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How Many People Die Each Year From Spider Bites? The Answer May Shock You.

6 Spider Bites Yearly

6 Spider Deaths Years

About 6. That's it. 

Ask the average person about spider bites in the United States and there is likely to be a general consensus that dying from poisonous spiders is a very real, legitimate concern. From brown recluse spiders to black widows, poisonous spiders do indeed exist, and Pest Control Everything has taken a close look at occurrences of deadly spider bites in the United States over the past decade or so in an effort to determine just how real of a concern spiders should be. So do people in the U.S. actually die from spider bites with any level of consistency?


Spider DeathsFor the most part, the answer is no. A recent 2018 study released in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine documented an aggregation of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) database found that from 2008-2015, an average of just 6 people die each year in the United States from spider bites. With a population of a hair over 327 million, that puts your chances of dying from a spider bite somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 in 50 million. 

All told, the study found that of the 1,610 animal-related fatalities during this time, about 57% of those deaths resulted from encounter with non-venomous animals, and according to Jared A. Forrester, MD, Department of Surgery, Stanford University, "most deaths [were] not actually due to wild animals like mountain lions, wolves, bears, sharks, etc., but [were] a result of deadly encounters with farm animals, anaphylaxis from bees, wasps, or hornet stings, and dog attacks." While only 3% of the total deaths were attributed to spider bites, about 30% were a result of encounters with stinging pests such as bees, wasps, and or hornets...meaning people in the U.S. are ten times more likely to die from the sting of a bee or wasp than they are to die from a spider bite. 

The takeaway...

So what does this data tell us? On the one hand, death by spider bite in the United States is quite rare. You're about 6 times more likely to die at the hands of a dog and 10 times more likely to die from a bee or wasp than you are to die from a spider bite. On the other hand, the law of averages tells us that anything will happen that can...and we should expect 6 of us to die this year from a spider bite. So when in proximity to a poisonous spider population, it's always best to exercise caution and seek the services of a professional spider exterminator. 

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