Have You Noticed More Spiders In Amarillo?
If you hate spiders, you may want to look away. June is the rainy season in the Panhandle and with the heavy rain comes an increase of spider sightings!
"Most of the spiders you see are harmless,” said Amarillo Zoo Educator Haley Wilde. “They're good for pest control. They keep insect numbers down. Pretty often if you see a spider it's not going to be one of the more dangerous spiders that we usually think of."
But when it comes to spider bites, it's better to take caution than letting it go. ABC 7 reports that wolf and grass spiders are common and harmless. However, black widows and brown recluse spiders can cause serious injury.
"We get about 300 calls a year for Brown Recluse spider bites," said Dr. Thomas Martin, medical director of the Texas Panhandle Poison Center. “Maybe 150 to 200 black widow spider bites a year, in the State of Texas."
"The Black Widow can cause severe chest and abdominal pain and that can be really problematic in older people. It can cause older people to have a heart attack."
If you do get bit, experts suggest trying to trap the spider. This allows medical professionals determine the type of treatment needed for your bite.
"Black Widows usually leave a pretty identifiable bite,” said Wilde. “You usually see two small openings where that animal would've bitten into your skin. A Brown Recluse is a little more unsure. A lot of times their bite looks like any other invertebrate bite, maybe an insect sting."
Although they can be scary and dangerous, spiders do play an important part in our ecosystem. So even though you might want to stomp on them, give it a second thought.
"We would definitely prefer people don't kill them," Wilde said. "Every little creature has its role. If you can relocate a spider, centipede, scorpion, all those things we don't really like, and move it away from your house rather than killing it that's a win-win for everybody."
If you have any doubt about a spider bite, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Better safe than sorry!