Spider Bites

Let the guests beware!

Spider bite. This is not your wimpy mosquito bite.
That is black thread holding his thumb together.
This was not me, praise the universe in all its gory.

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This 'Hotels/Motels and Spider Bites' page

! Note !
A few more links and images may be added, someday ---
especially if I get bitten-up yet-AGAIN at a hotel/motel.

How would you like this mother and brood in your room?

My spiders-and-hotels experiences (so far) :

I stayed at the Hampton Inn, Cary, NC, Asheville Ave -- April 2012. When I first got to the room, it was about 9PM, so I pulled back the covers on the bed. A small spider was on the sheet. I crushed it with toilet paper and flushed it. I should have asked for a different room right then. Why? Some background:

About a year before (circa April 2011), I stayed in a Hampton Inn in New York city, around 24th street, in Manhattan. I got two really bad spider bites --- one under my chin that swelled up the size of a golf ball (really ruined my days in NYC) and another on my wrist (it itched and oozed for several weeks and left a scar that took months to finally disappear).

Anyone who has had a spider bite can tell you that they are much worse than mosquito bites. The swelling gets really noticeable 2 to 3 days after a bite -- and lasts for about 2 to 3 weeks instead of 2 or 3 days. And the itching is at least 5 times as bad as a mosquito bite.

The venom of the spider dissolves flesh. It creates an oozing (usually yellowish) at the site of the bite. It takes days for the oozing to stop (even a week or more for bad/deep bites --- especially if you have not had previous experience that taught you how to treat spider bites, promptly). The yellow oozing and itching is similar to poison ivy symptoms.

    (The New York City experience happened up on the 8th floor of the hotel. How do they have a spider problem up on the 8th floor unless they never vacuum the rooms thoroughly? --- or unless someone is releasing spiders in hotel rooms around the country? Do a web search on 'hotel spider bite'. It is unbelievably common --- and the response of hotel staff and managers is unbelievably cavalier.)

Anyway, in this case, at the Hampton Inn in Cary, I hoped that there was only the one spider. I should have taken all the sheets off the bed and removed the mattress. But I had no guarantee of finding them even if they were there. Spiders are like cockroaches; they scatter and hide in an instant. Besides the light in the room was not very good. I needed a floodlight.

    One person reports on the web that he found a nest of spiders, with eggs, under the mattress in his room --- a different hotel chain --- after his son sustained many bites. He took pictures. He reported to the manager but was getting nowhere. A policeman came, at the manager's request. When the guest showed the policeman the nest, he was stunned. When the victim asked the policeman if he would testify on his behalf, the policeman agreed.

    Of course, the managers count on the guest never following through. After all, the guest(s) lived through it didn't they. Yeah, after weeks of itching and scarring and interfering with one's plans. In one case, a bitten wife was scheduled for an operation by a doctor who saw that her case was particularly severe --- blackening leg --- perhaps a recluse spider bite. She had a chunk of leg removed.

Anyway I was tired and wanted to sleep and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, I ended up with at least 10 bites --- one on the back of my neck, at least 4 on my upper left arm (two holes oozing near my elbow), at least two on my right forearm (one swelling up the size of an egg yolk), one large one (or several?) on the back of my right calf, and a couple of small ones on my left leg. The area around several of these bites has swollen to the size of a silver dollar or bigger.

    I should point out that these spiders (the one I saw on the sheet, and one I saw later when I got home --- it apparently hitched a ride in one of my bags) were small --- only about a quarter-inch in length. They were fuzzy little things. They appear to match the description and pictures of 'jumping spiders'.

    If these tiny spiders can cause so much swelling and itching with their bite, I hope I never get bitten by a recluse spider, which has a nasty reputation for its venom being quite damaging to humans. And I hope I never encounter a spider like one of the following.

A spider eating a lizard.

A spider eating a bird.

A spider eating a chicken.

I am not sure I can get the Hampton Inn chain to clean their rooms better, which would take their putting the idea in the minds of their cleaning staff to check for and get rid of insects like spiders. (In one review that I saw, a wife said that before she was bit, she saw that the cleaning staff was laying linens out on the sidewalk as the couple went to their room. You can't make this stuff up. It's too outlandish.)

I DO know that I am going to be very reluctant to go to a Hampton Inn again --- and I am going to be checking ANY place I stay more thoroughly in the future (the Hampton Inns do not have a monopoly on this problem) --- even though I know, through web reports, that a typical mode of operation of management is to throw the guest out on the street if they ask for a different room due to the presence of spiders or spider bites. I'd rather sleep in my car (or keep traveling) than sustain bites like these again.

So let hotel and motel guests beware! Check for spiders!

By the way, the 'free' breakfasts at the Cary Hampton Inn are really unhealthy --- 90% starch (refined flour). It's worth it to have breakfast at the Whole Foods store nearby.

Some pictures of spiders and their bites :

Here is a web page, at, that gives visual images of how spider bites can be quite nasty. I got several of the pictures above via this web page.

Some other guest-experiences with spider bites :

Since web links frequently go dead, I plan to put extracts of some people's reports of spider bites in hotels/motels here --- reports that are relatively well written.

I plan to put the web links along with the reports --- just in case the links are still available, and for the purpose of providing further information (if any) about a report.

For now, see the mentions (above) of the

  • father-son-spider-nest report
  • the wife and the sheets on the sidewalk
  • the wife and the surgery to remove a chunk of leg

Some web searches on spider bites and hotels/motels :

Some links to Google searches that can provide more guest reports on spider bites in hotels or motels --- and the (in)actions taken by the hotel/motel management :

  • hotel spider bite (over 60 million hits, 2012 Apr)
    (Add keywords to zero in on particulars --- for example, add 'manager' or 'staff' or 'doctor'.)

  • motel spider bite (over 13 million hits, 2012 Apr)
    (Add keywords to zero in on particulars --- for example, add 'swelling' or 'itching'.)

Note: Even if I put 'spider bite' in quotes, I still get more than 200,000 hits to consider, in each case above. You can find many hundreds of 'valid' cases among those hits.

It's many sad stories of guests getting the run-around. The best recourse they have is to publish their experiences on the web (like this page) to warn others of what to be aware of --- and how to treat spider bites.

Some links on treating spider bites :

I have personally found that Calamine lotion is the most effective application, for me, on spider bites --- to relieve a lot of the itching and to head off some of the swelling. Some reports say that people who go into the ocean after spider bites find that the recovery period is much quicker, and much swelling and itching is avoided.

For this reason, the second time I was bitten I sat in a bathtub of water with epsom salts added --- once a day for at least a couple of days. That seems to have made my recovery much quicker than the first time I was bitten, even though I had more bites.

If I am near an ocean the next time I am bitten, I plan to jump into that ocean.

  • (baking soda, ice, creams, olive oil and tumeric, aspirin, hydrogen peroxide --- the latter mainly to head off infection)

  • (Some people tell their methods of dealing with spider bites --- some methods being more suspect than others.)

  • (More postings by people telling their methods of dealing with spider bites.)

  • spider bite treatment (Google search ; over 700,000 hits, 2012 Apr)
    (Add keywords to zero in on particulars --- for example, add 'salt' or 'soda' or 'lotion' or 'cream' or 'ocean'.)

Since some of the accounts in these links reported good results with applying a baking-soda slurry or a salt slurry (or ocean water) to spider bites, I did use those slurries several times (separately), as well as applying Calamine lotion multiple times over at least 5 days. I also applied ice several times.

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Page was first posted 2012 Apr 26.

Page was changed 2018 Oct 18. (Added css and javascript to try to handle text-size for smartphones, esp. in portrait orientation.)