[quote="Pamzilla"]...All spiders are beneficial and basically harmless. I have even heard black widows and brown recluse aren't as dangerous as we think unless you happen to have an allergic reaction...
I disagree. The Brown Recluse
: Most frequently associated with bites of medical significance; venom is potentially harmful to humans. Recluse bites usually form a red circular area on the skin which sloughs off the skin leaving an open wound which is difficult to heal and may require several months before it is completely healed. Reactions vary in severity, depending on the sensitivity of the individual. Seek medical attention if such a bite occurs. This spider is quite non-aggressive and bites occur most frequently when it is injured or killed. This may happen when trapped in clothing or bedding. Bites often occur on the buttocks or legs.
They typically produce local pain and itching which may take days or over a week to occur. Systemic (generalized internal) reactions usually are evident within 72 hours. The bite site may develop a discolored pustulate area that progresses to a necrotic area with an open wound the size of a quarter or larger. Systemic reactions may include rashes, fever, generalized itching, vomiting, diarrhea, shock or death.
The Black Widow
If noticed at all, a widow spider bite may feel like a pin prick. Usually the bite location is indicated by a slight local swelling and two red spots surrounded by redness. The reaction is systemic and pain becomes intense in one to three hours, continuing for up to 48 hours. Symptoms include tremors, nausea, vomiting, leg cramps, abdominal pain, profuse perspiration, loss of muscle tone and rise in blood pressure. The toxin can also cause breathing difficulties and sometimes unconsciousness. However, less than 5% of people bitten by widow spiders die. Widow spiders are found in protected cavities outdoors. Around houses, they may live in privies, garages, cellars, furniture, shrubbery, ventilators, rain spouts, gas and electric meters and other undisturbed places. Widow spiders also may be seen in cotton fields and occasionally vegetable gardens.
Like most spiders, widow spiders are shy and retiring. People are bitten occasionally when they accidentally disturb a hidden spider or its web. To avoid hidden spiders, take care when putting on seldom-worn shoes or clothing.
About the snakes (and spiders for that matter): If you fear being bitten, I would highly suggest you contact Clifford Mackey at 918-341-6715. In the back of the Texas Bug Book, Howard and Malcolm have referenced this information which is backed by scientific research. It involves the use of a mini stun gun, half the power of ones used for self defense. It seems to neutralize the poisons from bites. The bite and resulting damage is far worse that the discomfort of this device. I should know. I accidentally stunned myself with a regular
stun gun (twice as strong as the mini). While sitting in the front seat of a truck, I reached around in back of me (in the dark) to gather the contents of a spilled purse and ZAP!
It did not take long for me to release from it and I did have to sit there for a minute or two to recuperate. Shoot, even the effects of a full strength stun gun is better than vomiting, loss of muscle tone, tremors, and all that goings on as long as you are sitting down so you do not fall and hit your head.