Like bug bites, spider bites are far from desirable. However, spiders are typically just a nuisance. In fact, most of the time, spider bite treatment can be done in the comfort of your own home using natural remedies. While other times, especially if a more threatening type of spider bit you, spider bites can be a lot more serious.
Unlike mosquitoes that feed on humans, spiders pretty much only bite us as a defense mechanism because they are either feeling threatened or trapped. But no one really cares about why a spider bit them once they are dealing with an annoying inflamed, itchy and painful bite! I’m sure you are ready to learn some of the best options when it comes to natural treatment for spider bites including essential oils as well as common items you very likely already have in your home!
Spider Bite Risk Factors, Causes & Symptoms
First off, your risk of being bitten by a specific type of poisonous spider varies depending upon the state you live in. For example, living in the southwestern United States makes you more likely to come in contact with a black widow.
Even spiders known for having a more serious bite don’t go around just looking to bite people. Spiders have venom to kill their prey. If a spider bites a human and injects its venom, it’s typically because they disturbed the spider’s living area or they made the spider feel trapped.
If you’re looking to avoid spiders, then you want to be extra careful in sheds, garages, wood piles and with empty containers (like those used for gardening). Also, outdoors you’re more likely to find spiders inside of tree stumps or under rocks. Indoor areas that are somewhat notorious for “hiding” spiders include places that tend to be untouched and out of sight. For example, they might lurk behind dressers and bookcases, basement and attic clutter, or those kitchen cupboards that you rarely go into. (1)
What causes a spider bite? The obvious answer: a spider! But the unwanted symptoms of a spider bite are specifically caused by venom injected into you by a spider. However, the severity of your spider bite symptoms will depend upon the exact type of spider that bit you, how much venom that spider injected and how sensitive your body is to the venom.
What does a spider bite look like? Like bug bites, a spider bite looks like an inflamed reddish bump.
General Spider Bite Symptoms: (2)
- Mild pain
How bad your spider bite symptoms are depends on what kind of spider bit you, how much venom was injected and your body’s individual reaction to this venom. For more specific and more serious spider bite symptoms, such as the symptoms of a black widow spider bite, brown recluse spider bite or wolf spider bite, check out my previous article: Spider Bite! Symptoms + 6 Easy Natural Treatments
Conventional Spider Bite Treatment
The majority of spider bites do not necessitate medical intervention and can be treated with at-home spider bite treatment. The first step in conventional home treatment is to wash the bite with soap and water. The next step is to use a cold compress on the bite area. Then conventional spider bite treatment recommendations typically include taking over-the-counter pain killers and oral antihistamines , some doctors may recommend other antihistamines. Conventional treatment may also include prescription steroid pills and/or topical steroid cream. In addition, if your spider bite becomes infected, antibiotics are likely to be prescribed. (3)
If you are experiencing a more serious spider bite, it’s possible that your doctor may give you an antivenom injection or intravenously give you antivenom as part of your spider bite treatment. (4)
10 Home Remedies: Natural Spider Bite Treatment
In fact, natural spider bites’ treatment is pretty straight-forward and not hard to do. It’s also not costly. Here are some of the best and easiest ways to a non life-threatening spider bite. Experts say that the swelling and pain of a spider bite should typically only last one to two days, similar to a bee sting.
The first step of most natural spider bite treatments is to clean the bite with warm water and soap. Next, you should apply ice to the bite area to reduce swelling for 10 minutes. Repeat icing several times a day, especially in the first 24 hours. Icing a spider bite is a conventional as well as a natural treatment for spider bite symptoms. (6)
2. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is known for drawing out toxins when used both internally or externally. If you apply a charcoal paste to a spider bite, it can help to draw out the venom causing your unpleasant spider bite symptoms. Apply the paste to the bite and let it sit for an hour or two. You do this twice a day until symptoms improve. (7)
3. Baking Soda Paste
One of the easiest and most cost-effective options when it comes to spider bite treatment is baking soda. This common household item truly seems to have endless uses and bug and spider bites definitely make the list. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it several times a day to improve spider bite symptoms. To create a thick paste, combine three parts baking soda to one part water.
If you have a spider bite on an extremity, then elevation can really help to decrease swelling. So if your spider bite is on your arm or on your leg then you should elevate that limb of your body. Elevation can be especially helpful when it it comes to brown recluse spider bite treatment or black widow spider bite treatment. If you get bitten by a brown recluse or black widow, you may likely need medical attention if you have a bad reaction, but part of your home treatment plan may likely include elevation if the bite is on an arm or leg. (8)
5. No Scratching
Do not scratch at your spider bite. This may sound too simple to be on the natural spider bite treatment list, but if you’ve ever started scratching at a spider bite or other bug bite, then you already know how much worse it makes the situation. The bite only gets angrier and itchier. Plus, scratching at a spider bite raises the risk of the bite becoming infected. Resist the urge to scratch and your spider bite should heal that much quicker.
6. Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil is a perfect pick for a spider bite. It can calm spider bite inflammation and redness and also encourage healing. Simply combine a few drops of lavender oil with coconut oil and put it directly on the spider bite. You can also apply the lavender oil undiluted (just a drop or two) if you prefer.
7. Potato Poultice
Forget about french fries, that potato you have laying around can be used to help improve a spider bite. It may be surprising, but potatoes are excellent at reducing inflammation of the skin. You can create a potato poultice by grating a peeled potato and putting the shreds into a thin piece of cloth. Use a rubber band to secure the contents inside of the cloth and apply this poultice to the spider bite until the potato is dry. You can repeat as needed. Of course, make sure the spider bite area is thoroughly clean before using this poultice or any other remedy. (9)
8. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is known for its skin-healing, astringent and antioxidant properties. For bug bites of all kinds, including spider bites, the astringent and calming power of witch hazel makes it an awesome spider bite treatment. Apply liquid witch hazel to the bite a few times a day to reduce itching, redness and inflammation. (10) You can also try my DIY Anti-Itch Cream, which includes witch hazel as well as baking soda, bentonite clay, honey and apple cider vinegar.
9. Aloe Vera
Time and again aloe vera comes to the rescue for all kinds of skin woes. It’s not surprising that aloe vera can help to calm the inflammation and itchiness because it contains all kinds of helpful components including vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fatty acids. (11) You can use the gel inside of a fresh aloe vera leaf or you can look for aloe vera gel at the store. If you’re purchasing an aloe vera product, just aim for one that has the highest aloe vera content possible and the fewest added ingredients and preferably no questionable preservatives. If you read the label on many seemingly great aloe vera products, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Aloe vera can be applied to a spider bite several times a day until it improves.
10. Wintergreen Essential Oil
Wintergreen essential oil has analgesic (pain-killing) properties, making it a great choice for a topical spider bite treatment. It’s important to blend wintergreen oil with a carrier oil as it can irritate the skin if used alone. Use a small amount of wintergreen essential oil to start, just 1–2 drops, and mix it into coconut, olive, almond or jojoba oil before rubbing into skin.
It’s not common to die from a spider bite or to have a really serious reaction, but the worst case scenarios typically occur in the elderly, very ill people and children. (12)
Immediate medical attention is necessary for a spider bite if any of the follow are true: (13)
- The bite area gets continually worse or spreads after applying basic first aid.
- The person who was bitten has difficulty breathing.
- The person who was bitten has severe pain, abdominal cramping or a growing ulcer at the bite site.
- You are unsure whether or not the bite was from a poisonous spider.
It is unlikely, yet possible, to experience an allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock after a spider bites you. Anaphylactic shock can be fatal. Dial 911 if a spider bite victim is exhibiting any of these signs of anaphylactic shock: (14)
- Loss of consciousness
- Trouble breathing
- Rapid swelling of the lips, throat, tongue or eye area
- Hoarseness or wheezing
- Severe itching, cramping, and/or numbness
- Hives or a reddish rash
- Stomach cramps
To avoid spider bites in the first place, it’s a very wise idea to shake out footwear, gloves, clothing and blankets before using them, especially if they’ve been in storage for a while. Spider bite prevention is another great reason to get rid of clutter in your home. If you’re going into an area that you think may be housing some spiders, make loud noises or create vibration so you are less likely to startle one of these crawling creatures. If a spider does bite you, make sure to seek medical attention if needed. Start home spider bite treatment immediately, if your bite isn’t serious, and employ these many easy natural remedies to get that bite calmed down fast.