Spider and Bug Bites - Home Inspection Pitfall

Well, having been bit by a couple different varieties of spiders, it happened again a couple days ago… a nasty bite and swelling! Wife thinks it was a black widow (would be the 2nd time for me) I didn’t catch the critter.

Just kind of curious how many other folks have been bitten and more importantly, what you do to avoid.

I for one, wear a jump suit and a “spray sock” over my head along with a dust mask when accessing crawlspaces and attics, although I’m not as consistent in the attics :roll:

The jump suit and spray sock only leave a small area vulnerable… a band at about the collar line… and low and behold that’s where I got bit. A stupid 1/2" opening and WHAM!

Fever, chills, nausea and a lil swelling to boot! I’m fine for now after some anti-histamines and some other over the counter stuff. I’m Lucky!!

I will try and remember to wipe a little bug of bug repellant on my neck from now on. Total of 3 fairly nasty bites and who knows how many others…

I’ve been careful after getting a really nasty infection on my leg from a bite, but…

Anyone got a better idea? We crawl under houses and lot’s o places where critters hide. Just a thought and be careful out there!


Sorry, small no hazardous critters around here except maybe deer ticks.

Black widows twice here, I hate spiders lol i normally get a least 3 to 4 a year, I am just waiting to for webs shooting out of my arms.

In Florida we have the “Brown Recluse Spider” — this is a dime size spider that injects a venom that eats away at the muscle tissue. If you get a bite, say on the thigh, it will become a dime size deep open wound by the second day — the wound will grow in size and depth each day as it eats away at the muscle tissue. The initial bite is a little painful, like getting stuck with a needle, but most of the pain and damage occurs over the next week or so. For this reason, unsuspecting individuals that are bitten do not normally seek immediate medical attention — by the third day the pain is unbearable. These spiders are not normally aggressive and prefer dark hidden areas (thus the name Recluse), like attics. To avoid getting bit you need to turn on lights and scare them away before probing around. I have caught many of the critters, they are also called violin spiders due to a marking on their back. They are very similar to the Yellow Orb Spider (which is also dangerous). I have never been biten, but many of my freinds have – 7 days in the hospital and talk of aputating a leg in one case. Potentially very serious damage and no real treatment available to stop the damage — it has to run its coarse.

Check out this link and scroll down to day nine – pretty gruesome

Cut and paste the entire line into the browser, not just the blue highlighted portion

Rub your arms and legs with Bounce dryer sheets. Put one in each sock, and one in each back pocket. (stuff one in your shorts). In crawl spaces, as I wear gloves, stuff one in each. Same thing pro-golfers do. Look close, you will see them.

9 years, 4 foot hay, crawl spaces, never bitten.

Don’t laugh; it works. Put them around your basement, rooms, furniture, you will never have bugs in your home. And, you and your home will smell wonderful!!!

Never been bitten, but I do encounter black widows with some regularity, especially this year. I encountered black widows on my last two inspections and have built up a decent photo gallery of them.

I try to spot them before they are close enough to bite. Black widow webs are fairly distinctive, locations of their webs are pretty predicable, the spiders and egg cases are certainly easy to spot even if you can’t see their undersides. I have been told that they are much more aggressive while guarding an egg sac.

Some of my images:


Cool pics Chuck! I see the widows almost everyday, hadn’t thought of taking a picture of them.

The bounce sheets… I suppose I could try. By the end of the day, I don’t think they would hurt… hot out here and sometimes a fresh shirt isn’t enough. :slight_smile:

Never been bit thank God but I was remodeling a house in Thousand Oaks Ca. and we killed seven baby rattle snakes while we were there. The gardener said they go under the house all the time. Better watch out…

Check out our “Safe Practices for the Home Inspector” course](http://www.nachi.org/safety_course.htm)and book for the sections on identifying and avoiding all kinds of critters (with some informative and not-very-pleasant photos), as well as first-aid tips, if you have a close encounter.

Never heard the tip about the dryer sheets before – maybe we’ll put that in the next edition!

not too many crawls here, and for the most part it is too fricking hot in attics for insects…

Every spring I find Bees, I do not like finding Bees, so far no stings…

twice stung by scorpions at my own house…


Damn they hurt too…!!!

Dryer sheets, no kidding? I’ve never been bitten but we don’t have to worry about much other than the Brown Recluse around here.

Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa)

Because the brown recluse cannot live in temperatures below 40°F, Michigan is not high on its list of vacation hotspots. In fact, the brown recluse is extremely rare in Michigan, having been documented here only once. In this case the spiders were found in a heated building and were probably introduced in materials shipped from the southern United States.


There is an Antibiotic that works, however, Dr. must administer within 24 HR’S! The bite looks like the stuff in a Fig Newton. Very Dangerous!!!

Moth Balls as a good repellant for snakes, work as good as Sulphur. Place at 4 to 5" intervals around your house, replace at 90 days.

I have heard of that. The problem is that most people wait more than 24 hours, not realizing what has bitten them. The bite is painful, but the pain increases over time.

1 Like

What does it keep away, Cotton Moths? lol

If you do get bites, take Benydril twice a day for a couple of days. Bugs that bite hate that stuff.

Had to go to hospital about a year ago, over 50 bee stings, while brush hogging .

Very carfull now while brush hogging or inpecting vacant properties

Hi Tim - I see these widows in cawlspaces also- usually near the entrance and vent windows - I carry a spray can of RAID and spray the entry area. wait a few miniutes before entering. I also wear protective gear overalls and paint sock - like you said it covers most areas. I came out of a crawspace not too long ago and I had two wiidows on my overalls around my back, luckily my client noticed them and brushed them off. My Most recent encounter of critters were bees - Stepped on a wood plank deck perimeter of a spa and without warning a swarm of bees from nowhere attacked my head (I was wearing a ball cap) as that went flying along with my eyespecs as I danced, summersulted and pranced for cover. The clients darted one way and I the other swatting, ducking and juking, bobbing and weaving until I safely entered the house. A few followed me in as I got into the house. Still attacking I swatted until there were no more bees. Stings about my head, face, neck and arm areas. Luckily I had no reaction to the stings. Looked like chuckle the clown all painted with insect bite ointment for about a week. I am sure other inspectors have encountered similar insect encounters as one can think he is protected by covering as much as possible and then the unexpected happens. Be safe out there!