Spider Bites

Asked July 20, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

I have read most of your helpful publication on Pa. spiders, looking for the one that has bitten me TWICE. Both bites were in the woods of NE Pa., near Honesdale. Both resulted in large welts about the size of 1/2 a sour ball. Both had to be seen by a surgeon and lanced, although they produced little liquid. Now, about a year since the 2nd bite, I still have brown marks on my leg where the bits occurred (on two separate occasions). I never had any other symptoms - such as headaches or joint pain. I suggested to one doctor that it was from a brown recluse but he rejected that and - having read your article - think that is likely correct. Any ideas? - Sincerely, Rob Houck

Wayne County Pennsylvania

3 Responses

Rob, I contacted an extension entomologist at Penn State. He indicates this is not caused by a spider, and suggests you should be referred back to the medical community. He also provided a link to a brown recluse expert and his info.

Thank you for contacting Penn State Extension.

So we rule out spiders. It is certainly an insect and one (or two of the same type) common to NE Pa. I have discussed with 3 doctors who all saw me and no one has an idea. But you agree it is not a brown recluse. Can you or someone at the Extension follow up or does it remain a mystery?

Extension will not speculate. The only suggestion I can offer may not be very helpful for now, but if you can capture the insect the next time, then take it to your extension office to be identified. Otherwise, it seems that it may remain a mystery.