Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog

Black Widow Bites Up in Oklahoma

leah kirk

Hiding in a dark, unsuspecting place, maybe under a log or rock outdoors, or behind a box in a garage, the spiders wait. Part of the web in their nest designed to catch its prey is cotton candy sticky, and the web is messy and unorganized, but tougher than most spider webs. Look out for the black widow spider. Black widow spiders wait for an unlucky bug to get caught in their webs. Sometimes, an unlucky person can get bitten.

There have been 30 black widow bites reported to the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information 24-hour hotline this year. There were 26 black widow bites reported to the center in 2017 and 31 people bitten in 2016. None of the bites have been fatal. Scott Schaeffer, managing director at the center, said black widow bites can cause painful abdominal cramps and can be fatal to younger or older people. Calling the center's hotline can help determine whether a bite victim needs to go to the hospital or may be able to recover at home, he said.

This year, there have been six children bitten by black widows, including four preschoolers. Several of the children had to go to a hospital for observations, but none of the bites caused serious complications, he said. There is an antivenin available for the black widow bites, but doctors do not always need it, he said.

"Just because you are bitten by a black widow doesn't mean it is going to be fatal," Schaeffer said. "You may not suffer the symptoms of severe muscle cramps either. If bitten, people should wash the bite with soap and hot water. The bite feels like a pinprick, he said, and the spider usually is found hiding nearby so it can be identified”, he said.

Shawn Wilder, an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University Department of Integrative Biology, studies the diets of black widows and their behaviors. There is an antivenin available for the black widow bites, but doctors do not always need it, he said.

"Just because you are bitten by a black widow doesn't mean it is going to be fatal," Schaeffer said. "You may not suffer the symptoms of severe muscle cramps either."

If bitten, people should wash the bite with soap and hot water. The bite feels like a pinprick, he said, and the spider usually is found hiding nearby so it can be identified, he said. The black widow is not aggressive toward things bigger than they are. Usually, a person who is bitten has accidentally touched or grabbed one by picking up something the spider had been hiding in. Their fangs inject a venom when they bite.

Once nightly temperatures start to fall below freezing, the spiders will find a log, rock or another dark crevice to curl up for the winter, Wilder said. But don't think they will be gone until spring, he said. During any warm spell in winter, black widows might come out to build a nest and hunt.