What do spider bites look like?

THANKFULLY the UK is home to few harmful spiders – but their bites can still cause great discomfort.

Here is how to tell what has sunk its fangs into you and how to treat it.

What do spider bites look like?

There are around 650 species of spider in the UK and all of them can bite – though only 12 have been recorded to cause real harm to humans, according to the Natural History Museum.

Bites in Britain are relatively uncommon but nevertheless, they still occur and can be pretty nasty.

Most of the time the creatures leave small puncture marks on the skin, which can be painful and cause redness and swelling.

Other things to look out for include itching, muscle pain, red bumps and a headache.

Sickness, sweating and dizziness can also occur, and if infected, bites can result in a severe allergic reaction.

The NHS urges anyone who has a serious reaction to any concerning symptoms to seek medical help immediately.

False widow

False widow spiders are spotted fairly regularly in homes and garden sheds across the UK, but they rarely bite.

When they do, the site can become swollen and painful, and the pain may radiate to the surrounding area.

Like most spiders, they are venomous, but experts say their venom is not particularly potent and symptoms last between one and 24 hours.

Bites should be washed with soap and water before being treated with bite spray or antiseptic cream.

Woodlouse spider

Also known as the slater spider and woodlouse hunter, this spider has been known to bite humans when handled.

Its venom can cause itchiness and pain around the site, but no serious medical problems.

Over-the-counter products are fine to treat woodlouse spider bites.

Giant house spider

This species is one of the largest and fastest spiders in Europe, capable of running at around two feet per second.

As the name suggests, they are commonly found hiding in attics, cupboards and behind boxes in homes.

Their fangs are big enough to penetrate human skin and their bite can certainly be felt by humans, but there is not usually cause of concern.

However, the species can be harmful to those with specific allergies, so always keep medication nearby and call for professional medical help if necessary.

Jumping spider

Jumping spider bites are uncommon and tend only to strike when feeling under threat.

Some redness, itching, stinging and swelling may occur but symptoms are usually minor and easily treated.

More serious cases could see broken skin and small bubbles of pus.

Mouse spider 

If you've been nipped by a mouse spider, you may experience a few mild symptoms such as redness and itching.

They have also been known to cause allergic reactions in people and can cause severe illness among children, but this is rare.

One person reported that their bite resembled a spot with a pus-filled head which later became infected, but this may not have been directly due to the bite.

Mouse spiders only tend to bite if they become trapped in your clothes or are handled roughly.

A cold compress, such as an ice pack, can be applied to sore areas, and elevating bitten extremities can help reduce swelling.

Tube web spiders 

Female tube web spiders can reach up to 22mm in body length making them one of the largest species found in Britain.

They also have menacing looking green fangs, and while their bites can be very painful, they are not severe.

Blistering can occur, as well as some swelling, but this should subside within 24 hours.

Victims have previously compared the pain to that of a wasp or bee sting.

Pain killers can be used to relieve minor discomfort.

Cardinal spider

Cardinal spiders resides in nooks and crannies across Britain.

Females can grow to a body length of up to 20mm, and males up to 17mm, and their legs are about three times longer in length.

The cardinal spider is capable of biting, although bites have rarely been recorded.

The nip is believed to be completely harmless and relatively painless to humans, with symptoms described as localised pain and swelling.

Walnut orb-weaver

These are one of the most venomous spiders in the UK, behind the false widow.

They're not deadly, but their bites are far from pleasant.

A nibble from one of these will leave a burning pain from finger to below, swelling and a numb arm.

A cold compress and pain relief medication can be useful to help ease discomfort.

Money spider

More than 4,000 species belong to the money spider family, many of which are widespread across the UK.

The small creatures paralyse their prey by biting them, but a nibble from one won't cause much more than redness and swelling in humans.

Bites from money spiders are even considered to be lucky!

Black lace weaver

These are another type of relatively venomous spider measuring up to 15mm in length.

As with most species, experts urge people not to pick them up or risk being bitten.

Bites will likely cause some pain, with swelling lasting up to three days.

As with other spider bites, cleaning the wound will hep prevent infection and pain relief can be taken.

Wasp spider

The wasp spider, identified by its black, yellow and white striped pattern, is new and rare to the UK

Like the wasp, they can be angry little creatures and although a bite won't be fatal, bizarrely, the pain from the bite can spread to your groin.

Monitor the bite and your symptoms for the following 24 hours to ensure your condition does not worsen.

Cross spider

It is said to be fairly difficult to provoke a cross spider to bite, but disturbing in their web could cause one to come for you.

One reported bite saw the victim experience some swelling and pain, but little else is known about what to look out for.

Lace weaver and webbed spiders

Both species are found in the UK, but lace webbed spiders are much more widespread.

There have been very few recorded cases of bites in humans, but those that have been reported saw localised swelling for around 12 hours.

Placing a cold compress on the area can help reduce swelling.

Zebra back spider

Black and white marks distinguish the zebra back spider from other species.

It tends to remain outdoors so humans are unlikely to encounter one at home.

They are capable of biting, but their venom is not life-threatening, nor is it meant to be particularly painful.

Cellar spider

Long-bodied cellar spiders are also referred to as daddy long-legs.

Although they may look a little scary, they are not known to bite humans.

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