A little over a week ago, I awoke one morning with what appeared to be a mosquito bite on my upper thigh. I thought little of it because frankly, my hands had been eaten up the night before with no fewer than 14 mosquito bites.
Then came Wednesday and the mosquito bite was starting to look weird. It was rashy, raised, and the center appeared to have a blood blister. I had no idea what it was, but was a little worried that a tick had bitten me and I was about to get sick from a tick-borne illness. I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the next day for something else and I decided to make a point to ask about the ugly spot.
Thursday morning, I woke up, put on yoga pants (because I could pull the leg up high enough to expose the ugly spot), and headed to the doctor. It was a spider bite. At first, this mostly confused me because I have never had much of a reaction to spider bites in the past. I have been bitten twice by brown recluses with nothing more than a bump that went away a few days later. And yes, I saw the spider, as did a few nurses and doctors on one of those brown recluse bites.
However, the other day, I was rubbing steroid cream on said spider bite (no necrotic flesh) and realized that it must have been one very determined spider. The factors that combined for me to get this spider bite are as such:
- Said spider had to crawl into my bed.
- Spider then had to find the opening of my flannel pajamas, which only exists near my feet.
- Spider then had to climb up my leg a good distance, I’m short but when compared to a small spider, I have decently long legs.
- Spider then found a soft spot on my inner thigh (sort of a miracle in its own right since I sleep on my side) and bite me.
- Then the spider had to crawl back down my leg, out of my flannel pajamas and into some dark corner. I know this, because there were no spider remains in my flannel pajamas the following the morning. Nor were there any stuck to my leg.
- Spider did this to me, but completely avoided my SO who was sleeping next to me.
I find this fascinating. It seems like a strange thing for a spider to do all that. Especially since most spiders really just want to be left alone (not leaving one alone is how I got bit in front of several nurses and a doctor or two).
I’m also still curious about what sort of spider bit me. If a brown recluse does little more than make a bump, what sort of spider could cause a rash and leave a hole (which is what the “blood blister” turned out to be), but not cause the flesh to necrotize. My doctor’s guess was a black widow and I’m inclined to agree, but up here, wolf spiders are far more common than widows and I can’t imagine a wolf spider making all those decisions, particularly being indoors. Plus, wouldn’t I have seen a wolf spider? We are not talking about the tiny brown recluse or black widow, wolf spiders get big and the larger they get, the less problematic their venom becomes to a full sized adult.