Tarantula spider

Poisoning by a bite from a tarantula spider.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • tarantula spider venom (those found in the United States are not considered dangerous but may cause allergic reactions)

Where Found

  • tarantula spiders and related species

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole       o pain similar to a bee or wasp sting at the site of the bite       o sense of swelling of lips and throat  
  • respiratory       o difficulty breathing  
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o Angioedema (eye lid puffiness)       o skin temperature over the bite area tends to be warmer than the - surrounding area  
  • skin       o redness       o rash       o itching ( usually caused by the penetration of barbed hairs)       o swelling at the site of the bite  
  • heart and blood vessels       o rapid heart rate       o low blood pressure

Home Treatment
Place ice (wrapped in a washcloth or other suitable covering) on the site of the sting for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes. Repeat this process. If patient has circulatory problems, decrease the time to prevent possible damage to the skin.

Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:

  • the patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • the name of the spider  
  • the time of the bite  
  • the area of the body that was bitten

Poison Control, or a local emergency number
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses.

The patient should be taken to an emergency room for treatment if they show signs of an allergic reaction.

If possible, bring the spider to the emergency room for identification.

What to expect at the emergency room

  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)
Death in a normally healthy individual is uncommon. Recovery usually takes about a week.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 5, 2012
by David A. Scott, M.D.

Medical Encyclopedia

  A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | 0-9

All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.