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Pest Gallery > Spider

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Many different kinds of spiders live around homes and buildings. Most are harmless and in fact are beneficial, because they prey upon flies, crickets and other nuisance insects. Spider bites are difficult to diagnose, even by physicians. Contrary to popular belief, it is exceedingly hard to diagnosis a brown recluse spider bite from the wound alone. Many medical conditions mimic the necrotic-looking sore from a recluse bite, including bacterial and fungal infections, gangrene, and diabetic or pressure ulcers.

Spider venom poisoning constitutes a disease state characterized by a set of signs (observable physical or objective evidence of disease) and symptoms (complaints that the bite victim relays to the physician, etc.), which lead to the diagnosis of spider envenomation. Traditionally, disease states induced by spider bite have been assigned specific names, according to the genus of spider which causes the poisoning. For example, poisoning by the widow spiders (genus Latrodectus) is termed latrodectism, while poisoning by the recluse spiders (genus Loxosceles) is known as loxoscelism; thus, poisoning caused by the hobo spider, Tegenaria agrestis, may be properly termed tegenarism. While not all species in any given spider genus may induce significant poisoning, and while signs and symptoms may differ from species to species in a genus, this nomenclature has proven useful in categorizing different types of spider envenomation. Hobo spider poisoning does not invariably develop following a bite by a hobo spider. A large percentage (perhaps 50% or more) of defensive bites by the hobo are "dry", and no venom is injected when the spider bites. Hobo spiders, like many other venomous creatures, are more likely to incorporate venom in a food getting bite than in a defensive bite. Typically, defensive bites by the hobo spider are lightning fast, the spider opening its scissor-like fangs, closing them together into the tissue of the victim, and then withdrawing rapidly. Very often the bite itself is painless, although this varies depending upon the circumstance and location of the bite, and upon the psychological state of the victim. Most spider bites are single, not in rows or patches like those of some parasitic arthropods; multiple bites do occasionally occur, such as when the spider is trapped between skin and clothing, and cannot escape.
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