Spinnenbiss – Was tun? – Symptome erkennen und richtig handeln

Spinnenbiss – Was tun? – Symptome erkennen und richtig handeln

Das Wichtigste in Kürze

  • Ein Spinnenbiss in Deutschland ist zu erkennen als einzelner roter Fleck und in der Regel nicht gefährlich.
  • Ernsthafte Symptome sind Schmerzen, starke Rötung und Schwellung, Erbrechen, Krämpfe und Kreislaufversagen.
  • Sofortmaßnahmen: Spinne lebend einfangen und mitnehmen zum Arzt. Leichte Beschwerden behandeln mit Eiswürfeln und entzündungshemmender Salbe.

Is a spider bite dangerous in Germany?

Germany is not a crisis area for a spider bite. The vast majority of native species of spider are non-poisonous to humans. Spiders have a secluded life in the field, forest and garden or well hidden in buildings. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that the paths of spiders and humans cross, which in an emergency could result in a spider bite. Mild pain and a small red spot are the most common symptoms. Sometimes it itches for a short time and the confrontation is quickly forgotten. There are good reasons why you shouldn't completely ignore a spider bite in Germany.

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Since global warming has become increasingly noticeable, those affected cannot simply go back to the agenda when a spider has bitten. Rising temperatures mean that some poisonous spiders have made the leap over the Alps and are spreading in our regions. There is therefore no clear answer to the question "Is a spider bite dangerous in Germany?" Rather, the potential risk depends largely on the accompanying circumstances. This guide explains what these are and what to do after a spider bite.


Big angle spider - harmless monster

spider bite

As a typical cultural follower, the great angle spider (Eratigena atrica) spreads fear and horror when it rushes through the room with its eight long, hairy legs. The majestic house spider can bite, but humans and pets are usually spared. The long-legged monster has its sights set on wood lice and other pests. Frightened Big Angle Spiders sometimes run towards a person, which is mistakenly interpreted as an attack. In fact, the shy spider is on the run and is desperately looking for a dark hiding place. Ideally, you clear the way for the fleeing angle spider. Alternatively, you can catch the spider with a glass, slide a piece of paper under it, carry it to a distant corner of the garden and give it freedom.

Recognizing a spider bite - symptoms

What does a spider bite look like? After waking up in the morning or working in the garden, indefinable skin irritations raise this question. The most important indication of a spider bite is a single red spot. Spiders are not parasites, live solitary and not in large schools. If the shy animals get into distress, they bite once and run away. In contrast, blood-sucking mosquitoes, angry bees, bed bugs, fleas and other vermin cause multiple bite and stab wounds. The following table summarizes common symptoms after a spider bite, differentiated according to harmless and dangerous:

harmless / harmlessdangerous / toxic
small, red spotstrong pain
slight reddeningmassive swelling
annoying itchingBlistering / necrosis
Mosquito bite-likenausea
Fever / chills
Circulatory failure

Please note that this overview does not claim to be scientific completeness. Rather, the aspects mentioned relate to symptoms of spider bites in healthy adults. For small children, allergy sufferers and debilitated seniors, it is advisable to consult a doctor as soon as possible after a conflict with a spider. Tiny, poisonous claws of garden spiders effortlessly pierce delicate baby skin with correspondingly severe side effects. In addition, it has mostly not yet been found out in a toddler whether there is a spider bite allergy.


Hard-working pest controllers for free

For pests in the house and garden, the encounter with a spider does not end well. In fact, spiders are busy preying on other insects such as lice, mosquitoes, mosquito larvae, flies and similar pests. Experts have determined that spiders living in Germany alone eat more than 5 tons of insects every year. Worldwide it is a record 800 tons. In comparison, we humans eat around 400 tons of meat and fish every year. This fact characterizes spiders as insatiable eating machines and important natural pest killers in the house and garden. Without their jaws and venomous claws we wouldn't have to fear any spider bites, but in return we would sink into a sea of ​​pests.

What to do after a spider bite

The above overview shows that a spider bite can have harmless and dangerous consequences. The recommended reactions are tailored to this. Safe symptoms can be relieved quickly with simple home remedies. In the case of severe symptoms, there is imminent danger, so that immediate action is required. What to do after a spider bite in Germany is illustrated by the following lines:

Catch or photograph a spider

Should you catch a vicious spider red-handed, grab the opportunity for a clear identification. To do this, you capture the long-legged offender alive. This can be done easily and in an animal-friendly way with a spider gripper or insect trap. A drinking glass that you put over the spider is well suited for live trapping and inspection. A piece of cardboard pushed underneath makes the catching glass break-proof. Alternatively, take a quick photo of the fleeing spider. If these methods fail, briefly write down the main characteristics of the insect for later research and precise identification.

Self-treatment for mild symptoms

spider bite

You can treat mild discomfort after a spider bite yourself. Home remedies and medicines from the medicine cabinet relieve itching, prevent swelling and inflammation. The following brief instructions explain step-by-step what to do after a spider bite:

  1. Rinse the bite wound with clear water
  2. ideally dab with an iodine-soaked cotton pad
  3. Cool the wound with an ice cube, ice pack or cooling pad
  4. Treat the chilled, swollen area with ointment against itching and inflammation
  5. Watch the spider bite closely for 30 to 60 minutes

If you do not notice any improvement after one hour, please contact your family doctor. If symptoms occur during observation, such as a blister, a red circle or bleeding and leakage of moisture, please drive to the nearest doctor's office immediately.

Act correctly in the event of severe symptoms

If you suffer from severe pain and other severe symptoms after a spider bite, you need to act immediately. Nevertheless, you should take a moment to capture the spider, take photos or quickly write down important features. The more specifically you have to determine the species of spider, the more effectively your doctor can treat you. What to do after the bite of Nurse Thornfinger or another poisonous spider:

  1. do not initiate self-treatment
  2. do not scratch and do not cool
  3. Bring the spider bite victim to the doctor (if you are affected do not drive yourself)

Significant swellings are characteristic of a spider bite from a thorn finger or a cross spider. By keeping your arm or leg high during transport, you contain the process. With expert medical treatment, the worst symptoms will subside within three days. The bite wound itself remains red and swollen for some time. Permanent damage is not to be feared.


Skin areas with inflammation or necrosis of unclear origin should not be lightly dismissed as a spider bite. Experts warn of fatal misdiagnoses that mistake spider bites for Lyme disease, herpes, staphylococci or skin cancer. If the symptoms worsen and the spider bite happened at night without visual contact with the spider, the diagnosis should be critically examined.

Spider bite in Germany - which spider has bitten?

spider bite

Most of the spiders in Germany are harmless and useful lodgers who prefer to live in secret. Meanwhile, in the course of global warming, various poisonous spider species have immigrated to Germany, whose bite should not be taken lightly. Have you captured or photographed the culprit? Then please take a look at the following table with important identifying features of poisonous spiders in Germany whose spider bites can be dangerous:

Dangerous spidersNurse DornfingerGarden spiderField angle spiderEuropean black widowCurled SpiderWater spider
size10-15 mm7-18 mm9-12 mm7-15 mm10-19 mm8-15 mm
colourRed orangevariable coloringyellowish brownblackyellow-brownbrown
special featurelong, light brown legsCross on the backyellow stripe on the front13 red spots on the abdomen5 cm long legsthickly hairy abdomen
Spider bite appearanceswollen, like a bruiselike mosquito bitelike mosquito biteRedness, swelling, blisteringlike bee stinglike wasp sting
Occurrence+ Field and forest+ Field and forest+ Lawn, dry grass+ dry grassland+ Pine forest+ under water
+ in tall grass+ Garden+ Edge of wood, hedges+ sunny rock garden+ under stones+ under bank stones
scientific nameCheiracanthium punctoriumAraneusEratigena agrestisLatrodectus tredecimguttatusZoropsis spinimanaArgyroneta aquatica

The hazard potential of these spiders is based on a combination of powerful mouthparts and a debilitating poison that is injected into the skin. The larger the spider, the more consequential the spider bite, because a larger amount of toxins enters the human body.

More detailed explanations

The spider bite from the nurse's thorn finger really hurts. Its powerful jaw claws can easily penetrate human skin to inject poison. This results in massive swellings that require a visit to the family doctor. However, the victims are not to blame for the dilemma. Nurse thorn fingers only bite if their clearly visible webs of living space are destroyed or a female believes her brood is in danger.

As the only domestic spider with a low risk potential, the garden spider is widespread in Germany. Their short, poisonous claws can rarely bite through human epidermis, except for delicate children's skin. The field angle spider is closely related to the well-known house angle spider. Numerous medically relevant bite attacks are ascribed to this species of spider. A small spider bite from the angle spider is said to cause severe symptoms. However, experts suspect classic misdiagnosis because no bite was observed directly, which rules out unambiguous identification.

The immigrant European black widow is of a completely different caliber. The spider bite is associated with severe pain, including circulatory collapse and respiratory arrest. Of course, the spiders are not very aggressive and lazy to bite. However, anyone who destroys the safety net or squeezes the spider and brings it into distress will not be spared the extremely painful spider bite. The large curled-up spider is clearly in a bad mood, whose powerful claws effortlessly penetrate thinner areas of skin and leave bee sting-like bite wounds.

In the near future, the water spider will probably no longer be considered in this overview. The spider of 2000 is critically endangered and is on the Red List of Endangered Species. The only spider living in the water is dependent on clear, standing or slowly flowing water with dense vegetation. Environmental pollution and extensive use of pesticides rob the shy water spider of their habitat, so that an encounter or even a spider bite is unlikely.

Preventing spider bites at night - tips & tricks

spider bite

Hobby gardeners who are close to nature warmly welcome spiders in the garden as busy helpers against pests of all kinds. No more fun when the arachnids invade the house in autumn in search of cozy, warm winter quarters. Above all, shuddering creates the idea that nocturnal insects hide in the bedroom and sneak into bed at night. If people turn around in their sleep, the uninvited bedfellows come under the wheels and bite. It doesn't have to come to that if you refuse spiders entry into your home. This is how it works:

  • Equip windows and doors with close-meshed insect screens
  • When it gets dark, no windows tilt in illuminated rooms
  • Ban night lights from bedrooms
  • Remove cobwebs from the house regularly

Light sources outside of the house magically attract spiders. Here the beasts hope for fat prey. This is the reason why spiders can often be seen on lamps on balconies and patios, in house entrances or conservatories. Do not leave lights on permanently. If you equip the lamps with a motion detector, the light only shines for a short time to show you and your guests the way at night.

Scent barriers are ineffective

Scented walking barriers against spiders have no effect. What is praised as a repellent against mosquitoes in the form of essential oils and fragrant herbs leaves hard-boiled spiders cold. The German Wildlife Foundation was able to observe that cross spiders don't care about the presence of scents and aromas. Where a heated roof overhead beckons, the long-legged vagabonds wander into the house unmoved, past all scent barriers.

frequently asked Questions

Spider bite or pimple? How can I tell the difference?

To distinguish a spider bite from a conventional pimple is immediately difficult for the layman. By using a magnifying glass, there is a good chance of an informed distinction. A spider bite occurs because the thorn finger or the spider bite shut with the mouth tool. The mouthparts consist of the upper jaw claws and the lower venomous claws. The bite wound thus leaves two small wounds that cannot be recognized by a pimple.

Is a spider bite dangerous for my dog?

spider bite

Poisonous spiders only become dangerous for your dog when they feel threatened. Nurse thorn fingers, garden spiders and water spiders do not torch and bite for long. However, the amount of poison injected is too small to cause serious damage to your four-legged friend. If you observe symptoms such as increased salivation, disorientation, vomiting or cramps, please consult a veterinarian immediately.

What to do after a spider bite

First, try to catch the vicious spider alive with a glass. Then locate the bite wound, which can be recognized by its slight redness, swelling and itching. Cooling is the best immediate measure against discomfort after a spider bite. After half an hour, apply an anti-inflammatory ointment. If the symptoms worsen with nausea, dizziness, fever and chills, please go to your doctor and take the captured spider with you.

How dangerous is a spider bite in Germany?

Most native spiders, both indoors and outdoors, are harmless. Either their fangs are too weak to bite through the skin or the injected poison is not strong enough to cause serious harm. A few, very rare species of spider in Germany can emit such a strong poison with their bite that it is dangerous for humans and pets. These include wet nurse thorn finger, garden spider, water spider, curled spider and European black widow.

Does an ultrasound device help against spider bites at night?

Spiders have no ears and no hearing. Nevertheless, the insects can perceive sounds. For this reason, the bodies are covered with gossamer sensory hairs, with the help of which spiders perceive sound waves. As a result, ultrasound devices are touted as an effective remedy against spiders and nocturnal spider bites. Your bedroom will actually remain spider-free for a short time. However, the insects quickly get used to the sound waves and ignore the din. Where there are spiders, confrontations with humans are the exception, but spider bites at night cannot be ruled out.

How can a spider bite from a garden spider be recognized?

Garden spiders are one of the few species of spider whose bite can have noticeable consequences for a person. With their powerful mouthparts, the insects can penetrate thin areas of skin, such as the hollows of the knees or armpits. The spider bite can be recognized by two puncture wounds on the skin, mostly associated with slight reddening. In contrast to other insect species, the garden spider usually only bites once and escapes. If you see multiple stab wounds, there are other causes behind them, such as mosquitoes, bed bugs or fleas.


If a red circle forms around the wound after a supposed spider bite, please consult a doctor. Circular, red edges around a bite wound indicate borreliosis. If the red circle continues to expand, there is hardly any doubt about an infection. Borreliosis is primarily triggered by ticks that lie in wait in the garden or on the move and not by spider bites.