Brown Recluse
Spider Bites

How to Treat a Brown Recluse Spider Bite After TEOTWAWKI

Posted On September 18, 2012 at 9:23 am by / 65 Comments

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The Brown Recluse is the most poisonous spider in North America. There is a ton of misinformation being spread about the Brown Recluse – including that the Brown Recluse is not found in Florida.

This is untrue, however.

Here are some facts about the Brown Recluse spider that you will need to know if you are to properly treat the Brown Recluse spider bite during TEOTWAWKI:

  • When the Brown Recluse spider bites you, it injects a bacteria that reproduces in your skin and literally eats away at your skin
  • A Brown Recluse spider bite is more dangerous than a Black Widow spider bite – however, both spider bites should be treated in the same fashion
  • A Black Widow spider bite is less serious – you will simply feel like you have a very bad flu for 3 or 4 days, and then you will be back to normal. Your skin will not be eaten away by a run away bacteria. If you get bitten by a Brown Recluse spider, you’ll wish it was a Black Widow.
Here is my story of my Brown Recluse spider bite, and how I treated my Brown Recluse bite. This is by no means to be used as medical advice, and you need to treat your Brown Recluse spider bite however you best see fit. This is how I decided to treat my Brown Recluse bite – and for better or for worse, here are the steps I used.

Treat a Brown Recluse Spider Bite Step 1: Materials

The most effective way to treat a Brown Recluse spider bite is to draw the venom out of your skin via absorption – not by squeezing, sucking, cutting, or bleeding out.

So what is the most absorbing material you can think of?


Here are the materials to gather to follow my spider bite treatment tips:

  • Activated carbon (charcoal)
  • Baggies
  • Cutting board
  • Bread roller
  • Large square/rectangle band aids
Brown Recluse Spider Bite
Get Prepared for TEOTWAWKI – Brown Recluse Spider Bite Treatment 101

Treat a Brown Recluse Spider Bite Step 2: Shave. Definitely Shave.

I didn’t shave my arm the first time – which means it hurt re-dressing the bandage.

Completely shave the area that was hurt – and the entire area around it.

Here’s a picture of me shaving. Like my arm? I think its sexy.

Shave Your Arm Before Getting Your Bandage On!
Shave The Entire Area Around Your Brown Recluse Bite Before Adding a Bandage!

Treat a Brown Recluse Spider Bite Step 3: Get Your Activated Carbon

Getting activated carbon is easy – burn some wood and save the coals. In a hurry to save your skin from flesh eating bacteria produced by a scary Brown Recluse? Run to Walmart and go to the fish tank section – there’s where you’ll find your activated carbon.

Activated Carbon
Activated Carbon – Get It At Walmart BEFORE TEOTWAWKI!


Treat a Brown Recluse Spider Bite Step 4: Make Some Powder

Double bag your carbon (charcoal) and put it on your cutting board. From there, take your rolling pin, and roll the crap outta’ that bag.

Make it into a nice Brown-Recluse-venom-sucking-powder. Yeah, that’s the stuff.

Brown Recluse Spider Bite Powder
Making Activated Carbon Powder

Treat a Brown Recluse Spider Bite Step 5: Put the Powder On Ya Skin!!!

Put a Piece of Wet Paper Towel (Soaked) On the Carbon - It will Draw Venom Better!
Put a Piece of Wet Paper Towel (Soaked) On the Carbon – It will Draw Venom Better!

65 thoughts on “How to Treat a Brown Recluse Spider Bite After TEOTWAWKI

    1. in the pharmacy section I’m pretty sure they have actived charcoal in a liquid form. its used to absorb toxins and make the patients vomit up anything they’ve OD on (as long it wasn’t caustic. You don’t make anybody regurgitate caustic matter) i think i’ve seen it otc. if not ask the pharmacist.

      1. I was reading a lot of these statements of remedy info. The good old days. BAKING SODA – EXCELLENT FOR BITES AND STINGS “DRAWING OUT” VENOMS. Baking soda has salt in it naturally (sodium)is salt. Any drawing agent will do, i.e. bentonite clay, charcoal, diatomaceous earth, Aztec healing clay, etc

    2. I’ve been bitten by a Recluse Spider twice and the first time I didn’t know what had bitten me and then I saw this huge blister which thank God I had the good sense not to poke at. I went to Emergency and ended up sitting in there so long I think I celebrated a birthday and an anniversary there…which are 12 months apart. lol
      They finally got to me and by then the blister was the size of a tennis ball. They broke the blister and put antibiotic cream on it and advised me to get some and to change the bandage apply the cream every day. everyday the blister refilled and got uglier until it looked like my toe nail or the whole toe was going to drop off it was so disgusting looking.
      After almost a month I realized the cream wasn’t working I got some Epsom Salts…soaked my toe dried the area real well…poked the blister with a sterilized needle and then put slices of garlic and immediately I could feel it drawing the venom out.
      I repeated this process every day and within a week it started to feel itchy and I knew it was healing.
      The second time I was bitten I immediately did the garlic cure and that bite healed within a couple of weeks.
      It’s ” old school” babies but it works better than anything.

      1. Next time use the root of elephant earplant or also known asColocasia. Grind the root apply it over night with some gauze. You will be able to feel it all come out but it is better than waiting a month for antibiotics to take effect. Its an old remedie that works pretty fast be advised it will itch really bad but do not scratch.

  1. Charcoal from your fire will be no good. Activated charcoal has been steamed or heated at super high temperatures or pressures

  2. In regards to the misinformation being spread around, you may want to know that Brown Recluses are not poisonous, as you say they are. They are venomous.

    Poison is something you ingest (eat), venom is injected into you.

  3. I dont think that is a brown recluse spider bite. My mom got bit by one a few yrs ago and it started eating the skin from underneath the bite within hours.. She had to go to the doctor daily and have it cleaned and scraped out and medicated for about a month. She now has a scar about the size of a half dollar from the tiny bite it produced. You cant just suck out the poison per say as you are saying but you also have to remove the deteriorated rotting skin and flesh to stop the spreading of the poison. I think you may have been bitten by a different spider and for any spider bite you should go to the doctor before trying to treat yourself.. To tell someone otherwise is foolish and you could end up with a lawsuit someday from someone following your advice and it going horribly wrong…

    1. This is homestead survival! To be used if you are out in the jungle or urban warfare battleground. This is NOT hey try this eventhough you have access to medical care!

    2. She may have been more sensitive to the venom. I was bit by a brown recluse. Didn’t know that it was more than just a standard spider bite till the next day. I never saw a doctor for it. I treated at home and don’t even have a scar. (and yes…it was positively a brown recluse bite…the flesh where the bite was started to literally rot and grow larger and larger).

    3. Amen! I have a scar on my leg from a recluse spider bite. The venom ate a 3/4โ€ hole about 1/4โ€ deep. Went to dermatologist, took antibiotics meds to stop the damage. My skin did grow over the whole but did not fill in the whole. Dr. Said we could inject collagen. I choose not to because it does not look bad. At first I thought it was a mosquito bite, 3 weeks later when it was looking weird, went to the Dr. That spider can be dangerous if not treated.

  4. Use ichthamol ointment aka Black Salve. They sell it at pharmacies but you have to ask…about 6 bucks a tube!…Its a drawing salve….and go to Emergency room for antibiotics1
    ! Any Bite can transmit bacteria from your own skin flora into the wound and any pucnture wound needs to be seen!

    1. My husband was bit by one a few years ago. being we were poor as sin I doctored him as usual. We had some basic antibiotics around the house, started him on a strong dose. Then for days I would put a epsom salt paste on his leg wrapped in a damp wash cloth.This dried the wound up to where a good clean scab developed.

    2. Iodine is probably the best antibiotic in the world. Can be applied topically and ingested (Lugol’s formula, I know for sure).

  5. the main danger here is the flesh-eating bacteria. in my younger, more foolish days, i home-treated with a bandaid compress of goldenseal root powder (which could be added to or alternated with the charcoal). in an emergency, any strong topical antibiotic would help. i do recommend having a good knowledge of first aid regardless. i do have a permanent pit under the skin about the size of a pencil eraser.

  6. Since spider bites are, by nature, acidic, I treated both of my brown recluse bites with iodine. If you want to do it like a hospital should, you can use bedodine. Bedodine is bentonite clay mixed with iodine but I just dabbed it several times with straight iodine and no problems, no scars.

  7. Why is everybody always saying to go to the doctor????? Have we all become such pansies, that we need a doctor to fix all of our boo boo’s like mommy did when we were kids? I have had thousands of puncture wounds that I never went to the doctor for. My sister had a brown recluse bite that she caught in time, and she never went to the doctor. Take the time tested treatments, and grow a pair and you might be surprised just how little you need a doctor. By the way, I unfortunately get reoccurring cysts on my face, and I went to the doctor to have the first one removed. Guess what, it returned, and from then on I have removed then all by my little old self, and a nice pig sticker, and a butt load of peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and paper towels. No need for any doctor there. Charcoal has been used for hundreds of years for many different home remedies, and still stands the test of time. I think I may use it the next time I slice into my face. It may very well cure that area. Thanks for getting the creative gears rolling Andy.

    1. People say to see a doctor because the AMA and the pharmacuticals are extremely powerful – people have been jailed for “practicing medicine without a license,” hence the disclaimers.

    2. Honey is a very effecting anti bacterial agent, the Egyptians used it for centuries for some strange reason bacteria won’t grow in honey, the medical personnel have never figured that one out yet.

    3. Thank you all for the excellent information! I partially stepped on a brown recluse in my bathroom this morning, wearing shoes thankfully. I injured it but didnโ€™t kill it. Since I have a Buddhist mindset, I seldom kill anything. Except ants, roaches and flies, oh my. ๐Ÿ˜ I wrapped the spider in tissue and carried it out of the house. With its injury, it probably will not live long. I now know how to treat a โ€œvenomousโ€ bite should his brothers and sisters come around for revenge. ๐Ÿ˜…

  8. I was bitten by a brown recluse and it took antibiotics to heal them (one bit me 3 times while I was sleeping)! I never heard of using carbon on them at all and I saw a couple in the hospital I worked in and what they, the doctors, did was remove the dead flesh and treated it with really strong antibiotics!! They can be very nasty!!

  9. If you don’t have carbon,soak the bite in salt water for 30 minutes to an hour,then apply a paste of baking soda and cover all night. Wash off next day and do the same thing . The salt draws out poison and the baking soda neutrulizes the skin afterwards.Worked for me.Hope it does for you.Just my opinion. Oh I used hot salty water. And Epsom salts.But I think any salt would do.See your doctor if this doesn’t help.

    1. I found this conversation quite interesting. If I ever get bit by a brown recluse, I of course would go to a Dr. But should I need to treat myself it is always good to hear about self remedies. Also, for those who talked about the rotting flesh that needed to be cut away, if you are in a survival situation, you can put maggots in the wound to treat it. Maggots only eat the proud (dead) flesh or so my husband told me. He learned that in military survival training.

    2. Similar to you, Janie, I’ve been applying a combo of dry table salt and baking soda each night held in place by a bandaid over what appears to be a spider bite. Not sure if it’s a brown recluse because the necrotic area of dead skin remains small and has not increased in size much (pencil eraser) after almost a week since the bite. The salt/soda combo has dried up the weeping, and the necrosis from the venom at least appears at this point to be arrested if not on the mend. If this poultice ultimately proves ineffective, I’ll try the powdered activated carbon apparently available in capsule form from Walmart’s supplement section according to another post. BTW, also I’ve been intermittently applying Mupirocin, a strong prescription topical antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.

  10. I’m not sure where you got your information, however, hopefully I can help you and your followers understand this topic better. First, brown recluse spiders do not inject a bacteria into your skin; they inject a venom that is necrotic, meaning that it kills your body’s cells. Never ever apply heat to, put camphor, phenol or any type of disinfectant or topical anti-itch product on a brown recluse bite – this will increase the rate at which the necrosis occurs. Debridement, the careful removing the dead/dying tissue of the affected area, ice/cold compress application, loose bandages, limiting overall activity, elevation of the affected area, and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection are the best courses of treatment. If necessary, give an antihistamine (i.e. Benedryl) for the itching, and acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) for the pain. The effectiveness of activated charcoal has not been proven. I don’t think this needs to be said, but to err on the side of caution, NEVER attempt to suck out the venom, or cut into the bite area after being bitten.

    1. I have seen lots of information in regards to carbon being used to treat infections, bites and so forth in natural medicine books. Just because you’ve never heard of it doesn’t make it false information. In a survival mode I’m sure you would learn to think outside the box.

  11. They are also found in NJ. I was bitten, went to the ER the next day as it burned and was swollen and itchy. I was treated with high dose antibiotics and was lucky enough to have not needed debridement. I was left with no scars as well. Possibly I was not “bitten” as badly as others.

    1. It doesn’t matter how badly you were bitten. It’s the fact you were bit at all. Spiders don’t judge individually how severely they are going to bite one person vs another. lol

  12. There are also 2 weeds that come to mind that work really well for drawing out poisons/venom. One is the common weed plantain found growing from the cracks of sidewalks and such. The other is called wormwood or mugwort or fish wort and works really well for drawing out. I have used this weed to stop the spread of blood poisoning in less than a half hour. A friend got stung by a wasp and she had a red streak heading up her arm. We lived in a semi remote area and it was a plane ride or helicopter ride to junuea in order to get medical attention. I put the macerated weed on her bite and she came back in a half hour and could bend her arm. The swelling had gone down so that she could pull her sleeve up and the red streak was only an inch long. Several treatments of that and her arm was back to normal. She went to Juneau and they said that there was nothing else that needed to be done.

  13. It also depends upon where the spider bite is as to how bad it can get and how quick. If it’s not near a main artery or vein where the blood supply is, it won’t get as bad as some that I’ve seen and heard about. You still have to treat it.

  14. Thanks for sharing! I did not know this simple treatment! I worry about those spiders because I know someone who was bitten.

  15. As an RN, I can see where the charcoal would be beneficial. Also try using macerated plantain, that nasty old weed you’d like to get out of the yard. Plantain leaves can even be seen in the winter months when it’s cold and frosted over. Broadleaf plantain works best, but narrow leaf will work too. Just macerate the leaf (chew it, mash it with your fingernails, etc) and apply it as a poultice over the bite or wound. It helps take out the swelling, itching and toxins as well.

  16. @ Suzi: Good info, except for your statement that the effectiveness of activated charcoal is unproven. There is lots of scientific evidence about the effectiveness of activated charcoal in adsorbing (as opposed to absorbing) poisons and chemicals, both internally and externally. In many states it is required by law that ambulances carry activated charcoal as part of the standard equipment for use in treating poison and overdose victims, and it has been specifically used in treating brown recluse spider bites, as well as snake bite, and mushroom poisoning. Try a Google Scholar search on activated charcoal for page after page of scientific studies on its effectiveness. And, FYI to everyone, you can buy activated charcoal in powdered capsule form in the supplements aisle at Walmart and most other stores that carry supplements.

  17. Have you tried msg or accent(flavor enhancers)? I have used this on wasp bites and it changes/eliminates the toxin and stops the pain right away. You make a paste of it with water and put a bunch on. That was right after the sting though. Not sure if it would work after the fact as well, since the poison may be in the bloodstream by then.

  18. I was bit three times on the foot three and a half weeks ago. The ulcers did not break open for a week. My foot turned bright red and swelled up , the puss came out constantly. I used this method and started seeing a difference the next day. Two important things to do is soak the activated carbon first for an hour. this will remove the dust that will cause skin tattoing. The most important thing is to use gauze instead of paper towels. This will allow the activated carbon to work a lot quicker to remove the poision.

  19. Several spiders can protect your home from pesky invaders. Cellar spiders-the web-spinning species most common in homes-have been known to prey on black widow spiders. Some, like the spiny orb weaver and house spiders, can hunt crickets and small flying insects. Wolf spiders can help rid lawns and gardens of common pests. Even the brown recluse-the most dangerous spider to humans-can assist by eating cockroaches, silverfish and other soft-bodied insects.’

    My personal online site

  20. There is a lot of good information here. I don’t know about the Brown Recluse bite, but I’m allergic to bee stings. I was stung at a friends home and she immediately got some chewing tobacco out, wet it and put it on the sting. She then covered it with a large bandaid and we put medical tape over it to keep it on. It was wonderful, it drew out the venom. I did not get sick as usual, no swelling, and it didn’t itch. Now I have a can of chewing tobacco in my first aid kit, one in my medicine kit and one in my car. I will be adding activated charcoal to my kit. Thanks.

  21. I have been bitten at the base of my neck closest to my backbone and skull, by the Brown Recluse as of 4 days ago without anti-venom. Most of the hallucinations have subsided now. Pretty soon I will have conquered the Brown Recluse venom too. Once my body fully recuperates, I will have defeated the Brown Recluse and … Black Widow venom. I defy venom.

  22. Thanks for all the great information. My daughter has been bitten in Japan by a brown recluse spider 6 days ago while back packing in the country, we have been sending texts with natural remedies on charcoal bandages and echinacea tablets until she gets better medical treatment back home in Australia. All due to her being to stubborn to see a doctor over there in japan. 18 years old and invincible.
    I hope she gets the texts and the treatment works.

  23. U can try baking soda mixed with water and put it on the spider bite it draws out the venom and take stomach pills it also helps. Trust me it works my brother had a spider bite on his knee and used baking soda and it was gone in like a week maybe longer

  24. Gonna try it all. Wal mart here I come for that carbon and big band aids. Called my doctor regard antiobiotic’s and haven’t gotten the return call yet. Lots of good advice here. Will keep checking back often. thanks everybody.

  25. My 2 children & myself got over brown recluse spider bites using lavender essential oil. Just dabbed it on several times a day as soon as we saw the red circle around the bite.

  26. I was bitten a week ago, August 29, 2014. I went to my doctor on the fifth day. My doctor had quit and went back to her country. I was seen by a Physician’s Assistant, September 3. She told me I should not have tried all the things I had tried in those five days, to do nothing. Someone called in Cephalexin (Keflex). I am to go back August 10. The PA asked me what bit me. I told her a spider. She asked if I had seen it bite me. No, but I was seated at my desk again, I saw a spider run from the waste basket (with my torn up papers in it). It was similar the day before, I was seated near the waste can. I told her, duh, it was circumstantial. Well, I now believe what I had tried contained my bite spot. I had sandpapered a circular area. I guess, a form of cutting the poison out. I bombarded it with different home trial medical chemicals over the five-day period. (All found in our med cabinet.) It did not spread much. Yes, there was some oozing, redness, tingle, sore pain, blisters. I am not cleared yet, but no deep wound. The tiny, itchy blisters drive one crazy. I just applied the referenced Epsom salt paste, and I do not know if it took yet. I will add charcoal to my medicine cabinet too. I laughed at the weed growth thing. I am always pulling those tiny starters between my bricks. I will be 66 in a few days. I, now, recall when I was young, my mother making a baking soda paste for my wasp sting. It did work. I thank you all for your input. It is nice to know that others care about us. If I have been totally wrong, maybe on the 10th the PA will save me. Southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO. Thank you so much.

  27. so, how the crap do you know if it is a spider bite ??? sorry, but any bites that i have seen the spider doesn’t stay around to be seen… especially if your sleeping ? and we have some big mosquito’s in Utah. thanks

  28. From experience the best treatment i got for a brown recluse bite was a treatment from a plant root called elephant ear plant or Colocasia. grounded it up much like the charcoal in the video. Them applied it to my leg over night the next morning i was able to stand and walk better than i was able to while on antibiotics for a week. Even the doctor was amazed by how quickly the root extracted all the pus and infection from my leg. You can literally feel it all come out.

  29. Does someone know whether it is chemicals and/or bacteria that cause the adverse conditions?

    Does anyone know what is the EXACT chemical(s) or the EXACT bacteria that the spider bite injects?

    Does anyone know of a hospital that will actually do testing on the material from the wound or the spider to determine the exact chemicals or bacteria?

    Instead of arguing about any of the above, why isn’t someone actually testing the spiders and figuring this out?

    I dislike how most “modern” medical places do not tell you what is actually happening (or know or care).

  30. I was bit yesterday. Mine has the pustule so it looks like a giant zit. Do I wait for it to pop on it’s own or open it myself?

  31. I stopped my brown recluse bite damage before it began. I did it by quickly opening the bite wound and pouring alcohol on it. It washed away and sterilized it before the bacteria the spider injected could do its damage. Hurt, but not as much as I expected and not nearly as much as a full blown bite’s injury. Made all the difference. Should be a part of the standard of care.

  32. My 5 yr old son was bitten on his wrist and at first we thought it was an itchy mosquito bite. The thing would not heal and grew so to the doc we went for a diagnosis of Brown Recluse bite. I had to scrub his wrist with a bristle brush each day til it bled promoting new healing cells and put antibiotic ointment and rebandage and repeat again the next day. It still took a while to heal.

  33. I’ve had four BRS bites, one that’s on me now. The first two, I used the activated charcoal and it took care of it within days. The last one, I had a blister and my body reabsorbed the venom and I was sick for six days…chills, aches, nausea so bad. This last bite is itchy and it’s getting eaten (necrotic). I’m applying the charcoal onto it tonight. My baby girl had a blister from hers and her foot was swollen this morning and the blister was dime sized and hurting her. There were tinier blisters surrounding the main one. I had to leave to go to work so I lanced it, cleaned it, put itch cream and bandaid on it. I’m using the charcoal on it tonight too. The last time I relied on the doctor, I got a prescrip for antibiotics and a huge ER bill. Since the last one, the landlord sprayed for spiders but I’m suspecting highly that this spider is coming up for snacks on me from my box spring. I’m not sure what to do about that. I heard double sided sticky tape. I’m about to move anyway once I find an apartment. Tired of these things!!! I captured fifty spiders in three days with sticky traps. Half were BRS and the other half were huge wolf spiders.

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