In our stick and brick homes, we humans constantly try to kill all wilderness around us. We relentlessly drive off all the animals. We raze the trees, push the mountains into the valleys, and cover it all with asphalt and cement. We ceaselessly try to annihilate any semblance of the wild, so we can live in our precisely manicured little world. But, even then, our home can become infested with spiders and other crawly bugs, for which we have created an arsenal of poisons and traps.

Then, we get a good idea- “Hey, let’s get an RV and go live in the wilderness!”

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?

In this episode of 1,001 Ways to Die in Your RV, we will look at spiders. About 11 people a year die from spider bites, in the US. That doesn’t seem like a worrisome number of deaths, as long as you’re not one of those 11. But, even this seemingly low number of deaths makes spiders more deadly than bears.

Fortunately, while a great many spiders are poisonous, only a handful are potent enough to harm a human. Many simply can’t puncture human skin.


Those at highest risk of death or complications from spider bites, include: children, the elderly, and people in poor health. Also, some people are simply more allergic than others to spider venom.

A few years ago, I was cleaning up lumber scraps in the yard when I felt something like a mosquito bite on my cheek. I brushed it off, and saw it fall. Luckily, it landed on a piece of plywood, or else I wouldn’t have known what it was. It was a Brown Recluse spider. I immediately washed the bite area and then smeared it with vitamin E which, in my experience, has always neutralized wasp stings. It left no mark, but for the rest of the day, my face tingled and I had a slight headache (I NEVER get headaches). Many people are much more adversely affected than that.


Experts tell us to seek immediate medical treatment for spider bites. For most spider bites, however, there is simply no treatment available or even necessary. I understand that only Black Widow spider bites are treated with anti-venom. I understand that mostly doctors just monitor the bite. On the other hand, I’ll bet those 11 people didn’t seek medical attention.


There are some home remedies recommended for spider bites, that I call BAD PIE. These are mostly applied to the skin and include: Baking soda paste; Activated charcoal; Don’t scratch; Potato poultice; Ice, and Elevation.


Spiders become more apparent, in our RVs, in the fall. Many people are of the belief that these spiders are coming inside to escape the winter. But, the truth is, they’ve probably been there the whole time. Fall is mating season for spiders, and they become more active and come out to explore your RV.

Spiders like to lurk in dark, secluded places. In your RV, reduce clutter anywhere you find it. Inspect your bed sheets and pillows. Inspect and shake out clothing before putting them on, including shoes and underwear. Especially underwear. Don’t hesitate to use that arsenal of traps and poisons.

Yes, yes, I know, spiders are beneficial, and mostly harmless, and mankind would cease to exist if it were not for spiders, blah, blah, blah. Heard it all before. Obviously, you’ve never died from a spider bite, or had your flesh rot off because of one.

I have two cans of poison, and a little car vac, and I have no intention of going out without a fight.

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