Black widows may not be the largest and most intimidating spiders to look at in the United States, but they certainly do not appear friendly, and they are definitely the most venomous of all North American spiders. Many Americans are under the impression that dangerous and highly venomous spider species do not exist in the northeast region of the US, as no deadly spider species can survive the cold of New England, right?
According to the Connecticut Poison Control Center, it is rare to spot a black widow in New England, let alone be bitten by one. In fact, officials claim that black widow spiders only reach the New England area after being accidentally transported to the region, but one recent study claims that black widows are beginning to migrate farther north. This northward expansion of the black widow habitat may be due to climate change making northerly regions more hospitable to black widow populations. Although black widow populations are traditionally thought to be minimal to non-existent within New England, residents of the region may now be thinking otherwise, as a Massachusetts girl nearly lost her life in response to a black widow bite that she sustained within the state.
Although five year old Kailyn Donovan did not feel the black widow bite that she sustained on the back of her knee, the venomous bite was surely going to kill the young girl had she not received timely medical attention. After Kailyn developed a fever, her parents assumed that it stemmed from a cold. However, Kailyn’s symptoms worsened, and the black bruise that her mom had noticed on the back of her knee a few days prior also became larger. Naturally, the girl’s parents rushed her to the ER where she was given antibiotics, but the bruise and flu-like symptoms persisted. Not long thereafter, an infectious disease specialist identified the bruise as a black widow bite, as the discoloration had literally been venom that the spider injected beneath the girl’s skin. Luckily, after receiving proper treatment, Kailyn recovered, but her parents are warning other Massachusetts parents about the dangers that the spiders pose to children, even in Massachusetts.
Do you believe that black widow bite cases will increase in Massachusetts in the upcoming years?