Camel spiders have become famous since the beginning of the 2000s, when the first American soldiers entered Iraq. These spiders were told to be up to a half of a human’s height, deadly poisonous and extremely fast running. What is more, they were blamed for chasing poor and frightened people. The most horrible rumor about these creatures is that they feed of large animals including camels and humans, eating their stomach while they are sleeping. Undoubtedly, they now have a very bad reputation and they are a real nightmare for all those who never saw them alive.
Camel Spider Common Facts
So, let’s cast light on the mysterious spiders and find out if their bites are really so poisonous.
How Big are Camel Spiders?
They have variety of species with a range of sizes. Most solifugae are no more than 15 mm. Some unique species reach 5-7 cm in length.
Where do They Live?
Solifugae distribution includes primarily arid areas and deserts around the world except Australia. They are mostly beige, light-brown or sand colored. But there are some tropical species, which have a more picturesque appearance.
How do Wind Scorpions Bite?
The most distinctive trait of camel spiders is, of course, their huge chelicerae. Small creatures aren’t able to prick human skin. As for big ones, it is not a problem for them. Their bites are nevertheless not poisonous as they don’t have glands, which produce venom. In other words, wind scorpions don’t need poison because their powerful claws can easily kill and grind any prey.
As for their diet, it includes different insects, small lizards, and birds as well as other spiders and even scorpions. The latter are often weaker against camel spiders’ large chelicerae, which quickly grab and isolate scorpions’ horrible killing device – a sting, without which they become a delicious food for solifugae.
Why do They Chase Humans?
Another myth concerns humans’ chasing by camel spiders. Do they want to reach a human in order to bite or to even eat? Of course, not. Solifugae never hunts on animals, which are much larger than themselves. The reason of chasing people is simple. They seek humans’ shade. At night camel spiders are often seen running after a spotlight or reaching a campfire.
Why are Solifugae Dangerous?
Despite having no venom glands, camel spiders are dangerous for people to some extend. They can lead to the wound infection and in rare cases to sepsis. The matter is that the chelicerae are covered with their previous prey’s rotting residues, which get into the wound during the bite.
How to Avoid a Wind Scorpions’ Attack?
- The best way to keep solifugae further from you is to get rid of open food. They do not feed on our products, but hunt on other bugs that prefer to forage near humans. Keep your area clean and tidy.
- While sitting near the fire, protect your skin by putting on long sleeves and socks. Wind scorpions are lured towards light sources. In the house there should be no cracks and holes, which allow them to enter inside. Hang opaque blinds on the windows in order the light won’t be noticed by them.
- If a camel spider chases you in a hot sunny day, don’t panic. It just follows your shade. Find somewhere bigger shade too and the creature will leave you alone.
How to Treat Camel Spider Bites?
Being non-poisonous, solifugae’s bites more resemble common wounds. That is why, the first aid should include actions to avoid contamination:
- Wash the bitten place thoroughly with warm water and antibacterial soap.
- Apply any antiseptic ointment on the spot place.
- Protect he wound with putting a bandage on it.