An univited guest

I found a couple of these little buggers in the garden last year, but they’re back! No one really wants to find a Black Widow in the yard I guess. Today I found one hanging right above my smoking spot, cheeky bugger. I should have killed it there and then, but thought I’d take a photo, which scared him into the drain tube…

I thought I’d look him up on the web, even though I know their bites are rarely fatal in a healthy adult human. Turns out their poison is 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake, more so even than a cobra or coral snake. But what I didn’t like the sound of are the symptoms


Symptoms occur in three main phases: exacerbation phase, dissipation phase and residual phase.

Exacerbation phase – during the first 24 hours after a bite:

* Severe pain in muscle groups local to the bite.
* Muscle cramping, primarily in the abdomen, back and thighs.
* Headache, dizziness, tremors, salivation, diaphoresis (excessive sweating), nausea and vomiting.
* Anxiety, fatigue, insomnia.
* Lacrimation (tearing of the eyes).
* Migratory arthralgia (joint pain).
* Tachycardia (rapid heart beat), bradycardia (very slow heart beat), restlessness, hypertension (elevated blood pressure), Tachypnea (hyperventilation).

In some rare and extreme cases, severe complications can arise:

* Acute renal failure (failing of kidney function).
* Myocarditis, rhabdomyolysis, paralysis.
* Shock, coma, and death.

Symptoms that may be present at or near the wound:

* Rash, slight erythema (redness of skin), Piloerection (goose bumps).
* Mild edema (swelling due to excess fluid).
* Lesion or mild infection (rare).

Dissipation phase

During the first 1 to 3 days after the bite:

* Symptoms start to decline.

Residual phase

During the following weeks or months:

* Muscle spasm, tingling, nervousness and weakness.

Doesn’t sound pleasant at all. Which is why, as soon as I’ve posted this, I’m going right out there with an aerosol and my lighter, and am gonna fry that f*****r in his tube!!!


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