What to do if You Suspect a Spider Bite

Even though the vast majority of spider bites are not serious, it is prudent to seek medical attention if you are certain that you have been bitten by a spider. Remain calm, try to find the spider, put it into a sealed container, and take it to the emergency room. Even a crushed spider can usually be identified by a trained professional. There is little that can be done to treat a spider bite at home. Without the spider, it is often difficult to determine (from examination of the wound) whether the injury was really caused by a spider bite. Typically there are two tiny puncture wounds close together, but they may be impossible to distinguish if there is a discharge or if the area is inflamed. Keep the patient comfortable and restrict activity, cleanse the site of the wound with antiseptic to minimize the chance of infection. Remind the patient that most spider bites do not have serious consequences. Fear and anxiety can result in nausea and dizziness so you should try to keep the patient calm. DO NOT attempt to suck out the spider’s venom, DO NOT use a knife or razor blade to open the spider’s puncture wound; these actions will only increase the risk of infection and are not effective at reducing the severity of a spider’s bite. Seek medical attention.


  • If you suspect a spider bite you should consult a physician.
  • If you notice the spider at the time of the bite; capture it and take it with you to the clinic and have them try to find a qualified spider expert to identify it.
  • Bear in mind that the wound may not have been caused by a spider bite.

This advice is provided as general information and should not be considered specific medical advice.