Spotting and Managing the Bites of Noxious Ticks and Spiders

A number of pests often found in homes trigger skin irritations, especially if these insects come into contact with skin. Pests could bite or burrow under skin, which is why it’s important to determine the primary cause of skin problems. Remember that when certain insects bite, they also transfer not only allergens, but disease-causing bacteria and viruses as well. Some insects are also quite poisonous.


Beware of ticks. These insects not only infect animals, but people as well. Ticks are tiny bloodsuckers that attach onto skin, and sometimes, they burrow beneath the skin. So, it’s scary to think that such creatures can literally get under your skin! As if that’s not scary enough, there are infected ticks that are carriers of conditions, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and relapsing fever.

Tick Bite

Most tick bites aren’t noticeable maybe because these insects are very small. Nevertheless, reactions to tick bites vary from person to person. Some people do not even notice that they’ve been bitten, while others experience severe skin irritation. Among the most common signs of tick bites include:

– Itching

– Redness

– Burning sensation

– Localized intense pain (usually delivered by soft ticks)

– Rash that appears like a “bull’s eye” (This is unique to Lyme disease.)

It is important to consult a physician when tick bites are suspected, particularly if the following symptoms also occur with skin irritation:

– Fever

– Shortness of breath

– Fatigue

– Nausea and vomiting

– Joint pain

Many of the illnesses transferred by ticks can be treated with antibiotics. However, early detection and medical care is required to stop diseases from becoming more serious.


Several species of spiders often found around residential areas are harmless. But there are a few that are poisonous. The toxins of some varieties of spiders are lethal, while others cause rashes that develop into necrosis or death of skin and underlying tissues.

Black Widow Bite

First of all, avoid black widow spiders. A tell-tale marking of the black widow is a reddish hourglass shape on its belly. These spiders are often found in cool and dark places. The bite of the black widow is not lethal to most adults. However, children and the elderly may experience more severe reactions to bites. Those bitten by black widows will observe redness on the area of the bite which appears about 10 minutes after the biting incident. Redness is often accompanied by:

– Tremors

– Muscle cramps

– Abdominal pain

– Dizziness

– Chest pain

– Difficulty of breathing

When there is a red bite mark that presents with other physical difficulties, bring the bitten person to a hospital as soon as possible. Remember that small children or senior citizens, who often experience severe reactions to black widow bites, should receive antivenin.

Brown Recluse Bite

The bite of the brown recluse is very dangerous. These are not aggressive animals, but they do bite when caught off-guard. This spider is also known as the violin spider because it has markings shaped like a violin. People who get bitten often experience the following:

– Stinging sensations (similar to that of a bee sting)

– Nausea and vomiting

– Rashes or severe itching

– Muscle and joint pain

– Severe pain on site of the bite (This is not noticeable immediately. Victims often feel pain a few hours after being bitten.)

Although many victims do not experience very adverse reactions to the bite of this type of spider, there are also a number of brown recluse bite victims that suffer skin and muscle necrosis or even death. The young and old, as well as those with compromised immune systems, are most at risk.


Claire Brent is a freelance writer. Her expertise is in pest management and she writes for a number of Mesa pest control companies.

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