Although spiders are not actually insects, they too come with the hiking territory and can pack a nasty bite. One should be cautious when gathering wood and visiting the outhouse.

 

Of the thousands of species of spiders there are only three you need to be concerned about, the Black Widow, Brown Recluse and the Hobo Spider.

 

If bitten by a Black Widow, seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t feel any symptoms. The toxins from the Black Widow is one of the most toxic in the world. There is anti-venom available that counteracts the toxin.

 

The Brown Recluse is identified by a dark brown fiddle pattern behind the head. While they are non-aggressive, their bite is very serious and can be fatal. The Brown Recluse carries a hemotoxic venom that can destroy red blood cells and cause serious tissue damage.

 

If bitten by a Brown Recluse seek medical attention immediately. Apply cold packs and immobilize the bitten part of the body. While there is not anti-venom for the bite, certain medicines can be administered to fight the venom.

 

The Hobo Spider found primarily in the Northwest is the newest to the group. although not fatal, it packs a painful bite. Small lesions can appear at the site of the bite. If bitten by a Hobo Spider, apply a cold pack to the bite to reduce swelling and take an antihistamine.

 

One of the best preventative measures against spider bites is to wear gloves. Also wear enclosed shoes. No flip-flops.