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Sac Spider Bite

Yellow Sac Spider - Cheiracanthium inclusum
Yellow Sac Spiders are relatively small (10 mm body length), and are yellowish in colour; they are difficult to distinguish from one another. Bites generally produce instant, intense stinging pain, not unlike that of the sting of a wasp or hornet. This may be followed by localised redness, swelling, blistering and itching; these manifestations may or may not evolve into a necrotic lesion, but when that occurs healing is usually complete within eight weeks. Side effects may include chills, fever, headache, dizziness, nausea, anorexia, and sometimes shock.

Here's a couple of stories from viewers. Please note that with these bites, as in most cases, no spider was seen to verify it as the cause of the bite.

Wilna's Story:

Hi there I stay in south Africa in Cape Town and was reading the story on the girl that was bitten by the sac spider. Well I had exactly the same experience. Also thought it was mosquito bites. I had four bite marks on one leg. And it itched terrible. The next evening it formed the first sac. Luckily I realised with my leg swelling something is wrong. Although I wasn't sick at all. No fever nothing. But also made the mistake by popping this terrible blister. The dr said I should have left it. But after popping it felt a great relieve. It also after a terrible set of antibiotics and injections for tetanus etc is now getting better though. The wound is very raw. But I will be fine. I will attach another pic of how this mr spiders sac look like after a few hours after the bite. Hope this helps other people as well. Never found the spider though. But we had a lot of rain recently. Maybe they were coming out? Regards. Wilna

Carrie's Story:

I thought I'd share a spider story with you, and to warn people, too. I live in SE Michigan, my back yard is on the southern border of a State Park, so I encounter various wildlife and insects all summer long...

2 weeks ago today, I woke up for work as usual. The side of my upper left thigh was really itching. I checked it out, and there was what I thought at the time was a mosquito bite. I figured one had gotten through a pinhole in a screen in the night. Ah well, I'd been bitten by quite a few on a canoe trip on the Rifle River the previous Saturday... I got to work, and the area continued to itch. I went to the restroom and noticed there was now a small blister in the center of the bite about the size of a BB. I made the unfortunate mistake of picking at and popping it, thinking it must have been an ingrown hair, not a mosquito bite. Clear fluid came out that that was that...

Over the course of the next 2 days, the site grew larger. It was very hot to the touch, painful to sit or lay on, and the hole where the blister had been became a dark black looking indentation. The raised area surrounding the wound was very hard like a golf ball. The adjacent skin surrounding the swollen areas was now becoming an almost maroon/purple color, and the swelling was visible even with jeans on. I mentioned what had transpired thus far to a couple outdoorsy coworkers, who told me they believed it sounded like some sort of spider bite. With all this going on, I knew it was no mosquito or ingrown hair.

Friday afternoon I had to make an emergency trip up north due to another insect bite, my fiance is allergic to wasps and had been stung at work and was in the hospital! It is just over 2 hours to his current residence. It was constantly uncomfortable and painful the entire drive up. During the night, he rolled over onto my leg and I nearly hit the ceiling, it felt as though I was being stabbed in the leg!

Saturday morning I had to turn around and go home to attend a BBQ hosted by my best friend. The pain and swelling was getting worse and the discomfort was growing. I made the mistake of having worn denim slacks, which were further aggrivating the site. By 8p that evening, the pain was so bad that I had to borrow some baggy cotton pants and I kept having episodes of nausea. At that time, I showed the area to my best friend and another acquiantance. She's studying to be a nurse and advised me that the area looked as though it was becoming infected and insisted on putting an antiseptic dressing on it.

There was no improvement on Sunday and I was again urged to seek medical care immediately by friends. I took my daughter to my parent's home, my father also insisted I seek care immediately. I had been nauseated all day and was getting a headache. The drive to my parents was nearly unbearable, as I felt every tiny bump in the road as though I was being pricked with 100 needles in the site, and stabbed over the train tracks... I decided to go to the Emergency Room.

When I got there, I had a fever of 101 degrees and was immediately given an antibiotic shot and tetanus shot. The doctor came in and confirmed it as an "unidentified spider bite, cutaneously abcessed" (severely infected). I was put on an antibiotic drip for 30 mins and sent home with 2000mg antibiotics a day for 10 days. I got home around midnight and attempted to sleep. I was woken up at 3am with a "dripping" feeling around the area. The site had begun to ooze pus and blood as the antibiotics moved in... It oozed the entire day so badly that I had to stay home from work. The only dressing that seemed to hold under the conditions were maxi pads that I cut in half and taped over the site. 1/2 way through the day I felt a relief type feeling. A tablespoonful of grey puss had bursted out of the bite, and I had blood dripping down my leg through a deep open hole in the sore. It was the single most disgusting thing on my body I'd ever encountered...

It is now 2 weeks later... I was curious as to what culprit this could have been, and upon researching the internet (including your website), I came across the "Yellow Sac Spider". Upon reviewing the symptoms and pictures of bites, I can tell you I firmly believe this nastiness was the result of a Sac bite. Research indicates that the majority of Sac bites occur while the victim is asleep, as they are nocturnal hunters that seek warmth and humidity. I sleep on my side, and undoubtedly had rolled over on it. I found out that the Sac is one of the 4 species in the USA considered potentially harmful, and is most common. Interestingly enough, I had killed one in my shower only a few weeks before the bite happened. I remember it, because I had never seen a translucent yellow spider of this type before. Where there was one, there was bound to be more...

I write this long-winded diatribe as a warning to others. If you come across one of these suckers, by all means, dispose of it! I had a week of pain and discomfort, a yet undisclosed but undoubtedly huge emergency room bill, prescription meds costs and a day of lost wages all over this tiny creep!

Thanks for your interesting and highly helpful website!

~ Carrie in Flat Rock, MI

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