Thursday, June 10, 2004
What Would You Do: Encountering A Poisonous Spider
If you hate creatures with eight legs, this is not the best time of year to be in South Florida. That's because the rainy season can also be the spider season. But what do you do if you have an encounter with a poisonous spider? Here's 7's Charles Perez with the answer.
(WSVN) -- It doesn't matter if it's itsy bitsy or big and nasty, spiders creep most of us out.
And for good reason.
These little guys can cause a person a great deal of pain.
Spider Expert Kristen Jade Jimenez: "Their venom is really dangerous if it gets into your system."
This is a Brown Widow Spider.
Kristen: "Here in Florida we have four species of widow spiders which are the ones that probably have the worst reputation and they all are pretty similar as far as their toxicity."
And when we say toxic, we mean toxic.
Kristen: "It is about 10 to 15 times stronger than rattle snake venom."
So unless your name's spider-man, what can you do to avoid arachnophobia?
Well to begin with, know what you're looking for.
Kristen: "The widow spiders again are the ones who have that. It is an hour glass shaped mark typically."
But in reality .. the widow isn't likely to roll over and show you her belly.
A better bet .. recognize her web.
Kristen: "A web made by a black widow is a very strong web, very strong silk. And it is very tangly and messy. It is typically lower to the ground under some kind of ledge, a flower pot."
The widow web is so strong .. it makes a crackling sound when you break it.
A lesson kristen learned the hard way.
Kristen: "Until I went and got the harness off the wall and thought wow that was a distinctive crackling sound haha wonder if it was a web and sure enough I had a brown widow crawling right up my arm."
The worst thing to do in that case ... Jump around .. flail your arms and scream.
Kristen: "If you are flailing around and trying to swat it then it is going to try and hold on and it could potentially bite."
Instead, try to brush it off your body...
Kristen: "You can try to sweep it off."
Use a stick if you don't want to touch it.
The bottom line is spiders are pretty much everywhere in South Florida. You're first line of defense is to check in your patio or back yard.
Sweeping and vacuuming under those little places that can sometimes be forgotten. And that really prevents the situation.
And if you actually get bit ..
You should seek medical help. Also, you should try to bring the spider with you.
That way doctors will know if you need antivenin or just some simple first aid.
Next week, your boat breaks down and your lost in the middle of the ocean, what do you do? Charles will show us the proper way to survive.
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