Violin spider, how to recognize it and how to defend yourself from the bite

Violin spider, how to recognize it and how to defend yourself from the bite

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Violin spider, how to defend yourself from the bite: Everything you need to know about the violin spider bite and the dangerous effects it can cause.

The violin spider, also known as the "hermit spider", it is a nocturnal arachnid that loves to live indoors, as it cannot bear winter temperatures, but can also be found outdoors in the warmer season.

Inside the house, especially in winter, it remains holed up in crevices and cracks: it can be found in attics, cellars and closets. But also in boxes, shoes, folded sheets and behind furniture.

It is not an aggressive spider, on the contrary, it is very shy and tends to hide or run away when approached by man. Nevertheless he is ready to defend himself with the bite when he feels threatened, perhaps crushed by the weight of the body under the covers or annoyed with his hands inside a pair of shoes pulled out for the change of season.

Its bite is not particularly painful and very often the victims realize late that they have come into contact with the spider, when the affected area, after a few hours, becomes itchy and painful. The reaction to the bite of the violin spider it is however variable in relation to the affected area, the victim's health conditions and the quantity of poison introduced.

If anaerobic bacteria are involved, damage to the skin, muscles and kidneys can occur. In this case, the use of hospital treatment is essential.

Multiple reports of violin spider in Rome, especially in the southern districts

In recent days, thanks to the sultry heat, reports of sightings of violin spiders are multiplying, especially in the districts of via Ardeatina and via Laurentina.

Usually the violin spider takes refuge in hidden and protected places. So be careful where you put your hands, even if you have the habit of leaving your shoes on the balcony: they could be a perfect "shelter" for the violin spider that could bite you in defense.

Violin spider: size and color

The violin spider has small dimensions, with a variable length between 7 and 10 millimeters. It is yellowish brown in color.

Violin spider: how to recognize it

The scientific name is Loxosceles rufescens and is commonly called "violin spider" due to a dark spot on the body in the shape of a violin.

It can be recognized by the fine hairs that help to give it a velvety appearance and by its colors which, as written above, can vary from a light-yellow to a dark brown.

The adult spider is characterized by a central body of 3 - 8 mm in length and approximately 3 - 16 mm in width. The length of the legs is instead about 2 cm and a half.

Bite of the violin spider: symptoms

The symptom complex that derives from the bite of the violin spider takes the name of loxoscelism and can be divided into four forms of severity:

  1. Mild with slight symptoms only at the point of the bite.
  2. Moderate with erythema, itching and a small lesion at the site of the bite.
  3. Escarotic or cutaneous-necrotic with the formation of necrotic lesions that evolve into crater-like ulcers. These ulcers, at times, can even reach the size of several centimeters and have difficulty in healing, even after prompt medication (with permanent scarring). Necrotic lesions can also be quite extensive and require the removal of dead tissue or even amputation of the affected limb.
  4. Systemic or viscero-cutaneous very rare, which develops parallel to the escarotic form in the first 24-48 hours after the bite. It is characterized by general malaise, chills, fever, body aches, nausea, vomiting, bruising, thrombocytopenia, and haemolytic anemia. In particularly sensitive subjects (for example children or immunosuppressed) this form can sometimes result in a comatose state and even in the death of the patient.

Violin spider: what to do in case of a bite

We must never underestimate the bite of a spider!

As you can read on the website of the Poison Control Center of the Niguarda Hospital in Milan, the first thing to do in case of violin spider bite is to wash the affected area thoroughly with mild soap and water. At this stage it is important to pay attention to whether or not the symptoms described above appear.

Consulting a doctor or going to the emergency room immediately becomes essential if the area affected by the bite is red, hot and surrounded by a purplish halo or if more serious reactions occur.

Lastly, it is important to capture the spider responsible for the bite to be able to show it to the medical staff of the emergency room and thus allow easy and correct identification.

Furthermore, remember that pesticides or specific disinfestation techniques cannot be used to combat spiders, as they are not pests and their removal is carried out by direct capture or by suction with commonly used household appliances.

Curated by Christel Schachter

Video: Spider Bite Symptoms You Should Know (June 2022).


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