Poisonous spiders in Florida

Updated: Thursday, July 31 2014, 10:35 AM CDT
Poisonous spiders in Florida story image
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture there are two kinds of poisonous spiders in the state of Florida Widows and Recluses. Both can be deadly.

Medical Toxicologists at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee are letting people know how to treat Brown Recluse spider bites.

They say many people try home remedies that can cause more damage.
People can react differently to the bites.
And should seek medical attention if you believe you've been bitten.

"I'm terrified of spiders."   
Brown Recluse spiders like dark, areas like woodpiles and hiding under porches.
Most of the time they are never seen...
But on the occasions they are and bite you need to seek medical attention immediately.
Once bitten you may feel a sharp sting.  Some people feel nothing at all.
Pain around the affected area develops within the first several hours. 

Dr. John Lanza  "You would see fever, chills, sweating, discoloration of the skin of the area of the bite if it was a poisonous insect."
Sharon Conn says she has been bitten twice by a Brown Recluse.
The latest bite happened in May.

Sharon Conn  "I knew by the feeling of the bite what it was."   
She still has a mark's on her leg from the venomous spider.

"It was intense. It was horrible. My leg got really, really big and it got swollen up really big and they had to lance it off and treat it with antibiotics."

"There is a toxin that is injected into the skin and it can produce a serious ulcer. Which in some cases can last 6 weeks or longer, but in the worst cases it can cause destruction of the local skin and require plastic surgery."
But sometimes it's hard to pin point what type of spider could have bit a person.
Or even if it was a spider at all.

"The real problem is that it's a bacterial infection and it's not a spider bite. A lot of people in the past have thought they've had a spider bite but it was MRSA."
Experts say to help prevent coming to close to Brown Recluse's wear protective clothing when traveling through terrain and use caution  before sticking your hands or feet under logs, underbrush, or other damp dark areas.

Poisonous spiders in Florida

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