Although most spider bites contain poison, only a few species have venom strong enough to be harmful to humans. There are poisonous spiders in Arkansas and the entire United States. It is important to be able to identify poisonous spiders that may lurk in your home, gardens, attics and basements. If you know you have been bitten by something, but do not know what, you should seek medical attention if it does not heal within a few hours, in order to avoid long-term complications from a potentially poisonous spider bite.

A spider bite can be deadly.

Black Widow

A black widow is one of the most harmful species of spiders and is found in Arkansas. This spider is timid and will not bite a human unless it is threatened. Female black widow spiders are shiny black in color and have a red, hourglass-shaped figure under their abdomen. Male black widows have spots on their backs and red and yellow bands. Typically, they are only 1 to 1 ½ inches long, but the leg span may measure up to 3 inches, according to the Bad Spider Bites website. Once a person is bitten, he may experience tightness in the chest area and the muscles in the affected area may stiffen. A rise in blood pressure, fever, nausea and sweating are other symptoms you may experience. Less than one percent of the population bitten by a black widow result in fatalities, according to the Kaston website. Children, the elderly and sick individuals may experience asphyxia within 14 to 32 hours after the bite occurs. Medical attention is necessary to prevent long recovery times and further complications.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown recluse spiders are usually small, typically about the size of a quarter and is often seen in Arkansas. They are light tan in color. They have a dark shape on their backs. The shape is often compared to a violin, thus resulting in their nicknames being violin or fiddle spiders. Unlike most spiders who have eight eyes, the brown recluse has three pairs of eyes for a total of six. Once bitten, most people say there was only a mild stinging, but the bite can result in cell death leading to large open wounds that take quite some time to heal properly. The poison can destroy red blood cells and cause failure of the kidney or liver, according to the Kaston website. After experiencing a bite the site may turn red, sore and produce blisters, followed later by chills, nausea, fever and a general malaise. If you see a brown recluse spider or suspect you've been bitten, kill the spider but do not destroy the body and take it with you to see a doctor.

Hobo Spider

The hobo spider is typically about the size of a silver dollar with a body length of approximately 12 to 18 millimeters, according to the Hobo Spider website. It has a chevron or herringbone pattern on its back, which may be hard to identify since the spider is brown in coloring. Originally only seen in the Northwest portion of the United States, it is commonly seen in Arkansas and many other states. The web is usually in a funnel shape. The bite of the hobo spider is sometimes only of a defensive nature, the spider bites the victim, but does not inject venom. These types of bites usually disappear within a few hours of the occurrence. When the spider does inject its venom, you may see a large red area, within 24 to 48 hours experience blisters that burst, and leave an open wound. The wound will scab over and may even heal by itself within a few weeks of the incidence, although it will leave a scar. If a venomous bite occurs in an area with fatty tissue, the area may not heal for two or three years, so it is always best to contact your doctor if you suspect any spider bite.