Spider Bite Remedies

Last Modified on Sep 22, 2014

Potatoes   4  0   

Posted by April (Salt Lake City, Utah) on 09/25/2011

[YEA]  I was bitten several days ago by what we believe was a Hobo spider, it's similar to a brown recluse. As I am one who believes in and practices wholeistic, preventative healthcare, my first reaction was to seek help there. From the following experience, I learned that you should use a combination of folk remedies BUT also a small subdermal shot of steroid to prevent further complications which may lead to a more severe situation.

MY STORY... At day 3 after the two bites, we began noticing some disturbing changes in the bites. They grew from the size of a pencil eraser to a nickel/quarter size and became blistery with a raw fleshy look and with a dark center. I began researching on the web and came across a very interesting article about how veterinarians will treat toxic spider bites on horses by injecting Dexamethasone {a steroid} in small doses around the site of the bite. The article went onto say that vets who know enough about poisonous spider bites also use this same procedure on themselves. With this printed article in hand, I went to an emergency instacare-clinic and was seen by a Dr. who was known for his treatment of skin ailments & rashes ect... He looked at the bites and suggested only a topical steroid. I mentioned that it had doubled in size overnight and that I would prefer to have the shots. He refused. I asked why and he said, "I just won't do it, I don't have Dexamethasone in the clinic on hand, and even if I did I wouldn't do it because anytime you inject anything in the skin it can cause a problem."

Well, the poisonous spider's venum and bacteria was now eating my flesh started the problem, certainly from the evidence stated in the article a small steroid shot couldn't make things much worse. He tried to placate me and said, "I could be wrong but I doubt it, if it gets worse by tomorrow you could always come back in. I chuckled inside, come back in pay another $50 00 and not have you do anything different than what you are willing to do right now!

I had read several senarious on the web of this very thing happening because many doctors don't have the answers. I filled the topic steroid ointment that he prescribed went home put it on as directed. The next morning the bites had grown even larger, much more blistering was occuring and you could see where the initial bites were the flesh was sinking in {cratering}. My husband who has a medical background took one look and was surprised at what was happening even with the strong steroid cream. We found someone who would give the shot and I began wrapping sliced potatoes on my leg to draw out the venom. I changed them almost every 40 minutes for the first evening and through out the night I changed twice. After about 5 hours you could see that the bites were no longer growing and were healing. We were both surprised. I wanted to avoid taking an antibiotic if possible which I know would have been the course if I had not stopped the direction we were headed. I have included the link for the "article" below, it is impressive how many people have been helped by this simple, non-dangerous approach but doctors don't know about it. I believe that there are times when a combination of folk medicine and prescription drugs are the best path. After reading many stories of bites that took months, 3 to 4 to heal and close, I don't think you want to mess around with toxic spider bites.

HERE IS THE LINK: http://www.badspiderbites.com/spider-bite-treatment/

Posted by Lynn (Windsor, Canada) on 06/28/2008

[YEA]  Got 4 brown recluse spider bites on my arm while cleaning our shed. After 3 days went to Dr. and was given antibiotics to combat any other infection that might happen (I'm diabetic)...but Dr. said nothing can be done about the venom. 2 wounds were size of 1/2 dollar, 2 size of dime. Blistering and oozing and scabs (2 were black)occured and new blisters formed (no infection just clear fluid oozing) Did have 3 new sites of blister form possibly from the oozed fluid spreading the toxin. These new sites are not bites. Am now covering wounds with large bandaids.By day 5 tried topical creams, baking soda paste (not at the same time). While they kept the wounds from getting bigger they did not make it smaller or look any different. Found your website and am now doing potato poltice. Did break blisters and got as much scab off as possible before putting potato slices on. It is working, hooray!! And in only a few hours. Been a week looking for something that works. Right now the wounds have lost the redness, puffiness and don't feel warmer than the rest of me. Will let you know how I am in a few days. Was really worried as these bites were not healing and slowly getting worse. Will try salt tomorrow (maybe salt the potato slices, eh!).

Posted by Lynn
Windsor, Canada
2 Posts
Hi again. My 4 spider bites are much improved. Did try salt on potato slices on 2 bites and plain potato slices on the other two. No difference in results. Have since cleaned bite wounds and redid all sites of blisters for overnight. It is amazing...great results. This is day 9 since getting biten and the bites are now healing and show no sign of still having venom. I'm sure the Dr's antibiotic has warded off any other type of infection also. I am so relieved! After 2 1/2 days of doing the potato slices (first for a few hours and then 2 nights of leaving them on) to see amazing results and healing I am thrilled. Hope this helps someone else.

Posted by Jason (Atkins, AR) on 06/09/2008

[YEA]  I got a spider bite on the back of my arm and in just a few days my arm was swelled and I had a big knot with a big white, yellow, greenish, center. I got on the earth clinic site and seen to scrap the top cut a potato and put on it. I did and was amazed at how fast it pulled all of the junk out of my arm. The potato is the only way to go in my opinion. Thanks yall are a life saver.

EC: Glad to hear the remedy worked.  However, we still have to warn folks to be careful that a spider bite isn't, in fact, Staph or MRSA.  We know two people here in Atlanta in the past month who misdiagnosed staph infections for spider bites!!

Posted by Chrystle (Sandpoint, Idaho) on 09/14/2007

[YEA]  When I was in high school I was bitten by (I believe) a brown recluse. I went to the doctor with in a couple of days but they didn't know what type of bite it was or what to do about it. A family friend suggested I take a Potato and slice it. then clean the top of the bite so it's open and put the potato on it. The starch in the potato will draw out the venom. I tried it and it worked great!! The other thing the family friend suggested was to crush up flax seeds in a mortar and pestle until it was like a paste and put that on top of the bite. The flax seed would do the same as the potato.

Poultice   1  0   

Posted by Jimbo (Talisay, Philippines) on 03/17/2011

[YEA]  I live in philippines and was bitten by spider, next morning woke up with red streaks and swelling of leg, when I got back home I appled a poultice made of tobbaco, charcoal, honey and chopped up garlic, and put on bite coverd with a peice of banana leaf, sitting at computer about 3 hours later and could see trickle running down my leg, at first I thought it was the honey but is just kept oozing out, that evening my swelling diapeared and so did the red streaks, but the bite had opened into a sore about 3/8 of inch across and swelled up like a boil, I did this for 2 days and it had pulled all of the infection or poison out, don t know wat kind of spider it was

Remedies Needed   0  0   

Posted by Shandy (Limerick, Ireland) on 02/10/2010

My 15 year old daughter was bitten by a spider (we think!) - it looks like a burn with a big blister over it. I've read on your website about using baking soda as a poultice - which I will do once the blister bursts. What I'm really concerned about is after. My daughter was bitten once before a few years ago. We took her to a few doctors, and even ER. No one had seen anything like it nor really knew what to do. Apparently 'there are no poisonous spiders in Ireland' - that may be - all we can concude is they are coming over via imported fruit boxes, or my daughter is badly allergic to some sort of spider. Last time the blister burst and then developed into a sore that took literally months to heal. It just seemed to stay wet even if we left it to air out, and even seemed to grow bigger as time went on. When it did eventually heal she was left with a scar on her leg that looked like a crater. So now we have exactly the same sceanario - drs. have prescribed anti-biotics and anti histamine 'if it gets any worse' but it's obvious they really don't know what to do. So far I have her on extra vit c and garlic capsules, and will do the BS poultice when the blister bursts, does anyone have any suggestions for healing it once it becomes a sore, and how to avoid it scarring?

EC: Have you searched Google images to find a similar photo? Here's a search we just ran with the key words "spider bite blister".


Here's one for "staph infection blister"


And finally, a search on "impetigo"


Posted by Tricia
93 Posts
No poisonous spiders in Ireland???????? - Have ya looked in Dáil Éireann recently.

Anyway, seriously, poisonous spiders are very rare here. That doesn't mean that the odd one won't escape as you said from shipping packages. I have heard some horror stories coming from workers at the Rosslare port that would make your hair stand on end. However most of that kind of extra unwanted cargo could not survive in our climate. And, I also believe that your daughter would want to be very unlucky to get bitten at two different times by something that is so rare here.

Ordinary spiders don't generally bite (At least we don't notice their bites) but if she has actually been bitten twice then allergic reaction is your way to go. My mom gets horrific reactions to mosquito and midget bites that blister, burst and look like burns and can often turn septic. She doesn't normally get the crater that you describe though. If she takes anti-histamines straight away it reduces the severity.There loads of allergy stuff here worth trying.

As ec says it would be worth your while to look up every image of rashes you can find on the web to see if you can find a matching image or take a photo and post it. Rashes are notoriously difficult to understand in words. One poster who had an awful time trying to diagnose her rash was Deanna and if she is well enough she may be able to point you in the right direction. She did more research than a junior in med school.

Anyhows - did your daughter by any chance visit the dail - she may be able to sue...........LOL

EC: For those of us who don't know what Dáil Éireann is, here's the Wikipedia entry - ha ha!

Posted by Shandy
Limerick, Ireland
9 Posts
Thanks for the links EC - I looked them up and the photos for 'spider bite blister' are almost identical - after doing more research it seems it might be a bite from a brown recluse spider, as it followed the exact same time frame etc, blister turning into open sore taking months to heal. Or it could be my daughter just reacts very badly to any spider bite - though that doesn't explain the fact that it seemed the tissue was just eaten away. An interesting note, the first time she'd just gotten out clean PJ's and gotten into bed, and this time she'd just gotten clean bed linen out of the airing cuboard and changed her bedding, the spider producing the toxins that cause the tissue decay are not web spiders - so it makes sense that the spider may have been hiding in clean clothes and linen in the cuboards. I went to the local health store today and the lady there said to keep up with the garlic capsules and vit c since that is natural antibiotics and antihistamines. Right now its still a blister about the size of a plum and I'm hesitant to do anything to it. Once the blister bursts I'll clean it with hydrogen peroxide and try the BS poultice. I also got some vit e for her to take internally and once it starts to heal to apply externally as well - all I can say is thank God it was not on her face!
Posted by Shandy
Limerick, Ireland
9 Posts
Thanks for the feedback everyone. It's been very useful especially as I'm dealing with a spider bite in a land where no one believes spiders bite! I haven't taken pictures, but the images people linked me to are exactly the same and following the same protocol for a hobo spider which apparently lives in Europe - so could be in Ireland I presume?
The blister burst. Since onion, garlic and potato had all been recommended as a poultice - I basically threw all 3 raw into a food processor and blended with a little cornstarch to hold it all together. Bound this mush onto her leg for 2 days, changing the poultice every 6-8 hours. I was suprised to find when I changed the bandage, the poultice was dry even though it had been very wet when I put it on. Just the dry powdery cornstarch remaining and a bit of puss. After 2 days it stopted pussing. A friend studying alternative medicine suggested applying plantain leaves. I've used this herb with success before to cure my daughters asthma and my niece's swine flu - but apparently it can be used externally too. Due to the season I couldn't find any plaintain fresh so I bought the tincture from our health food store. It's made with alcohol so of course it stung - but we applied a compress last night and dear daughter was very brave. This morning it was alot better - no weeping and it looks like the sore is not going wider or deeper. Amazing - the last time she was bitten it took a month to get to this stage with antibiotics and topical antiseptics. Will keep you updated.
Posted by Shandy
Limerick, Ireland
9 Posts
Just thought everyone would like to know, we caught and identified the spider. A false widow, relative of the black widow though thankfully not as venomous. So any fellow Irish - beware, the false widow is now over here and bites.
Posted by Tricia
93 Posts
I'm goin to have nightmares tonight - spiders are my big fear and you know how everyone tells you that they're harmless in this country - Oooohhhhh GGodddddd!!!!!. Well done for rooting it out, I'd have to get in the fire brigade.

Any idea why it only bit your daughter and not any of the rest of ye or for that matter how it got into your area. Would you have brought it home in a suitcase by any chance?

Posted by Shandy
Limerick, Ireland
9 Posts
I think it may have bitten hubby as well though he got a little bite he didn't react half as bad as our daughter. She has sensitive skin and has had allergies and excema before so may be we've all been bitten but just not noticed. She does tend to be impulsive, a bit of a tomboy - and has been to hospital ER more than all the other kids put together. Both times she'd just taken clean bedding or PJ's from the airing cuboard so could be that mrs false widow had set up home in there. Since then I visited my Mum and found one in her house too, might be that I'm now spider alert and examining anything with 8 legs with suspicion! Internet reports say they came over to UK 100 years ago from the Canary Islands, so perhaps its just logical they'd get to Ireland eventually.

EC: Shandy, you probably already saw this article about a lady in the UK who bad reaction to a false widow bite last January: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1117342/The-deadly-spider-bite-grandmother-coma.html

"The species had kept a low profile since arriving in Britain with a cargo of bananas from the Canary Islands 200 years ago. But according to the Natural History Museum, it is rapidly spreading and is now thriving in northern climates."

Posted by Shandy
Limerick, Ireland
9 Posts
The Saga continues! DD was bitten again, also round her ankles. We are approaching wits end and considering moving house. We tore apart her bedroom last week and cleaned and vacuumed it within an inch of it's life but obviously there is more than one spider. Funny thing is nothing has happened to her younger sister who also sleeps in the same room. Now we suspect the mattress and duvets, we are changing the mattress and washing and drying the duvets and stripping her bed completely. Does anyone know of anything that repels spiders? My mum said her grandmother used horse chesnuts, though its not really the season for that anymore. Anyways at this point I'm open to try anything!
Posted by Bessie
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Hi Shandy - There are a number of "natural" spider repellents you may be able to find in your health food store (there is usually a high percentage of neem oil in them) but here is a recipe if you want to make your own. It's cheaper and you can mix whatever essential oils work for you.


* 1 quart water
* 5 tablespoons natural liquid soap (like Dr. Bronner's Peppermint or Lavender Liquid Soap)
* 1 ounce neem oil (available at health food stores)
* a few drops of lavender oil or tea tree oil

Generously spray the area. You will need to do this repeatedly because it wears off. Also, be aware this may stain bedding and clothing. I found neem oil has quite a pong to it but it did work.

I've also heard a vinegar solution (50% vinegar, 50% water with added essential oils like peppermint, tea tree or lavender) works as well.

Do you know how the critters are getting in? Are there any unsealed cracks around your windows or bushes right outside your windows? You may want to spray vents too - just in case they hide in there.

Good luck!

Posted by Candy
Fort Madison, Ia
24 Posts
look up cedar products on line. there is a great product that repels all kinds of insects, fleas, and spiders. if it is allowed I think it is called cedarside. from somewhere in texas. hope this helps. the stuff works.
Posted by Sashalani
Los Angeles, California
To Trisha from Ireland, you just better hope it doesn't come for you. Anyway my brother has been bitten by black widows 7 times. He never went to the doctor and I thought he was nuts for not doing so. The truth is he didn't do anything and obviously his body built up an immunity to the bites. However the story was very different when he was bitten by a brown recluse... Now those guys dont play games. Anyway it oozed yellow pus, got larger and deeper and finally peroxide was applied by the 3rd day until it healed. Can you believe it? He does have a small scar the size of a dime but hey thats much better than a baseball size of your flesh being eaten away over night.

Shandy from Limerick I'm so very glad your daughter is doing well... It was not your fault nor was it your daughters fault that she was bitten... As Tricia would have you believe.

Posted by Greta (La Penita, Nayarit, Mexico) on 12/29/2009

My baby grandson was bitten by something while visiting here and now has big ugly red swellings, some with pus, on his face. What can one suggest to keep a poultice on his face? Like on his chin? He is 8 months old.

EC: Hi Greta,

Boils, Staph infections and MRSA boils can be misdiagnosed as spider bites. Good idea to get a diagnosis from a doctor!

Salt   5  0   

Posted by Mary (WEst Alli, Wisconsin) on 08/19/2007

[YEA]  My husband and I went camping this weekend, and I ended up with multiple spider bites. I tried everything and nothing helped. I wanted to scratch the skin off my legs. I went on the computer to see about any natural remedies and found this website. I washed my legs with hot water, and then put salt on all the bites. I let the slat on for 10 minutes and the itchy feeling went away. I will continue this until they are all gone. Thank you!

Posted by Shirley

I just read the post from Mary, about getting spider bites while camping. A few years ago my son's family went camping and he ended up with a lot of bites that looked like spider bites. The doctors treated it as such, but they did not heal. My daughter-in-law went to the next doctor visit and insisted on them doing a culture of the sores. It came back that he had contacted staph infection at the river or the campsite. They had waited so long to find it that it had gotten into the bone on one toe. He had to have two things applied that would pump some sort of medicine into the veins everyday for a length of time, I don't remember how long. A nurse had to come to their house to set them up. He did get okay, but I wanted to tell you this so that you know, if those places do not heal, you should insist on them doing a culture. Nobody should have to go through that. But hopefully yours are just spider bites. Good luck and I hope the bites have cleared up.

Posted by CLH (PDL, United States) on 07/24/2007

[YEA]  I was bit by a brown recluse, when I sat down on him, caught the spider, Went to doc day after bit, black area had started forming. doc gave me antibiotic shot and said to watch it over the weekend and he would check it on Monday, I looked at your site and started doing the home remedies. I soaked it in very hot water with epsom salt and sea salt, lots of the salt every day; I put triple antibiotic ointment, once a day.

I took fresh cut garlic and taped it to the black area, every day and also, taped a green banana peel to the black area every couple days.

Went back to doc on that Monday. He said it looked bad but not as bad as he expected it to look, he wanted a surgeon to look at it. Could not see surgeon for a week. I kept doing the remedy above, then one day a whole thick layer of skin let loose of the black area but black area was still there, kept doing remedy till I went to surgeon, I told the surgeon what I was doing he laughed and said keep doing it because it was working and that he would not have to do surgery if it kept getting better, but not to pick at the black area let it fall out on its on, kept doing the remedy till the black area fell out about a week later.

Posted by Susan (South, Texas) on 07/06/2007

[YEA]  Just yesterday for the 4th of July we were at a family gathering. My niece had noticed a red bump develop 3 days prior on her wrist. By yesterday it had gotten bigger, a little over 1/4 inch. You could see 2 fang marks, half of the scab was crusty black and red streaks were developing. It was slightly painful, not unbearable. I check this website our regularly, so it was natural for me to look up a cure for spider bites. Of course we don't know what kind of spider bit her. The salt cure seemed to be the fastest acting and it wasn't too far out from the time of the bite. We wet it and poured salt on it and placed a bandaide over it. She ended up leaving it on for about an hour. Took of the bandaide and ran water over it. About 2 hours later you could tell that the size had decreased and the black scab was gone. We did the treatment one more time before she went to bed. It stung pretty good and she left the bandage on for 10 minutes. We left and called her today and the site is all but dried up. No more pain or itching. For good measure she is going to continue to put the salt on for another night or 2. Amazing!! is all I can say.

Posted by Bradley (Bon Wier, Tx) on 06/19/2007

[YEA]  i was in Lufkin Tx emergency room a couple of weeks back and I talked to a man who had been bitten by a spider. The doctor that treated him said that he knew people that had been bit by spiders that went to the ocean on Friday and came back on Monday and the bite was was gone away. The salt water heals the bite

Posted by Tammy (Wellston, Oklahoma) on 11/09/2006

[YEA]  Salt cures Spider/Insect bites, poison ivy. Last year I had a spider bite on my inner thigh. At first it was just a small red bump, but then it grew into what looked like a ring worm. A week later it was the size of a tennis ball and the center of it was a infection white and itchyyyy as poison ivy. I showed it to my family in India via web cam, she knew immediately what to do. Said just wet it, pour table salt on it and let it sit for at least 20 min. After about one minute it began to burn some, nothing unbearable, although i only let it stand for about 5 min as I'm a big baby. It WORKED!! Dried it up in a matter of days. Since then, I have done this remedy for a number different insect bites, even have done on poison ivy and same result. A few days of doing this once at night cleared it. You can literally feel the salt drawing out the poisons.

Snake Root   1  0   

Posted by JC on 07/09/2006

[YEA]  Snake Root applied neat cured weeping and spreading spider (suspected brown recluse) bites. My friend was bitten a few times on his legs and each one became very puss filled and wept... started spreading and was very painful... put snake root on and immediately the bite areas started healing and within two weeks they were gone.

Spoon Heated With Hot Water   1  0   

Posted by Celad (Kearney, Nebraska, Usa) on 12/01/2009

[YEA]  I don't remember exactly under which ailment I first found it, but the spoon heated with hot water to stop itching for several hours is great. I needed it for multiple (maybe hobo) spider bites that were driving me crazy. As I recall there was something about the heat driving histamines away.

Therefore it also works for poison ivy, oak and sumac. There was a very helpful comment about the urushiol being the active agent and once that is washed off (of everything!) the clear fluid from the blisters is not an irritant. Thankfully I just got a very mild case (through a hole in a jersey glove I think) between my middle and ring fingers on one hand. I just ran a trickle of hot tap water over it as long as I could stand it a few times (maybe I only needed to do it once ;-) and that was way hot enough to assuage the itch, again for several hours.

Getting a child to bear the heat for even a short duration is another topic!

Thank you, Earth Clinic!!

Sulfur Powder   1  0   

Posted by Terry (Allen, Ok) on 08/14/2011

[YEA]  I was bitten on the foot by a black widow spider and read where clinics use sulfur based anti-biotics for bites. I had no insurance, so I tried triple anti-biotic cream, hydrocortizone, and sublimed sulfur in equal parts aplied 4 times a day. In 2 weeks the hole where you could see the bones, was nothing more than a rough red spot.

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