asp

The thing which wonders me is how does it actually feel to get bitten by a white tail. I have been bitten by a lot of things during my long life ( I know what some of you now think! [;)] ). Most of us know how it feels if you get bitten by mozzies, sandflies, wasps, bees, fleas etc. So how can I know I was bitten by a white tail if I have no idea how it would feel. Unless of course I see the culprit.

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White tail spider bites? 04 May 2010 21:45 #327936

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SaraL;314283 wrote: I find this information very useful:
http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biosystematics/invertebrates/spiders/white_tail.asp

The thing which wonders me is how does it actually feel to get bitten by a white tail. I have been bitten by a lot of things during my long life ( I know what some of you now think! [;)] ). Most of us know how it feels if you get bitten by mozzies, sandflies, wasps, bees, fleas etc. So how can I know I was bitten by a white tail if I have no idea how it would feel. Unless of course I see the culprit.

Sara
From experience I thought I have been spiked by a needle or pin that had been left in the sleeve of a shirt I put on. Loose shirt and the spider fled. The bite took a few days to become a boil like sore, at which point the red streaking (blood poisoning) up my arm saw me seeking medical attention. Even with antibiotics and a drain it then took a week to lose its 'core' and another week or two to heal.

I assume a bite from a squeezed spider would be more painful and would quickly become worse [xx(]

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White tail spider bites? 04 May 2010 22:48 #327945

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Wasn't there something written on another thread about these, that their bite was more severe if they had been feasting on daddy-longleg spiders?

Despite picking these spiders up and chucking them out the window and even going to great lengths to rescue one out of the kitchen sink plug hole when he dropped off my hand on the way to the window, I have never been bitten by one. However, many spiders do bite and I know this from my days working in forestry when they would end up in my bra and were less than appreciative of my finer points :D At worst they would leave a red mark that would be itchy for a couple of hours so the White Tail is not on it's own for taking defensive action when trapped.

I've got a big one wandering around my desk and keyboard at the moment. He's been here 24 hours and we're getting on amicably.

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White tail spider bites? 05 May 2010 11:20 #327985

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Ronney;314361 wrote: Wasn't there something written on another thread about these, that their bite was more severe if they had been feasting on daddy-longleg spiders?
......
Urban myth :)

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White tail spider bites? 05 May 2010 12:26 #327991

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Ronney;314361 wrote: Wasn't there something written on another thread about these, that their bite was more severe if they had been feasting on daddy-longleg spiders?
Retired Palmerston North entomologist, Jim Esson is quoted in an article on http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/715522

The larger female spider has the worst bite, but problems for humans come not from bites or toxins, but from bacteria in the spiders' mouths.

"The type of bacteria will depend on where they've been, and what they've been eating. The big problem is when you get infected wounds caused by fasciating bacteria.''

There are no proven cases of death from white-tailed spider bites, but secondary infections from the bacteria can lead to severe complications, such as gangrene. Each victim reacts differently to spider-mouth bacteria. There is virtually no way to stop them invading human homes or sheds, as they stalk other spiders to eat.
Mr Esson says his best advice when dealing with white-tails is to be brutal. "Step on them.''
Bite victims need medical aid if symptoms such as redness, pain, swelling, drowsiness, high temperature or flu-like symptoms develop.

The biggest white-tailed spider myth is that they carry toxins from eating daddy-long-legs. "That is a complete, utter and total myth. 99.95 percent of spiders have a toxin, but the daddy-long-legs are one of the few species that don't. They don't actually have any fangs either."
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White tail spider bites? 05 May 2010 15:05 #327996

I have seen kittens with cellulitis from white tail bites ; looked just awful but they did survive under Vet care ...
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White tail spider bites? 05 May 2010 16:02 #328000

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I have been bitten by one and had to have very strong ab's and was closely watched by the Doctorfor about four weeks.
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White tail spider bites? 14 May 2010 13:14 #329082

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whilst not exactly a white tail, you have to feel sorry for this tourist
A tourist suffered heart inflammation after being bitten on the penis apparently by a katipo spider, following a skinny-dip in Northland.
The 22-year-old Canadian left his clothes in the sand dunes while he went for a nude swim and slept on his return, according to a report on the case in today's online NZ Medical Journal. "He woke to find his penis swollen and painful with a red mark on the shaft suggestive of a bite. He rapidly developed generalised muscle pains, fever, headache, photophobia [light sensitivity] and vomiting," writes Dr Nigel Harrison, of Whangarei Hospital, and colleagues.
reference and full article at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10644813
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White tail spider bites? 14 May 2010 15:32 #329100

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It's in the Sydney Morning Herald today as well


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White tail spider bites? 14 May 2010 16:17 #329107

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I have been bitten by lots of things ( hazzard of gardening jobs and outdoor work i guess) but never had anything that didn't come right by itself after a few days ( bloody hurt though for that time ) ... lol um maybe to much blood in the bourbon stream those days lol
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White tail spider bites? 15 May 2010 07:57 #329157

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NaturoPharm do a homeopathic remedy for White Tailed Spider bites; I got it from Health 2000 as a 'just in case', since I seem to get bitten by everything else! Taken as soon as you get bitten should be quite effective [;)]
Ne vous fachez pas [;)]
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White tail spider bites? 15 May 2010 13:44 #329189

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hi all,

i found this article interesting...

http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/179_04_180803/isb10785_fm.html

i believe being bitten by a white tail is more painful that a wasp sting so if you do not immediately know it is happening, and so can see what did it, then it is probably something else that bit you...
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White tail spider bites? 15 May 2010 16:47 #329216

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Hi all....my OH was bitten in 2004 by a white tail on his ankle. What started out as a red painful area turned into a serious condition involving joint and lung infections over a period of months.At the most accute stage it ended up with a 5 day stint in hospital...still today there are reoccurring problems. He is highly allergic to stings etc anyway. A wasp attack last month landed him at A&E!!!!
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White tail spider bites? 15 May 2010 17:49 #329222

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that sounds bad hp! did you take the spider in so they have proof that it caused the problem? it seems like it would be good if they can prove the white tail is the culprit as so far it is an unproven.
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White tail spider bites? 15 May 2010 20:12 #329234

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tonic;315761 wrote: that sounds bad hp! did you take the spider in so they have proof that it caused the problem? it seems like it would be good if they can prove the white tail is the culprit as so far it is an unproven.
No we didn't get the critter but the doctor that saw the bite could see the two fang marks as two little white dots in the centre of the initial bite site which was quite red by the time we got to see him. It was the next day that things really started to get worse with the pain starting in the ankle joint, moving to the knee and hip and then affecting the joints of the other leg. We were told that it was an arthritic reaction which can happen sometimes with people highly allergic to insect bites.

But you are right we could only assume it was a white tail spider....we have lots of them at our place.
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White tail spider bites? 15 May 2010 21:05 #329239

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Stu old mate think it more likely too little blood in the bourbon stream:D:D think I might have beensame but not the booze part HA HA
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White tail spider bites? 30 Jan 2012 05:38 #411294

It can be so dangerous i know because i suffered black widow bite on my vocation..
i was in texas at my uncles home and spider bites me.
In first time i didn't know that was spider bite. After few hours pain was horrible and i decided to go to explore on internet some about spider bites.

Black Widow bite

Informations and pictures was telling to me that was really spider bite. I called 911 and went to hospital a my vocation, can you imagine??!.
Doktor sad to me that black widow is so dangerous spider that can produce anputation, i was shocked!
That's my story people. I'm hoping i will help someone if read this and learn more about bites..
Sorry about mine bad english, i'm from bulgaria.
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