A couple of weeks ago, on a sunny afternoon, my kids were taking full advantage of the nice day by playing outside in the front yard with their friends. My husband and I were chatting with the neighbors while we all kept an eye on our kiddos together. My one-year-old was playing next to us on the porch with his ball, when I noticed him bend over and pick something up. He looked confused and slightly alarmed, so I leaned over to inspect what he had grabbed. I panicked when I saw a large insect hanging from his hand. I then noticed the long spidery legs and the distinct red markings on its back.
It was a very large Black Widow Spider, and it was crawling on my baby.
I knocked the spider off of him, and went into to full panic mode. My husband, my neighbor, and I all looked the baby over and by the grace of God he had not been bitten. I watched him for symptoms and signs the rest of the day, but luckily he escaped unharmed.
Reflecting back on the afternoon, I could not believe how quickly it had all happened. My stomach felt sick thinking about how bad it could have been. I know it could have happened to anyone but that experience put me on edge, and now my family is extra cautious regarding spider safety. (Some might say overly cautious. We may or may not have taken my older son, Ethan, to the doctor for a “spider bite” which actually turned out to be a run-of-the-mill mosquito bite).
However, I think it is better to be safe than sorry, and it is essential to brush up on spider safety tips now that we have moved into the warmer months.
10 Simple Spider Safety Tips:
- If you suspect that you or your child has been bitten by a spider, call your doctor immediately. Spider bites are not something to mess around with, and if your child suffers a bite you want to get treatment as soon as possible.
- If there is a possibility that a bite has occurred, take a picture of the spider. This will help with accurately identifying the type of spider that caused the bite.
- Avoid letting your children play in rocks and wood piles. Spiders, such as Black Widows and Brown Recluse, love those dark and damp areas.
- Clean out your storm shelter. Storm shelters are an ideal place for spiders to hide, and the last thing you want is to be hanging out in your storm shelter with poisonous spiders.
- Teach your children the importance of not disturbing spiders in their natural habitat. Young children have a hard time discerning the difference between a nonpoisonous spider and one that has the potential to harm them, so I have found that it’s best to teach them to leave spiders alone. I tell my kids it’s okay to look at them in their webs from afar, but it’s best not to touch them.
- If you are doing yard work or are working in your garden wear long sleeves and garden gloves. Also, Make sure shoes are worn at all times when playing outside.
- Keep clutter to a minimum. Make sure to keep laundry and any bedding off of the floor. Also, make sure to keep children’s toys put away.
- Vacuum under couches, beds, and other furniture. This helps suck up any hidden webs and egg sacks.
- Inspect any purchases from a thrift store, consignment sale, or garage sales. Make sure the purchases are cleaned off before use, and especially before letting your children play with any of the items.
- If you keep finding poisonous spiders, explore natural spider repelling remedies or call in a professional to evaluate the situation and exterminate the spiders if needed.
What are some ways you prevent spiders and spider bites? We want to hear your tips and tricks!