Living with nature: This is why you want to avoid black widow spider bites

Jackson Landers, a contributor to The New York Times, recounts his run in with a black widow spider. The black widow spider’s bite is dangerous because of the neurotoxin latrotoxin, which causes the condition latrodectism, a disease consisting of raised blood pressure, generalized muscle pain, abdominal cramps, extreme sweating and tachycardia.

The female black widow has unusually large venom glands and its bite is particularly harmful to humans. But latrodectus bites rarely kill humans if proper medical treatment is provided.

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