Being bitten by a spider is often a scary and painful experience but there are several quick and effective home remedies for spider bites that can help treat spider bites symptoms immediately. There are many different types of spiders. In North America alone there are some 3,000 different species. Most, like the Common House Spider, Grass Spiders or Long-bodied Cellar Spiders – are harmless and of no risk to humans. However, some spiders have a venomous and sometimes deadly bite. The good news is that there are only really four types of venomous spider in North America, with two types far more common than the others. The two to look out for are Recluse Spiders and the Widows and if bitten or are showing symptoms from these spiders’ bites, you should seek medical attention. However, for less venomous spiders, you can treat spider bites at home using our home remedies.
Spider Bites Symptoms
Most spiders never intentionally bite and only do so if they feel threatened, are disturbed or pressed up against human skin by accident. When found in peoples’ homes they favor building webs in dry and quiet spots such as sheds and cupboards which are thought to mimic the tree bark they favor in the wild. However, spiders are sometimes found in shoes, laundry and bed sheets of lesser used guest rooms.
The severity of the bite is in part due to an individual’s immune system and age, with the very young and elderly being more susceptible than other healthy humans. Spider bite symptoms vary and range from a slight redness and mild irritation to severe pain, inflammation and in some cases hospitalization.
The symptoms of spider bites depend on the spider species. Non-poisonous spider bites may cause mild irritation and as mentioned above the more venomous bites can cause severe effects. Some of the symptoms of spider bites include:
- Mild to severe pain
- Swelling around the bitten area
- High blood pressure
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle spasms
- Joint pain
- Dilated pupils
Home Remedies For Spider Bites
Treating spider bites early helps the healing process and they can effectively be treated at home with natural remedies. Some of the best home remedies for spider bites include:
1) Ice Pack
Immediately apply an ice pack on the bitten site and keep it there for about 10 minutes. This can be repeated until the pain reduces.
Ice packs will reduce the pain, swelling and itching.
Garlic is one of the most, if not the most, common kitchen ingredient. It is also a potent antibiotic that will help in treating spider bites. It reduces itching and also eliminates toxins which will help recovery.
For garlic to be most effective, it should be peeled and applied to the affected area and left for at least half an hour after which is can be washed off with cold water. Garlic can be applied twice a day or until symptoms improve. It is also possible to secure the garlic over the affected area using tape.
Note: Since garlic stings, use with caution while using externally.
Dab some honey on the affected area and wrap a dressing around the wound. This can be left on for half an hour before being washed off with water.
Take some turmeric, add olive oil to it and mix to form a paste. This can then be applied to the affected area and left for up to an hour before being washed off with water.
You can also add neem leaves (predominantly grown throughout India and other parts of Asia but readily available from health stores) to a teaspoon of turmeric. Blend the ingredients together and make a thick paste and apply to affected area.
Either process can be repeated until the symptoms reduce.
Onion is great at relieving the pain caused by spider bites. Quercetin, found in onions, possesses anti-inflammatory properties and is also a powerful antioxidant capable of reducing the risk of infection .
For best results, peel the onion and grind it to extract the juice/liquid. This can then be applied to the affected area.
6) Sea Salt
Rubbing salt on a wound is proverbially the wrong thing to do but not when it comes to spider bites. Sea salt reduces pain, itching and swelling caused by spider bites.
First you should wet the affected skin then apply sea salt and cover the area to hold the salt in place. Wash off after an hour and repeat the process if necessary.
7) Aloe Vera
The medicinal properties of aloe vera are well documented and its antiseptic and moisturizing properties are effective in reducing the swelling and itching caused by spider bites. Thanks to its ability to heal wounds , aloe vera works effectively in treating the symptoms of spider bites.
Extract gel from one of the aloe vera’s long fleshy leaves. Apply it on the affected area and repeat until symptoms improve.
Lemon is a good cooling agent that can help reduce itching and inflammation – two of the main symptoms of spider bites.
Cut lemon into halves. Apply the cut lemon directly on the area of spider bite. Rinse well after it dries. You can also extract juice from lemon and apply it on the affected area.
9) Potatoes Poultice
Potatoes help cure inflammation  and reduce the itching caused by spider bites.
Cut a large piece of potato and place it on the affected area. Wrap it with a tape of gauze. Remove after a few hours. Repeat if necessary.
You can also grate potato and mash to create a paste (poultice) and place this on a bandage which can then be wound around the affected area.
Cabbage possesses potent anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties . It can reduce swelling caused by spider bites and relieve toxins.
Place grated cabbage on a bandage and wrap it around the affected area.
Papain in papaya is effective in reducing inflammation and pain caused by spider bites.
Slice a papaya and place it on the bitten area. Repeat till symptoms improve.
12) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can reduce the itching and swelling caused by spider bites.
Add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. Dip a cotton ball in it and rub on the affected area. Repeat the process until the symptoms lessen.
Plantain possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties so it is highly effective in reducing inflammation and preventing infection.
Take some plantain leaves, wash them well and dry. Crush the leaves and place them in a cup. Alternately, you can also chew the leaves. Add hot water to the crushed leaves, just enough to bind them. Place the leaves on a bandage and wrap the affected area. Remove after the leaves dry and repeat if necessary.
The antibacterial properties of basil help to prevent infection , reduce pain and itching.
Crush basil leaves and place them on a bandage, which has to be wrapped around the bitten area. Basil essential oil can also be used after diluting.
15) Witch Hazel
The astringent properties of witch hazel help treat spider bites. It soothes inflammation thereby supporting recovery .
Take some witch hazel leaves or even witch hazel oil and place on the affected area. Tape it or use gauze to hold it to the place.
16) Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil relieves itching and irritation .
Mix peppermint essential oil with carrier oil. Apply it on the bitten area.
17) Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil relieves pain and provides soothing effect.
Dilute lavender essential oil in any type of carrier (vegetable) oil and apply on the affected area.
18) Eucalyptus Essential Oil
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of eucalyptus essential oil are effective in preventing infection, curing pain and inflammation .
Dilute eucalyptus essential oil with carrier oil and apply on the area of spider bite.
Clay removes toxins and relieves itching. The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of clay support healing .
Add some olive oil and warm water to clay and mix well to make a thick paste. Apply it on the affected area and cover it with gauze. Wash off after it dries. Repeat until symptoms improve.
20) Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal neutralizes the toxins and is effectively used in treating spider bites. It is used in the treatment of various types of poisoning .
Add water to activated charcoal and mix well to form a thick paste. Apply it on the affected area. Wash off after it dries. Repeat until symptoms get better.
21) Baking Soda
Baking soda draws out the venom thereby reducing pain and itching.
Add some water to baking soda to make a thick paste. Apply it on the area of spider bite. Wash off after 10 minutes but repeat the process if necessary.
22) Tea Bags
Tea helps draw out toxins and is an effective aid for spider bites. The astringent quality of tea helps to reduce swelling and being anti-inflammatory , they also help reduce any itching caused by spider bites.
Dip a tea bag in boiling water. After the water cools, apply it on the affected area. You can also place the tea bag on the bitten site after dipping the bag in warm water for a few minutes.
23) Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide relieves itching and swelling.
Apply hydrogen peroxide on the affected site using cotton ball. Wash off after a maximum of ten minutes.
24) Chlorine Bleach
Chlorine bleach prevents infection. Mixing baking soda with chlorine bleach greatly helps in treating spider bites.
Mix baking soda and chlorine bleach and add water to make a thick paste. Apply it on the affected site. Repeat till symptoms improve.
What To Do Immediately After Spider Bite
In the event you are bitten by a spider, venomous or not, here are a few important things to remember:
- Don’t panic. Panic will often cause a mental block and prevent you from assessing the situation calming and methodically.
- Immediately clean the area around the spider bite using soap and water.
- Keep the affected site elevated.
- Do not scratch the bite as it will often aggravate the symptoms.
- Select one or two of the home remedies to use right away. An ice-pack is usually the quickest and easiest treatment to use in the first instance.