Figure 2-1. Black widow spider.
b. Signs and Symptoms of a Black Widow Spider Bite.
(1) Immediate pinprick sensation. The pinprick sensation, caused by the
spider's bite, may quickly disappear. The spider's venom attacks the nerves
(neurotoxic) and causes the area to become numb. The numbness may cause the
casualty to ignore the bite until it becomes more serious.
(2) Two red puncture marks at the bite site. There is usually only a slight
(3) Severe muscular pain and spasms. The pain usually peaks in 1 to 3
hours (this is the worst stage) and persists for 12 to 48 hours.
Abdominal pain, usually beginning about 10 to 40 minutes after the bite.
(5) Rigid, board-like abdomen, especially if the bite was in the lower half of
the body. You will have to feel the casualty's abdomen to determine whether this sign is
Nausea or vomiting.
Tightness in the chest and/or pain during inspiration.