Bite spiders even when they are not threatened

About the toxicity and (in) danger of our spiders

Domestic poison spiders

There is a great fascination with spiders, which can express itself in both enthusiasm and panic fear. Spiders are generally not very popular animals, and fear of them is difficult to get rid of if you were raised in childhood. The fear is also fed by horror reports about particularly dangerous or large species.

Some of such reports are not entirely wrong, as there are - especially in the tropics - spiders whose bite can even be fatal in the worst case. Nevertheless, one has to say the following:

Most spiders that have poison that can also be dangerous to humans are extremely peaceful. They only bite when they feel extremely threatened or attacked and think they are themselves in danger. In addition, spiders that have an effective venom are often inconspicuous and small.

The most feared and famous tarantulas are harmless because of the poisonous effect of their bite, but in no case are life-threatening for humans. What does toxicity mean?

When one speaks of poison in animals or plants, one often thinks of substances that can be threatening to human life, i.e. kill if the dose is correct.

But what the right dose of poison is to kill a person or another living being depends on several things.

  1. The poison and its concentration.
  2. The state of health, in the case of spiders, of the person bitten. If the person is weakened by a previous or possibly even ongoing illness, the immune system no longer has as much to counter the poison as if the victim were healthy.
  3. The age of the person. Children react much more sensitively and violently to poisons than adults, mainly because of a poorly developed immune system.
  4. Gender also plays a role. Statistics show that women have significantly more problems coping with poisons than men.
  5. The body weight of the poisoned also plays a not insignificant role, Because a person who is heavier and has more body mass "can cope with" more toxins in the truest sense of the word, since the poison can spread and de-concentrate more easily in the body. It is not for nothing that dosage instructions are often given on the instruction leaflets of drugs with side effects Given body weight.
    :-) Little kg, small spoon, many kg, large spoon.
  6. Allergy sufferers must always be more careful with poisonous effects from stings or bites than a healthy person. A wasp or bee sting can be fatal for an allergy sufferer. The same applies to spider bites.

At this point it should first be made clear that spiders are not sting. Spiders bite and use their venom in this way. The two pointed appendages that can be seen on a spider's abdomen are not stings. These appendages are merely the spinnerets with the spinning glands with which the spiders produce, among other things, their threads for the construction of the web and the egg cocoon.

Now to ours native Poison spiders:

Poisonous spiders in the sense of being fatal for humans under normal circumstances do not exist in Germany. Not one of our spider species exhibits any toxicity to speak of that is life-threatening in any way. Almost no illnesses or complaints are known to exist.

The domestic spiders, as a rule, will not bite. They behave in a similar way to bees and wasps: If they feel threatened, they will always prefer to flee to attack, unless they feel they are in a hopeless situation (typical example: the bee under their feet that accidentally in their shirt advised wasp), which appears life-threatening to them.

If a bite does occur, the bite of the larger spider species is simply more painful than that of the smaller species due to the larger jaws. As a rule, the pain of a spider bite is compared to the sting of a bee, with the difference that the spider does not leave an annoying sting and there is also no poisonous effect.

Of our native species, two are considered to be slightly poisonous, namely the Garden spider (Araneus diadematus) and the Water spider (Argyroneta aquatica).

The bite of the so-called is considered quite poisonous and unpleasant Dornfingers (Cheiracantium punctorium), whereby the last-named spider species only occurs in very warm areas in Germany (e.g. in southern Germany at the Kaiserstuhl), lives in hiding and normally does not come into contact with humans.

Garden spider:

The bite is painful, similar to a bee sting. A toxic effect usually only occurs in the area of ​​delicate skin areas. A strong swelling accompanied by temporary paralysis in the area around the bite site is possible here. If you should be bitten, however, cooling compresses are sufficient.

Water spider:

Bite comparable to the garden spider, but a bite from this spider is much less likely, as the water spider spends its life in the water, especially in boggy and boggy waters, and very few people come into contact with it at all.

Thorn finger:

Definitely the most poisonous spider in our fauna. Symptoms of poisoning are described with initially burning and stabbing pain at the bite site. In some cases, the bite site turns blue-red and swells. Nausea, headache and vomiting, even an increase in body temperature are possible, but do not have to occur. The symptoms subside after about three days. The bite site can be swollen or reddened for a long time. After being bitten by a thorn finger, a visit to a doctor is recommended if the symptoms are severe.

Spiders outside of Germany:

It looks different for our Mediterranean vacationers. In southern Europe there are spiders whose bite is definitely not harmless. But this does not include, as most would expect, the familiar one Tarantula (Lycosa tarentula). Although the animals are very impressive with a body size of up to 5 cm, the poisonous effect is even less significant than with our garden spider.

Much more serious is the bite of the so-called Malmignatte (Latrodectus tredecimguttatus), a close relative of the Black widow from the south of the U.S.A. The Malmignatte is only up to 15 mm in size, the body is jet black and usually has thirteen red spots on the abdomen as a characteristic feature.

The poison effect is described as follows:

The pain increases significantly within about 10 minutes. The lymph nodes swell, the blood pressure rises, you have breathing difficulties and anxiety, language disorders, sweating in the face and cramping of the masticatory muscles.

According to some information, local paralysis should occur if the bite occurs in the joint area. A visit to the doctor is strongly recommended after being bitten by the Malmignatte. Since the Malmignatte is very peaceful and only inhabits dry wasteland and arid areas overgrown with grass, there is hardly any bite under normal circumstances. A hiker who is properly clothed can move around normally in areas where the Malmignatten are at home.