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Definition Return to top
This article describes the effects of a tarantula spider bite.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Poisonous Ingredient Return to top
The venom of tarantulas found in the United States is not considered dangerous but may cause allergic reactions.
Where Found Return to top
Tarantulas are found across the southern and southwestern regions of the United States. Some people keep them as pets.
Symptoms Return to top
If a tarantula bites you, you may have pain at the site of the bite similiar to a bee sting. The area of the bite may become warm and red.
If you are allergic to tarantula venom, the following symptoms may occur:
Home Care Return to top
Place ice (wrapped in a washcloth or other covering) on the site of the sting for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes. Repeat this process. If patient has blood flow problems, reduce the time the ice is used to prevent possible skin damage.
Before Calling Emergency Return to top
Determine the following information:
Poison Control Return to top
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital.
If possible, bring the spider to the emergency room for identification.
See: Poison control center - emergency number
What to Expect at the Emergency Room Return to top
Take the person to an emergency room for treatment if there are signs of an allergic reaction. The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Death in a normally healthy individual is uncommon. Recovery usually takes about a weekUpdate Date: 2/17/2009 Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Stephen C Acosta, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (10/24/2007).