: Only a few spiders have fangs long enough to pierce human skin: black widow and brown recluse (see spider comparison pictures here
). Spider-bite symptoms vary from minimal to severe: Black widow bites can cause radiating pain, abdominal cramping, and excessive sweating, while brown recluse bites appear first as a red spot, which develops into a deep, open sore called an ulcer. "You can have throbbing pain (9 out of 10 on the pain scale)," says Dr. Millikan. "Huge areas of tissue can be destroyed as the ulcer grows." Ulcers may keep growing for up to 10 days.How to soothe the bite
: Clean the bite with mild soap and water, then apply cold packs and administer OTC pain relievers to reduce pain and swelling. Most spider bites take a few months to heal completely.When to seek medical help
: It's rare, but a bite from a black widow or brown recluse spider can be lethal, particularly for children or elderly people. If you or your grandkids experience severe pain, abdominal cramping, or a growing ulcer, you should see a doctor."Fun" fact
: Both black widow and brown recluse spiders only bite when they feel threatened and prefer warm climates and dark, dry places, like sheds, garages, and woodpiles, according to the Mayo Clinic.