Template: Skinny | Lean | Well Rounded | Plump
Old 3rd May 2010, 08:55 AM   #1
Pest Advice
lsb member
 
Pest Advice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Canterbury
Posts: 81
Blog Entries: 12
White tail spider bites?

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?
__________________
The Pest Advice
Pest Advice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd May 2010, 10:22 AM   #2
Wise Earth
advanced member
Friend of LSB
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Franklin
Posts: 70
Re: White tail spider bites?

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.
Wise Earth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd May 2010, 12:16 PM   #3
optrex
lsb member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Canterbury
Posts: 122
Re: White tail spider bites?

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.
optrex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd May 2010, 12:33 PM   #4
Simkin
Chookaholic
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canterbury, NZ
Posts: 7,159
Re: White tail spider bites?

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.
Simkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd May 2010, 01:10 PM   #5
Xartep
lsb member
 
Xartep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Carterton
Posts: 2,441
Blog Entries: 2
Re: White tail spider bites?

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...
__________________
3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?

Xartep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd May 2010, 04:32 PM   #6
powerguy
Occasional live wire
 
powerguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Pokororo, New Zealand.
Posts: 945
Re: White tail spider bites?

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.
powerguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd May 2010, 07:29 PM   #7
cowvet
lsb member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: .
Posts: 5,849
Re: White tail spider bites?

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.
__________________

I love animals...they're delicious
cowvet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd May 2010, 09:21 PM   #8
Simkin
Chookaholic
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canterbury, NZ
Posts: 7,159
Re: White tail spider bites?

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.
Simkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd May 2010, 10:18 PM   #9
Organix
Lurking
Friend of LSB
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The 'Naki
Posts: 3,364
Re: White tail spider bites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simkin View Post
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
__________________
Posted from here using my laptop
Organix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2010, 09:08 AM   #10
Pest Advice
lsb member
 
Pest Advice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Canterbury
Posts: 81
Blog Entries: 12
Re: White tail spider bites?

Hi All,


Thanks for all the feedback. I find it fascinating that there are so many people with stories of White tail spider bites. At this point about 5% of those who have looked at this thread have responded with a story.

It seems to me there is something in NZ that causes an increased frequency of reactions to bites. In the UK and Ireland I am not aware of such a high frequency. I have studied Mycobacteria in the UK and Ireland and I am aware of how difficult it can be to isolate these organisms from the ulcerous wounds some species can cause.

My suspicion is that White tail spiders bite and some of those bites become infected, possibly with organisms which are difficult to detect such as Mycobacterium spp.

If White tails are not the cause it begs the question; if White tails are not the culprits, what is?

Keep telling me your stories.
__________________
The Pest Advice

Last edited by Pest Advice; 4th May 2010 at 09:09 AM.. Reason: extraneous characters
Pest Advice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2010, 01:28 PM   #11
SaraL
advanced member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: .
Posts: 44
Re: White tail spider bites?

I find this information very useful:
http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/re...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
SaraL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2010, 09:45 PM   #12
Organix
Lurking
Friend of LSB
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The 'Naki
Posts: 3,364
Re: White tail spider bites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraL View Post
I find this information very useful:
http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/re...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
__________________
Posted from here using my laptop
Organix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2010, 10:48 PM   #13
Ronney
lsb member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Fairburn, Kaitaia, New Zealand.
Posts: 7,108
Re: White tail spider bites?

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 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.

Cheers,
Ronnie
Ronney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th May 2010, 11:20 AM   #14
Organix
Lurking
Friend of LSB
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The 'Naki
Posts: 3,364
Re: White tail spider bites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronney View Post
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
__________________
Posted from here using my laptop
Organix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th May 2010, 12:26 PM   #15
optrex
lsb member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Canterbury
Posts: 122
Re: White tail spider bites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronney View Post
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."
optrex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th May 2010, 03:05 PM   #16
Birman Babe
Blue-eyed Bita Fluff
 
Birman Babe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Paeroa, New Zealand. Home of the L&P bottle.
Posts: 6,543
Re: White tail spider bites?

I have seen kittens with cellulitis from white tail bites ; looked just awful but they did survive under Vet care ...
__________________
Birman Babe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th May 2010, 04:02 PM   #17
kalnetta
lsb member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: .
Posts: 1,476
Re: White tail spider bites?

I have been bitten by one and had to have very strong ab's and was closely watched by the Doctorfor about four weeks.
__________________
View Hill Oxford ,23 ewes 2 lambs ,1 ram,, 1cat,the 2 of us,6 granddaughters,one grandson,2 surrogate granddaughters and one step grandson,poor boy.
kalnetta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th May 2010, 01:14 PM   #18
optrex
lsb member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Canterbury
Posts: 122
Re: White tail spider bites?

whilst not exactly a white tail, you have to feel sorry for this tourist
Quote:
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/ar...ectid=10644813
optrex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th May 2010, 03:32 PM   #19
ravenseyes
lsb member
 
ravenseyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: near Hamilton.
Posts: 561
Re: White tail spider bites?

It's in the Sydney Morning Herald today as well
__________________


Brave Words. I've heard them before from thousands of species across thousands of worlds, since long before you were created, but now, they are all Borg.
ravenseyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th May 2010, 04:17 PM   #20
Stu_R
surviving as best one can
Friend of LSB
 
Stu_R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Feilding / Awahuri ( Manawatu)
Posts: 7,021
Re: White tail spider bites?

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
__________________
4 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo and Sam ) 11 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them , and 7 named friendly year old lambs : 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land
Stu_R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2010, 07:57 AM   #21
dinnaefash
advanced member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Waikato
Posts: 210
Re: White tail spider bites?

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
dinnaefash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2010, 01:44 PM   #22
tonic
lsb member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Tauranga, New Zealand.
Posts: 1,487
Re: White tail spider bites?

hi all,

i found this article interesting...

http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/...b10785_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...
tonic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2010, 04:47 PM   #23
HarryPotter
lsb member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: .North Waikato
Posts: 1,548
Re: White tail spider bites?

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!!!!
__________________
Sharing the pad with Harry the Australian Terrorist, Penny the Bearded Collie, Bev the Schnauzer/beardie and her daughters Nellie and Charlotte. (Dad was a Hungarian Vizsla) + lots of chooks.
HarryPotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2010, 05:49 PM   #24
tonic
lsb member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Tauranga, New Zealand.
Posts: 1,487
Re: White tail spider bites?

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.
tonic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2010, 08:12 PM   #25
HarryPotter
lsb member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: .North Waikato
Posts: 1,548
Re: White tail spider bites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonic View Post
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.
__________________
Sharing the pad with Harry the Australian Terrorist, Penny the Bearded Collie, Bev the Schnauzer/beardie and her daughters Nellie and Charlotte. (Dad was a Hungarian Vizsla) + lots of chooks.
HarryPotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +12. The time now is 05:45 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.