Spider bite - what to do? So dangerous can be a bite in Germany

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Spider bite - what to do? So dangerous can be a bite in Germany: Germany

If you least expect it, you'll encounter an eight-legged creature lurking for prey. Spiders (Araneae) occupy the top spot of worldwide phobias and are found in numerous species in Germany. They live in forests, caves, human dwellings and even waters, which makes the encounter with them very likely. This raises the question: is a spider bite dangerous in Germany?

Spider bite dangerous?

Spiders are among the animals whose entire biodiversity is poisonous. That is, whether you encounter a spider or zebra spider in the forest, the spider has venom glands. These produce for hunting or as a defense mechanism against predators poison, which is transmitted via a bite with their cheliceras (pine claws). In this way, they can also poison people who in most cases accidentally touch the spider. They bite only when they feel crushed, which is also the most common reason for spider bites in Germany. Nevertheless, the bites are harmless due to the following characteristics of the domestic species:
  • Poison is not concentrated enough
  • The biting tools are not big or strong enough
The domestic spiders just do not have the necessary "weapons" to make humans dangerous. Especially adults and teens have no problem with the animals, as long as they are not allergic to the animals or have a general immunodeficiency. Infants and people with heart disease of any age, however, may experience complications from the bites as the body responds more to the toxins. Therefore, they should pay particular attention to hidden spiders. The greatest danger comes from the specimens, who get lost in apartments or houses and thus live in close proximity to humans. The most common bites occur during the following situations:
  • when working in the garden, for example when mowing tall grass with the scythe
  • when sleeping, when the person lies down on the spider
  • if accidentally caught in the spider's nest
But you do not have to worry, there are no known deaths from spiders in Germany.

Poisonous spiders in Germany

Compared to continents such as South America or Australia, there are hardly any poisonous spiders in Germany that can cause symptoms or poisoning in humans. But that does not mean that the home spider world is completely harmless, because there are only five species whose bite is strong enough to deliver venom, even though in most cases it has little effect on humans:
Nurse's thorn finger (Cheiracanthium punctorium)

Nurse's thorn finger - Cheiracanthium punctorium

The nurse finger is the "most dangerous" poison spider in Germany. The spider occurs in Germany from the Alps to Frankfurt am Main, but there are also populations in Brandenburg and Berlin. You recognize them by the following features:
  • Size: up to 15 mm
  • Body shape: oval
  • large, pronounced pine claws
  • Body colored red-orange
  • The abdomen dyed in shades of yellow and green
  • Legs yellowish-brownish colored
  • Legs very long compared to the body
The species does not live in buildings, but in the open air, mainly dry meadows, forests or roadsides, so children should pay particular attention while playing. The bite in detail:
  • most painful spider bite in Germany
  • burns and stings hard
  • Spot turns bluish-red, similar to a bruise
  • swells
  • Symptoms can be: vomiting, nausea, headache, body temperature increases noticeably, circulatory collapse
  • Symptoms persist for up to three days
Cross spiders (Araneus)

Cross spiders - Araneus

In the cross-spiders, probably the most famous poison spider in Germany, especially the garden spider (Araneus diadematus) should be mentioned. This is found throughout the country and is mainly found in orchards, as well as in forests, bogs and rare gardens. Because of their frequency, people can quickly catch a bite of the spider, but it is easily recognizable:
  • Size: females about 18 mm, males about 10 mm
  • Body shape: greatly enlarged abdomen in females, males much slimmer
  • Pattern: patches that form a clearly visible cross
  • Abdomen in different colors, depending on the whereabouts
  • Legs hairy and prickly
The bite of the spider does not penetrate through all, but only through the thinnest skin layers, such as the popliteal fossa or the elbow. This makes the animal quite harmless, even if the pain intensity equals a bee sting. After the bite, slight redness and itching occur.
Water spider (Argyroneta aquatica)

Water spider - Argyroneta aquatica

The water spider is the only species among the Araneae that lives in the water.For this reason, a meeting with this spider is unlikely, moreover, it is very vulnerable. In addition to the Dornfinger spider, it is the only native species whose biting tools can penetrate every layer of the skin. distinguishing features:
  • Size: 15 mm
  • Body shape: quite long
  • Color male: yellow-beige
  • Color female: brownish
  • long legs
The bite is similar to a wasp sting and there is no after-effects.
Curling hunt spider (Zoropsis spinimana)

 Curling hunt spider - Zoropsis spinimana

This is a spider that spreads from the Mediterranean more and more in Germany. It resembles a tarantula, measures between 13 and 20 mm and hairy all over the body. However, the bite is quite harmless, as only the thinnest layers of skin can be penetrated and it resembles a weak bee sting. Sequelae other than itching and light burning are not mentioned.
Great angle spider (Eratigena atrica)

big angle spider - Eratigena atrica - house spider

Like the curling spider, the Great Angle Spider, better known as the house angle spider, is increasingly seen in Germany. They are between 14 and 20 mm in size and have extremely long legs and a dark color. But she looks more dangerous than she is, because the bite is like a mosquito bite and has no consequences. Nevertheless, the biting tools can easily penetrate through the skin. In addition, she likes to spend time in human dwellings, especially cellars.

What to do with a spider bite?

Spider bites make a creeping noticeable and often they are not noticed immediately. If you have not directly noticed that you have been bitten by a spider, this will show up in the above symptoms of the particular species and you can act accordingly. After a bite of the above mentioned species, a universal treatment is recommended, which is especially helpful against itching and redness:
  • locate bite site
  • This usually looks like a mosquito bite
  • clean the area under running, cold water
  • This helps flush out dirt and superficial toxins
  • As a precaution, you can disinfect the site, but it is not really necessary
  • cool the spot, preferably with cooling pads or a bag of ice cubes
  • as an alternative to offer cold-damp cloths
  • However, these must be re-moistened and cooled again and again
  • After the area has cooled off slightly, apply an anti-inflammatory agent
  • this also relieves the itching, which is typical for a spider bite
  • if bleeding or inflammation occurs or wets the site, there could be a bacterial infection
  • then you should definitely visit a doctor
Since spiders are wild animals, the risk of infection from the bite can always exist. The animals collect all sorts of bacteria in the environment and these can get over the biting tools in the wound.
Note: Of course, the above points do not apply to people with health problems, infants and allergy sufferers who may be suffering from anaphylactic shock from the bite. Contact a pediatrician immediately, the emergency call or use an antihistamine, so that the bite is not life-threatening, especially in the Dornfinger spider.

Video Board: Ouch, What Bit Me? How to Identify Common Bug Bites and What To Do About It.

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