Brown recluse spiders migrate into homes in the autumn, where warmer climates may be found. These spiders reside in places with regular human movement, but they are not usually aggressive. They are known to bite when they feel threatened or trapped. Bites often occur when a spider is trapped between a piece of clothing and the human body. It is believed that they enjoy human dwellings because their nocturnal lifestyle benefits from artificial light.

Brown recluse venom contains at least 9 distinct poisons; making it similar to rattlesnake venom. It effects blood vessels in the bite area to potentially cause massive tissue destruction. The result can be horrific. A bite that is left untreated may require an amputation of the limb, and it can lead to death. The bites cause kidney failure in some people.

Avoiding Brown Recluse Bites

Since bites often occur whilst people are sleeping, it is not always possible to avoid them. We recommend that bedding be fully checked before going to sleep, and that clothing be violently shaken before it is worn. These little devils love the insides of shoes, so beat your shoes together, and inspect the insides of them before wearing them. Keep all dresser drawers tightly closed, because they will hide in the underwear too. We normally recommend against the use of chemicals (especially poisons), but it is wise to spray a long-lasting insecticide around windows and doors in the autumn. Please take all precautions, including wearing splash-resistant goggles, and a respirator, if you do.

How To Know If You Have Been Bitten

A brown recluse victim is not always aware that he has been bitten; at least not immediately, when treatments would be the most beneficial. Sometimes the bites immediately cause extreme pain, but in other cases, there is no sensation at all. There may be visible fang pits at the bite site, but this is not always true either. Sometimes there is itching at the bite site, or a generalized fever. The general rule is that there are no general rules for brown recluse spider bites in the early stage. Some victims do not realize that they have been bitten until several days have passed.

Between one and three days after being bitten, an untreated brown recluse spider bite is likely to form one or more blisters. The bite site may become bluish colored at this time, and it may begin forming a crater.

Seeking Emergency Medical Care

A brown recluse spider bite could easily be considered an emergency condition, so a hospital visit may be essential to ensure that the victim is stabilized. Be forewarned that there is very little that orthodox medicine can do to stop the regional damage that is caused by a bite. Doctors typically give antibiotics and anti-histamines in the hope that regionalized damage can be somewhat minimized. These are truly desperate measures that yield very little success. Therefore, we recommend that you follow our alternative treatment recommendations.

Self Treatment - Stage 1

If you have been bitten by this spider (or any other spider), the first thing that you should do is apply activated charcoal directly to the wound. This is something that should always be kept in the medicine cabinet for poison emergencies. You can find it inside capsules sold at health food stores, or you can buy it in the aquarium department of a grocery store. Either way, the charcoal must be finely ground before it is used. Apply a thick paste to the bite area that is made from the fine charcoal powder and water. Tape the charcoal and water mixture to the bite, and leave for four hours. Using it again, or for longer periods is unlikely to help.

We also recommend orally consuming a teaspoon of dampened charcoal powder, in order to get a tiny amount of charcoal into the blood. Please read the article about activated charcoal usage, or proceed at your own risk. It is best to have it made ahead of time in preparation for any poison emergency, and the sooner that it is used, the better.

Take massive amounts of echinacea supplements until the bite wound completely disappears. Echinacea was used by the American Indians to heal snake bites, which is believed to be where the term "snake oil" originated. Some reports indicate that echinacea is very effective for treating venomous spider bites.

Self Treatment - Stage 2

Six days after a brown recluse bite. Click to enlarge.
After the first few hours, charcoal will no longer be useful. Purchase bentonite clay powder from a health food store, and mix it with enough water to form a paste. Apply this paste onto the wound, and cover it with medical tape. Use colloidal silver instead of water if it is available. This paste should be left on the skin for at least two hours, several times a day. The skin should be washed before the clay is applied to remove any oils. A mild hand soap should be adequate. Avoid moisturizing soaps and lotions.

Topical bentonite clay has yielded some amazing results for victims of brown recluse bites. Internal use of bentonite clay is not advised. For best results, mix a small amount of echinacea with the bentonite clay powder. The clay will typically remain useful for about a week, but every bite will be different. Continue for a couple of weeks.

Brown recluse spider bites usually take 6-8 weeks to heal, but this treatment method should speed the process dramatically, and reduce suffering in the meantime. Hopefully it will help victims eliminate, or at least reduce the crater scars that these spiders have become infamous for causing.

Be Prepared

You may not be able to get bentonite clay from local retailers, so every family that has a possibility of being bitten by brown recluse spiders should purchase it as soon as possible, and keep it ready in storage. Once bitten, a person may not be able to obtain it from online sources in time to be useful. Seriously, order it now, along with the activated carbon.


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Mark Schaft
# Mark Schaft 2009-11-25 19:11
Or.. you can move to a habitable region. :lol:
Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor)
# Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor) 2010-04-15 23:48
You mean like that little island that's part of France? You know.... the one where if the sun comes out (like it does once every 14 years) people start screaming "it's the end"!
Mark Schaft
# Mark Schaft 2009-11-25 23:51
It's better than being owned by China. ;-) Also, our homes don't collapse for 50mph "hurricanes". Someday, I'll get into your site and change your banner to a big crown.
Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor)
# Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor) 2010-04-15 23:48
Bring it on!
Margaret Campbell
# nasty spiders is an understatement Margaret Campbell 2011-08-25 06:42
We have been trying to no avail for the last 4 days to get some help my 3.5 yr old has been bit, the doctors here did not believe me and kept telling me to wait and see because these bites are very rare. Her arm has erupted in several spots, I don't know if the clay I have is the right stuff it is Grey Clay by A.Vogel, I put in on last night and again this morning, Hosp Staff are starting to believe me and have now put her on an Antibiotic. The Clay seems to be receding the inflamed. A staff member at the hosp told me to check out your site. Can anyone tell me if I have the right clay and where do I get my hands on the other stuff?Or what should I be asking for exactly?
Thank-you for anyone that can help.
P.S. Please excuse the grammar and probably the spelling to I am a very distressed Mom.
Margaret Campbell
# Brown Recluse Bite Margaret Campbell 2011-08-26 16:51
Thank-you to all who are responsible for these posts and remedies it looks like we have been able to get this under control, we did not have the Benoite clay until yesterday but in 2 applications it has made a huge difference, I cannot express enough how much this site has meant to me. We used grey clay to start and it did help but not to the extent of the Benoite. It scares me to think what we as a people would do if those in power take these types of holistic sites and eye opening information away from us.
Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor)
# Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor) 2011-08-30 03:51
It always warms our hearts to read reports of our research having saved someone. This is especially true for the case of children. The long chain of events that led to you gaining information about how to save your child from severe permanent scarring probably originated from God's grace upon us, so take time to give a thankful toast to him over a meal emphasizing his life-giving bounty.

I can't help but snicker over the fact that The Health Wyze Report is now officially doctor recommended! Of course, doctors and nurses have never been our enemies. They are merely slaves to the broken and corrupt system, and they must use only the tools that they are allowed to use, regardless of the consequences. Although, some of them are quite brainwashed. On the other hand, we are deeply hated by the pharmaceutical industry, and this includes pharmacists (chemists).
Duane Gregory
# Found a brown recluse in Santa Clara California! Duane Gregory 2011-09-10 00:06
My Wife found a brown recluse in our kids room in between the two window panes that slide. I thought that I have seen a recluse before and have taken pictures, but found out that they were not. This time after comparing the picture and ones online, it was the real deal! Thank the Lord, I chased it out then squished it.
So yes, they are in Northern California.
Julie Pifher
# TV Show Casting bite victims Julie Pifher 2012-03-08 20:51
I am casting an upcoming TV show and would like to showcase stories of these bites to raise awareness. Anyone that has been bitten that would like to appear on the show, please email me and tell me what happened, what you did to treat it and the results. Also include any pictures you have as well as contact information.
isabel almonte
# isabel almonte 2012-09-02 20:40
I was bitten by a spider about 3 weeks ago and believe it may have been a brown recluse due to way the bite has looked from beginning to now. I have been to doctor and am taking an antibiotic for 1 week and applying a cream for itching but see no improvement. It is the size of a nickel and full of white pus? Around the edge it is red and bumpy and very itchy. I made a paste today using activated charcoal, echinacea, and clay powder. Could not find bentonite clay powder so am using european clay powder. Hope it works. I am frustrated by this ugly bite and fearful it may get worse. :sad:
Ronda Rae Franklin
# Currently using Bentonite clay... Ronda Rae Franklin 2013-06-11 22:49
Currently using the Bentonite Clay -- I was bitten on Sunday afternoon (about 53 hours ago), but just realized today what bit me. I initially believed it was a Wasp -- but the muscle cramping at the site should have told me otherwise. Now I am cramping all over - and just generally sore, stiff neck, headache, chills and somewhat severe abdominal and stomach cramping. Here's hoping! Thanks for all the great tips.
Casey Washington
# Brown Recluse Spider in Chicago Casey Washington 2013-06-25 22:16
I was bitten by a brown recluse spider approximately a month ago. I didn't think much of the bite at first until my left hand, arm and leg went numb. Other symptoms included fatigue, stomach cramps, fever and muscle aches. I ended up a the hospital ER where doctors didn't believe the symptoms were from the bite, but though I was having a stoke. My frustration was growing as I tried to convince them that the spider that bit me was a brown recluse. When the doctors looked at the wound, the look on their faces was confusion. AFter a CT Scan, EKG and blood test, I was told to put antibiotic cream on the wound and come back if it got worse. Well it did get worse after a couple of days. I went back to the doctor and was given a steroidal creme to use. The wound continued to get worse. Finally I went to the neighborhood health food store where a kind, knowledgeable woman, gave me the same advice as your column. That was the turning point and the wound began to heal. It is still in the healing process, but getting better. Now, I'm researching how to improve the scar from the wound.

And by the way, brown recluse spiders are supposedly rare in my neck of the woods; however they do hitch rides from other parts of the land!
Terry Lynn Mangrum
# Terry Lynn Mangrum 2013-08-15 21:25
My mom did some research at an Oklahoma college when I was bit by a recluse because she had read an article about a doctor in Claremore using a stun gun with paper clips put on a certain way. It most likely is on the internet by now as this was over 7 years ago. It worked wonderfully. You just barely leave the stun gun on a moment and then turn it of, doing it several times around the bite. I was bitten on the neck and woke up with a burning sensation like a fire ant bite. I used ice on it most of the day until later that night, when we used the stun gun.
Liz Shaw
# Friend was bitten Liz Shaw 2013-08-31 22:07
I just found this website a a young friend of mine was bitten a week ago and it is getting worse. The redness area is reducing, but the blister is looking worse. My husband is an RN and made her go to the ER last week, but of course they just gave her Abx and these are doing nothing. She texted me a new photo, and the red area is reduced but the blister is bigger and immediately around it, it is redder. I read on another website that a lady used activated charcoal poultices even a few weeks after the bite and it helped, and since it is after all the stores are closed right now, and that's all she has at home at the moment, she is going to start with a charcoal poultice tonight and lots of Vit. C. Tomorrow she will buy some bentonite clay and echinacea. Now I'm getting the creepy crawlies after reading all these posts and am buying sticky traps (although I think they are a cruel way to kill mice) and lemon oil tomorrow! Will also get some clay to have on hand, but I always have charcoal, in fact doc has me on it right now for a medical problem which is another story for another time! Keep Amber in your prayers - she's been through a lot of health problems at only age 24 already, and is not near her family, so I'm her second mom (she went to the university here and I was her violin teacher when she was in school.) She still lives in the area and is having to work, even though it is hurting her. My husband said he is only going to allow this to go on a few more days, and if there is not some major improvements, we are going to a dermatologist and get a plug taken out of her leg to stop the necrosis from spreading. I'm inclined to agree that we can't let it spread much further. So sending up a prayer that the clay and other measures make a difference! Thanks for all of your information you have shared everyone.
Pamela Akkerman
# My Experience With a Brown Recluse Bite Pamela Akkerman 2013-10-04 17:43
This page was very helpful when I was bitten 4 times near my garden in our North Carolina backyard on Sunday, September 22, 2013. I am a transplanted Minnesota gal so was not sure what a bite would be like. By Monday afternoon, I was working in the garden and noticed that I had 4 white blisters on my middle left toe. I finished and went in to research online what could have bitten my toe. I came across photos of the brown recluse spider bites that within 48 hours, looks like white blisters. I must say I kind'da was a little panicky because one of my adult sons had been bitten while on a TX business trip and he didn't realize it. His whole leg calf was one giant caved in and open sore. I really thought this was what was going to happen to me. I researched and amongst this page, I found pretty much the same information from others that said antibiotics from traditional physicians, will probably not take care of the situation.
I decided to cancel my doctor's appointment and found that the Vitamin Shoppe had everything mentioned here in-store. I drove there the next morning and picked up charcoal, clay, echinacea/golden seal and organic apple cider vinegar. I started using the charcoal and mixed with water immediately but was not sure if I should puncture the blisters or not. For 2 days I did NOT puncture the blisters and it didn't seem to do anything to the blisters. I began having pain in my leg and running a fever. I do have Hashimoto's disease so wasn't sure if there was causing the fever and leg pain. On Friday, I decided to puncture the blisters and place charcoal mixed with water, with a large band-aid covering the area so that the charcoal did not drop everywhere in the house. Within 24 hours I noticed a huge difference. My fever was gone, the pus was gone and I was feeling better. I did have to puncture the blisters several times over a 36 hour period but it was a good thing. I would change the charcoal/water about every 7 to 8 hours because the charcoal could not absorb any more poison after the 8th hour. On the 10th day, my toe/foot was almost normal again. I stopped using the charcoal/water mixture and used the clay/apple cider vinegar for 24 hours. Then I stopped everything.
It has been 12 days since I was bitten 4 times by a brown recluse spider and I only have 4 little red marks on my toe where it is healing. I do spray Bactine on them about 3 times per day just to be careful. I can walk, and do anything I could do before.
BTW - I forgot to mention that I would elevate my foot as much as I could prior to the 10th day. I think this was important to my recover with the charcoal/water band-aid procedure.
I hope my experience helps someone with this same situation and you don't have to have a open sore and scar from being bitten by a brown recluse spider.
Pamela Akkerman
# Castille Soap Was Instrumental Pamela Akkerman 2013-10-04 17:47
I forgot another item that I used in my recover. I am gluten free and normally use Savonnerie Gluten Free liquid castille soap. I washed the 4 bites after removing the old charcoal/water mixture every 7 to 8 hours. I believe it makes a huge difference. If you don't have castille soap in the house, I would get some for major first-aid situations. Good luck!
Glenn Holbrook
# Question about Benoite clay Glenn Holbrook 2013-12-25 01:18
This might be a dumb question but do you apply the Benoite clay directly to the open wound?
Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2013-12-26 16:21
Don't worry about asking questions. Yes, it is applied directly to the open wound.
Glenn Holbrook
# Glenn Holbrook 2013-12-27 14:48
OK.. I should have asked this the first time. How many applications of the Benoite does it take before you begin to see a difference? Yes, this is probably one of those 'it depends' type of questions but I thought I would throw it out there. I've been bitten on the knee cap and I must say it hurts!
Linda Hargraves
# Linda Hargraves 2014-01-15 09:43
Good article! Bentonite clay is very expensive and I have used it for fasting. I plan to purchase some when I'm able as we do live in a house with these spiders. For the first 10 years that we lived here, they were very bad. Our bedroom is upstairs in a renovated attic. We noticed we were getting a lot of silverfish and as that population went up we noticed more and more brown recluse. I keep a clean house, but they were even getting into our bed and dropping from the ceiling. Well, finally after a hail storm we were able to replace our old roof, and viola! No more silverfish feeding on the old roof, and no more spiders feeding on the silverfish! Awesome! We do still have a few spiders in spring and fall. We coexist. It really is true that they hate the smell of peppermint. I mix up a sprayer of water with about 40 drops of the essential oil (not edible kind) and spray every room around the edges and under furniture. The house smells great and I have confidence they are retreated to the extreme dark corners of the basement where they can't hurt anyone. Funny, none of our animals have ever been bitten either in all these years. I must say, this article will probably give me the heebie jeebies for the rest of the day!
Gary Campbell
# Thanks for your site- the only useful info I found Gary Campbell 2015-07-10 16:15
I was bitten by a brown recluse two months ago. I noticed the bite when I woke up so likely while I slept. Went to a Dr. who was useless. She said it may be shingles! Next day I put together a poultice of activated charcoal, bentonite clay, MSM, basil oil, oregano oil, lavender oil, echinacea oil, and tea tree oil. I also took everything except the bentonite clay orally (Yuk). I kept the poultice on 24/7. The wound began to heal the next day and the quarter sized blister fell off in six days.
I just got bitten again three days ago (in bed). I got an activated charcoal poultice on immediately and also took it orally. I followed with the full regime described above after 8 hours. No blister formed and the wound is virtually gone in three days. I thank you for your site and hope this helps your readers.
An aside - I am moving and having the furniture fumigated.
Denise Smith
# This really works!! Denise Smith 2015-07-31 11:44
Got bit by a brown recluse about 2 weeks ago. Two sores on my wrist kept getting worse and couldn't find anything to help. I even took some Bactrim thinking maybe it would help. It didn't. Finally read this post and tried it. Made a paste of bentonite clay and colloidal silver, put it on really thick and wrapped it up and went to bed. This morning it's almost healed!! The smaller sore is just barely a pink spot and the larger one is healed on the top and only the bottom, most recent necrosis is still there, and even it's looking much better. I was afraid it wouldn't work for me since it had been so long since the bite occurred, but it worked very well. Thank you so much for this article!

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The Claimer: The information provided herein is intended to be a truthful and corrective alternative to the advice that is provided by physicians and other medical professionals. It is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, and prevent disease.