There is a high probability that you might have watched a couple of wildlife documentaries on TV or YouTube. We are always afraid, but yet fascinated, by the dangerous wild animals and venomous insects that we see on our screens. The camel spider is certainly one of the most famous spiders out there! If the name rings a bell, maybe it’s because you heard some stories while it was an internet sensation during the 2003 Iraq war. The rumors of their bloodthirsty nature started to spread online as fast as snake’s venom in your blood. Pictures were showing enormous spiders that would make good material for a horror movie. If you ever wondered what happens if you get bitten by a camel spider, then you are at the right place. Of course, if you look around on Google, there are several pictures of these horrible spiders and the wounds they can inflict, but are the fears really all warranted? Well, we can already make something clear: camel spiders are not venomous. However, their bites can make your skin swell and get infected. Let’s find out together how to deal with camel spider bites in our article down below.
What is a Camel Spider ?
Camel spiders are also called Wind Scorpion, Solifugae, or Sun Spiders and they are mostly found in deserts or dry climates. Also, it is important to note that these spiders are not looking for trouble, meaning they don’t want to bite, nor eat humans. Nevertheless, this weird mix of a scorpion-spider could potentially be dangerous if you are not careful enough.
The first noticeable thing when you come across a camel spider is that it is ferocious-looking, bulky, shrubby, and presents a brown-colored body. Its jaws are quite outstanding, especially due to the fact that they are huge and there are 2 of them. The camel spiders use their jaws for piercing, crushing, and champing their prey. This insect may be only 0.5 millimeters to 3 inches long, but in some places, it can grow up to 6 and even 8 inches. What an arachnid!
Myths and facts about Camel Spider bites
There are many myths about the camel spider. However, most of them are not true. This living creature does not truly disembowel and eat camels’ stomachs or sleeping soldiers. As a matter of fact, these spiders are generally not that big and are just moving around to hide from the sunlight. Therefore, do not worry that it will come and eat you while you are sleeping in a warm bed.
Surprisingly, some people who have seen this spider in action affirm that it can run up to 30 miles per hour, which is almost as fast as a human runner. If you see a camel spider running towards you, do not try to outrun it, because in most cases, it is not trying to run after you. Indeed, it will always try to find a cool spot where to rest, which in that case could be your own shadow and that would be the reason why it’s running in your direction. Evidently, these scorpion-like spiders can bite, and they are quite good at it! However, they would rather go after small insects, lizards, rats, small birds, and snakes than going after you.
What are the symptoms if you get bitten by a camel spider ?
While traveling in the desert, you could indeed get bitten by a camel spider. Here are the symptoms to look out for after you got bitten by one:
1. You will get an acute pain
You will undeniably feel the scissor-shaped jaws when a camel spider bites you. Quickly after that, that snap will transform itself into intense pain. The pain, however, is bearable, so don’t panic.
2. You might get an infection
When the spider bites, it will feel like a shockwave around the wound. An infection and high sensitivity may arise from the bite’s location. Take note that this feeling is totally normal and that you will not die, camel spiders are not venomous.
3. You might lose some blood
Finally, you could be bleeding if the jaws went deep enough. Depending on where the bite is, you might see a few drops of blood here and there, but nothing that can endanger your life. On the other hand, if for some reason the wound looks awful, you should see a doctor as fast as possible.
How to find camel spiders ?
Your chances to find such a spider in a big city are slim to none. You can find a camel spider when you travel and visit a desert… and that’s pretty much it! They are also naturally nocturnal, which makes it even harder to find them. They will crawl out of their sand hole only when it is nighttime to hunt their prey. However, camel spiders sometimes hide by burying themselves in broad daylight under the desert sand. That way, they can keep their body temperature pretty low while staying hidden under the sun.
What you can do when you see a camel spider ?
As previously explained, it is not dangerous when you get bitten by a camel spider, despite all the warnings and rumors. If you ever get face to face with a camel spider, first, don’t panic. Second, try to keep your distance and don’t run or move too fast, so it doesn’t feel scared of you. Last but not least, if it runs towards you, there is a high chance that it is just trying to hide under your shadow and nothing more. As a final note, if you already suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disorder, or allergies, a camel spider bite could potentially be life-threatening. Seek professional advice if you get bitten and suffer from one of the above conditions.