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Spider bites and how to make the spiders die die die!

CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
edited November 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
In the past 2 weeks my wife has been bitten by some kind of spider multiple times. She wakes up with bites on her arm with an infected area about the size of a half dollar, and usually the second day it gets bigger gradually. We've lived in this apartment for about a year and a half, and this is the first time this has happened. We've cleaned any cob-webs out of the place with a vacuum, and we have looked all over trying to find them with no success. We can't use any kind of insect bomb because of our lease, and the exterminator said that there's not much they can do because spiders have multiple lungs or some such. How can we make these things go away, or at least make her less tasty to them? We live in Alexandria, Va if that helps.

Crashtard on
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Posts

  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The best way I know of is to kill their food, which is what exterminators do.

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  • Bendery It Like BeckhamBendery It Like Beckham Hopeless Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    flip your mattress over, check for bed bugs

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  • captainkcaptaink TexasRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Your landlord might be responsible for pest control, they were in the last Duplex I was in. Check your lease or call the office.

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  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    How are they getting in? Check all openings, including vents.

  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    Yeah, what makes you think they are spider bites?

  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Spiders don't behave in a manner that would produce repeated bites on a sleeping human. It's just possible that you could get bitten by, say, accidentally rolling over on one, but if this is happening frequently it's almost certainly not a spider.

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  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    its pretty hard to get bitten by a spider.

    look for bed bugs.

  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    How are you sure that they're even bites?

    somebody came to me once and said they had spider bites, so I took a look and what he really had was some angry ass hives all over his shoulder and torso

    How many bumps are you seeing? Is there any indication of a puncture or infection?

    e: Also bedbugs like to bite around the ankles, and the bites are typically arranged in a row, as if the bug had eaten, left, come back, eaten a half inch to the left, and repeated. "Breakfast lunch and dinner" as they say.

  • EndaroEndaro Weyland Consortium Building a Better WorldRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Just to reinforce

    They are highly likely not spider bites, so focusing on killing spider's won't help the problem. If anything, you're probably killing the only predator of what is making those bites (if they are even bites). You should focus on attacking other possible sources.

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  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    To answer some questions, the reason we think they are spiders was because the doctor said he also thought they were. The other reason is that I haven't bitten a single time, even though we sleep in the same bad every night.
    How many bumps are you seeing? Is there any indication of a puncture or infection?

    Each spot has one large bump, with bite marks and an infected area between the size of a quarter and a half dollar. She took a hot shower one night and the infected area grew to be double to triple the size and was hot. This was when I took her to the emergency clinic. She's been given a steroid and anti-biotic to take.
    flip your mattress over, check for bed bugs

    We did that already. Also changed sheets, pillow cases, etc.
    How are they getting in? Check all openings, including vents.

    Not sure. We can't seem to find any at day or night. I looked around with a flashlight at about 2 am last night and couldn't find anything.
    The best way I know of is to kill their food, which is what exterminators do.

    This is the other weird thing. There aren't any bugs that we're aware of in our apartment. I'm not really sure why they would want to come in.

    I pinky swear that we will not screw you.

    Crashtard.jpg
  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    flip your mattress over, check for bed bugs

    We did that already. Also changed sheets, pillow cases, etc.

    In the event that you have bedbugs, they are much harder to get rid of than "change the sheets". You'll basically have to sterilize your entire living space, including replacement of the mattress.
    This is the other weird thing. There aren't any bugs that we're aware of in our apartment. I'm not really sure why they would want to come in.

    Bugs are small. They could be in your walls, your trim, beneath your carpet, inside of your furniture, etc.

  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Here's a picture of the bite. The red area is from three bites. The read area is the entire width of her arm, and from just below her shirt sleeve to her elbow.

    bite.jpg

    I pinky swear that we will not screw you.

    Crashtard.jpg
  • IrtehmongooseIrtehmongoose Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Perhaps they could be flea or bedbug bites, with her having an allergic reaction to them? You could be getting bitten as well, but with much less noticeable results.

    Kias
  • WalterWalter Registered User
    edited November 2009
    Looks like she's getting bitten by some pest that she is allergic to. You're probably receiving the same bites but don't have any reaction.

  • FonjoFonjo Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Hmm, it is hard to say. I am not saying that you should not trust your doctor but most doctors won't be able to tell you what bit you and will just say it was a spider bite. The only real way to know if it was a spider is to find the spider when it is biting you.

    It could be any number of things like the others are suggesting. Since you do see bite marks I would assume it is a pest and she is probably having a small allergic reaction to whatever it is.

    It just would not make sense that she is being bitten consistently and you are not. You should definately investigate the situation.

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  • skettiosskettios Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    To help with the bites...
    - cold compress. Lowers the swelling and eases the itching.
    - Zyrtec (generic versions work just as well - 10mg cetirizine hydrochloride tablets). Does the same as above but works all day.

    All doctors are different, but I've had 2 identify flea bites, so don't just dismiss them.
    edit: i read that wrong. take their advice with a grain of salt >_> try seeing a diff one!

  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited November 2009
    Due to the time of year I'd call it bedbugs, but no guarantee.

    Steps to try (will get rid of other things as well):

    1) Clean up any clutter

    2) Clean your blankets and sheets in hot water. Throw pillows in the dryer.

    3) Vaccuum thoroughly and often (like every other day).

    4) If you can get access to a steam cleaner use it on EVERY fabric surface. Don't need shampoo, just hot water. Do this every 2 days as well (right after vaccuuming). Make sure to be thorough and concentrate on places bugs could squeeze (including along the wall and baseboards.

    Horseshoe wrote:
    I've got good news and bad news about 6th level, That Guy. The good news is that Forbiddance spell allows you to prevent enemies different alignment from entering a consecrated area, which is actually useful! The bad news is that the only other new sixth level spell makes lunch for everybody. Guess which one the party is going to expect you to cast.
  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Thanks for all the input so far. Today we took to cleaning out the closet and looking for anything suspicious, but we came up empty. The next step is going to take anything that's been on the bed (sheets, etc) to the laundromat to be hot washed like Sipex suggested. We've been a little lax with vacuuming, so we'll be sure to do that more often too.
    It just would not make sense that she is being bitten consistently and you are not. You should definately investigate the situation.

    Definitely doesn't make any sense here either. At this point we've gone to moving the bed to a different location in the room, as well as searching the room in the middle of the night with no results. So far I haven't found anything yet, so I'm kinda lost at this point. I guess at this point we'll try to get a steam cleaner and spray everything down with that too.

    @Sipex: are you saying we should steam clean the wall too, or just the fabrics?

    I pinky swear that we will not screw you.

    Crashtard.jpg
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    To rules out bedbugs, buy an airtight bag to put your mattress in. They sell them in the bedding aisles of *marts. After that, vacuum really well while you wash all the bedding in hot water again.

    Also, do you have any dogs or cats?

  • skettiosskettios Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    It just would not make sense that she is being bitten consistently and you are not. You should definately investigate the situation.

    You could be being bitten and just not notice. She's obviously having an allergic reaction. When my bf's place got fleas, I would get bites and he would get nothing. He might have been being bitten, but there was no reaction =/

  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    The best way I know of is to kill their food, which is what exterminators do.

    Are you suggesting he...kills his wife? :p

    It's highly unlikely that a spider is biting her, I presume the spider myths dispelled website which covers the improbability of spiders biting humans while they sleep and how regularly doctors blame spider with absolutely no evidence has alrady been posted. I'm with 'she's allergic to something in your environment which you aren't alergic to but are also being exposed to'.

  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Have her take some benadryl.

    let us know how it goes

  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    yeah she looks like she's allergic to whatever is biting her

    you're not allergic, but you're probably still getting bit

    I'd say it's bedbugs

    edit: is the bandaid where the bite is? your doctor doesn't seem to know his animal bites

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Are you certain that there are actual bite marks? This could also just be a contact allergy that she's having to something in the environment.

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  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    is the bandaid where the bite is? your doctor doesn't seem to know his animal bites

    Hah, no. That's where they decided to draw blood to make sure the infection wasn't spreading about, or make sure it hadn't entered the blood stream, or something along those lines.
    Are you certain that there are actual bite marks? This could also just be a contact allergy that she's having to something in the environment.

    Yeah, there are definitely tiny puncture wounds there.
    To rules out bedbugs, buy an airtight bag to put your mattress in. They sell them in the bedding aisles of *marts. After that, vacuum really well while you wash all the bedding in hot water again.

    Are you suggesting that we put the mattress in a bag and "leave" it in the bag from now on, or should I be doing something to the mattress while it's in there?

    I pinky swear that we will not screw you.

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  • ConstructionDivaConstructionDiva Registered User
    edited November 2009
    As the wife who is being savagely attacked, I know it's NOT bed bugs. I know bed bug bites as I did have them when I first moved to the DC area. After sealing up the mattress for a month and then steaming it several times, they were erradicated.

    I know it's spiders because the bites form tiny blisters above the puncture wounds. Bed Bugs usually are not raised bites. Also, I don't react to them. Spiders and mosquitos I do. However, we have not seen any spiders physically in this apartment. There were a few webs in the corners which have been vacuumed down. That is why we are lost.

  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    As the wife who is being savagely attacked, I know it's NOT bed bugs. I know bed bug bites as I did have them when I first moved to the DC area. After sealing up the mattress for a month and then steaming it several times, they were erradicated.

    I know it's spiders because the bites form tiny blisters above the puncture wounds. Bed Bugs usually are not raised bites. Also, I don't react to them. Spiders and mosquitos I do. However, we have not seen any spiders physically in this apartment. There were a few webs in the corners which have been vacuumed down. That is why we are lost.
    I don't mean to offend, but even given raised bites you have no reason to suspect spiders. Spiders almost never bite people, and they certainly never wage a campaign of biting during the night.

    What you are looking for is either an environmental allergen or some kind of arthropod that preys on larger mammals (like bed bugs, mosquitoes, etc.). Spiders don't gain anything by biting people and only bite defensively.

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  • EndaroEndaro Weyland Consortium Building a Better WorldRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    As the wife who is being savagely attacked, I know it's NOT bed bugs. I know bed bug bites as I did have them when I first moved to the DC area. After sealing up the mattress for a month and then steaming it several times, they were erradicated.

    I know it's spiders because the bites form tiny blisters above the puncture wounds. Bed Bugs usually are not raised bites. Also, I don't react to them. Spiders and mosquitos I do. However, we have not seen any spiders physically in this apartment. There were a few webs in the corners which have been vacuumed down. That is why we are lost.
    I don't mean to offend, but even given raised bites you have no reason to suspect spiders. Spiders almost never bite people, and they certainly never wage a campaign of biting during the night.

    What you are looking for is either an environmental allergen or some kind of arthropod that preys on larger mammals (like bed bugs, mosquitoes, etc.). Spiders don't gain anything by biting people and only bite defensively.

    Yeah, I guess I'll quote it this time in case they didn't follow the link.
    Here are some facts: Unless you are sleeping on the basement floor, a spider might wander onto your bed as often as twice a year. Not every night! If you take elementary precautions like not letting the blankets or bedspread touch the floor or walls, the incidence of spiders on the bed will be effectively zero. If a spider does get on a bed, usually no bite will result. Spiders have no reason to bite humans; they are not bloodsuckers, and are not aware of our existence in any case.

    If you roll over onto a spider, most likely the spider will have no chance to bite. Being crushed against a bedsheet by a human body just doesn't work well as a biting scenario (despite what everyone thinks) because spider fangs are underneath the spider. When pressed on from above, the spider may reflexively bite what it is standing on: the sheet, not your body.

    True spider bites (which are rare events) occur when a spider is trapped inside clothing or when someone foolishly puts a hand or other body part in a spider habitat without looking, or even more foolishly slaps at a spider that is crawling on them.

    Skin bumps and sores noticed in the morning are generally caused by non-bite disease conditions: see this article for a partial list. Currently MRSA bacteria (see this article and this one) are among the leading causes of alleged "spider bites." The minority that are really bites are caused by bloodsucking insects such as fleas, bedbugs, kissing bugs, lice, or assorted flies; less commonly by mites or ticks. Genuine spider bites in this situation are possible, but very rare.

    This is according to the curator of arachnids, at the Burke Museum for the University of Washington, who is also a professor and expert witness on Arachnids, and previous president of the Washington State Entomological Society.

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  • skettiosskettios Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    As the wife who is being savagely attacked, I know it's NOT bed bugs. I know bed bug bites as I did have them when I first moved to the DC area. After sealing up the mattress for a month and then steaming it several times, they were erradicated.

    I know it's spiders because the bites form tiny blisters above the puncture wounds. Bed Bugs usually are not raised bites. Also, I don't react to them. Spiders and mosquitos I do. However, we have not seen any spiders physically in this apartment. There were a few webs in the corners which have been vacuumed down. That is why we are lost.

    If they're raised bites, it could be fleas

  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    skettios wrote: »
    As the wife who is being savagely attacked, I know it's NOT bed bugs. I know bed bug bites as I did have them when I first moved to the DC area. After sealing up the mattress for a month and then steaming it several times, they were erradicated.

    I know it's spiders because the bites form tiny blisters above the puncture wounds. Bed Bugs usually are not raised bites. Also, I don't react to them. Spiders and mosquitos I do. However, we have not seen any spiders physically in this apartment. There were a few webs in the corners which have been vacuumed down. That is why we are lost.

    If they're raised bites, it could be fleas

    This could certainly be a possibility. I hadn't really considered it since both of our cats are indoor cats, and it's pretty much winter outside.

    I pinky swear that we will not screw you.

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  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    fleas are fucking magical

    they don't need to be brought in by a pet, they'll just fucking appear

    Dubh wrote: »
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    Kias
  • ueanuean Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Ugh flea bites are the worst. You'll be able to tell if its fleas if the bites are concentrated in clusters, typically around sock or belt lines.

    Allergic reaction really comes into it too. I mean, my wife and I live in rural (like, middle of nowhere) Africa, use a mosquito net, and every now and then I'll wake up with bites all over one side. We switch sides of the bed, I still get bitten... she just doesn't react. My reactions are pretty nasty though - swelling, pussing, and itching for a long long time. We've found it to be fleas and have killed most of them but they come back all the time.

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  • PasserbyePasserbye The Woman Who Is Not Short at The Moonlite All-Nite Diner; a glass box full of bad food and good people.Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    skettios wrote: »
    As the wife who is being savagely attacked, I know it's NOT bed bugs. I know bed bug bites as I did have them when I first moved to the DC area. After sealing up the mattress for a month and then steaming it several times, they were erradicated.

    I know it's spiders because the bites form tiny blisters above the puncture wounds. Bed Bugs usually are not raised bites. Also, I don't react to them. Spiders and mosquitos I do. However, we have not seen any spiders physically in this apartment. There were a few webs in the corners which have been vacuumed down. That is why we are lost.

    If they're raised bites, it could be fleas

    Tiny blisters above the puncture wounds? Reactions which get worse? Only happens while she's sleeping?

    Sounds exactly like what my husband and I are going through with bed bugs. I get tiny blisters (hives) and noticeable red splotches from the bites (as well as itchiness) that get worse the day after, he doesn't get any splotches and barely even itches. Bed bugs are generally only active at night and will hide themselves (under pictures you have on the wall, in your books, under the crevices along the wall, etc.) when they aren't feeding. The infestation can be hard to detect because they're generally hard to spot. You might look for black spotting along your bed and the walls, that's where they've laid their eggs (it'll look kind of like mold).

    If it's bed bugs (get an exterminator to confirm this), I'm so sorry. Get ready for a world of annoyance, bed bugs are really hard to get rid of. You need to vacuum (daily would be best) everything, wash everything with hot soapy water, try to isolate your bed (this means keeping the cats out of the bedroom), and invest in a good exterminator and some of this stuff (it's the only stuff we've found outside of what the exterminators use that works). Use the Pronto once a week between exterminator treatments (it'll take 2-3 treatments) and for a few weeks after the last treatment.

    Edit: Bed bugs used to be somewhat rare outside of third world countries but have become more prominent lately because DDT (the only thing which consistently kills them all the time) is no longer used. They've been something of an epidemic in many areas of the US since the 1990's.

  • FonjoFonjo Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    If you have not seen spiders biting you then you do not know it is spiders. There are many things that could be doing this and spiders are not likely at all because of their behavior patterns. I have been studying spiders for a while and something to take note of is that they are defensive creatures, not aggressive. I have tried to make spiders bite me and in many cases had little success.

    I almost garantee you are dealing with another pest like fleas of the such. It could be an allergic reaction to any number of things as well.

    If it ends up being spiders and you find proof I would be interested in knowing. I would also offer a sincere apology.

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  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited November 2009
    Again, I will re-iterate that this is not a spider, it's showing the signs of bedbugs (or maybe that other bacteria, not sure). My wife gets the same thing yours does, we both get bit but I don't even notice, she breaks out in hives for a week.

    Steam clean any fabric surfaces, not the walls themselves, you could try a hair dryer to get into crevices of non-fabric areas too.

    Might want to check for fleas just in case (if it is fleas thank the gods, they are easier to remove), I'd recommend giving your cats a standard bath (water and pet shampoo) then checking all around their neck. Fleas tend to hold their ground when this happens so it'll be very easy to find them. As a safety precaution use some tea tree oil as well, biting bugs hate the stuff and it isn't harmful to people or cats.

    If you can afford an exterminator I'd say go for it, it'll be much easier but it will cost a load and a half.

    Horseshoe wrote:
    I've got good news and bad news about 6th level, That Guy. The good news is that Forbiddance spell allows you to prevent enemies different alignment from entering a consecrated area, which is actually useful! The bad news is that the only other new sixth level spell makes lunch for everybody. Guess which one the party is going to expect you to cast.
  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited November 2009
    On a side note, if it is bedbugs those little buggers can hide ANYWHERE, although as long as you spend most of your night time hours in the bedroom they should be confined to your room. If you have the time and resources I'd say do your entire apartment.

    Here's a very detailed answer that includes some useful pesticides and techniques that the person used and had them work.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080927163658AAyi7no

    Horseshoe wrote:
    I've got good news and bad news about 6th level, That Guy. The good news is that Forbiddance spell allows you to prevent enemies different alignment from entering a consecrated area, which is actually useful! The bad news is that the only other new sixth level spell makes lunch for everybody. Guess which one the party is going to expect you to cast.
  • FonjoFonjo Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    His wife said that she was bitten by bed bugs before and these were not the same.

    Reactions to bites can change over time but I'll take her word on it.

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  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I am going to agree with everyone else that both the OP and wife are being bitten by some sort of small arthropod and the wife is allergic and the OP isn't.

    Even if your cats are indoor cats and not the source of whatever is biting you they may still be helping to keep the pests around (two more food sources that don't shower and have lots of hair). Unless you have the odd cats that like baths you may find treating them with food-grade diatomaceous earth a lot easier. Just sprinkle some on your cats and rub it in. I would do this everyday for a while (while also vacuuming like crazy and washing everything in hot water) and see if it helps.

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  • PasserbyePasserbye The Woman Who Is Not Short at The Moonlite All-Nite Diner; a glass box full of bad food and good people.Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Fonjo wrote: »
    His wife said that she was bitten by bed bugs before and these were not the same.

    Reactions to bites can change over time but I'll take her word on it.

    When we first got the bed bugs my reactions were very mild - barely noticeable. Over time (the last two months) they have gotten much worse, ending with the hives, big red marks, and strong itching that I've got now. Keep in mind the bed bugs (if it is indeed bed bugs - again, check with an exterminator) have been there longer than when they were first noticed. Until they're in their final stage of life they're practically invisible, and even as full-grown adults they're hard to spot if the only time you'd encounter them is at night while you're sleeping.

  • whatevamanwhatevaman Registered User new member
    Those are spider mite bites I believe. I had a problem with these myself that I figured out way after the bites were gone. In my case, it was a bag of bad marijuana that contained these practically invisible mites. I had the ziplock open most of the time next to my cpu while I would be online. At times, I felt as if dust was falling on my arm and eventually would look closely at my arm while getting these very faint feelings. Never saw anything. Then would wake up with an itch to what seemed to be a small insect bite. At one point, I gave in and scratched away. My entire forearm looked like the above picture of the wife's arm, but had a leather type texture. I showered like a mad man and it eventually went away in a week or so. But it was because I finished the bag of weed. If you don't smoke weed, I would check in any plants you have in your house. More so where you thought you got the bites. A friend once told me that they check for spider mites with a blacklight. If that's too much work, just chuck the plants.

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