That itchy-burning bite on your arm might not be a spider bite at all, many people are blaming arachnids for other types of infections.
Most "spider bites" are not caused by arachnids at all, they are more likely to be caused by small arthropods like fleas, infections, or reactions to chemicals.
"I've been handling spiders for almost 20 years, and I've never been bitten," Chris Buddle, an arachnologist at McGill University in Montreal told LiveScience. "You really have to work to get bitten by a spider because they don't want to bite you."
Spider are reclusive creatures and don't feed on humans, so have no reason to bite. "They are far more afraid of us than we are of them. They're not offensive," Buddle said.
Bites almost always occur when the spider gets startled, like if you were to put your hand in a glove where the arachnid was hiding.
Most spiders aren't poisonous, and in many cases their fangs can't even pierce human flesh.
Buddle saw spiders "moving their fangs back and forth against his skin," unsuccessfully.
Out of over 40,000 spider species worldwide, only about a dozen can cause serious harm to humans. In North America only members of the widow group (like black widows) and the recluse group (such as the brown recluse) can cause medical complications with their bite.
Symptoms of the black widow's bite are widely recognized in the U.S., according to Rick Vetter, a retired arachnologist at the University of California at Riverside via LiveScience. The bite causes not only intense pain, but muscle contractions as well. Anti venom cures most bites, so death from black widow bites is rare.
Brown recluse and black widow bites are often reported in regions where it would be unlikely to come across one of the venomous arachnids.
A survey of 940 doctors in South Carolina reported 478 reported brown recluse spider bites, but there has only ever been one confirmed bite in the state.
"I've had 100 recluse spiders running up my arm, and I've never been bitten by one," Vetter said.
People who think they have spider bites are usually suffering from something else. In California, out 182 patients complaining of spider bites 85.7 percent were actually suffering from infections.
Thirty percent of people who claim to have lesions from spider bites are actually suffering from an MRSA infection. Bedbugs, fleas, poison ivy, poison oak, along with other infections are the more likely culprits of "spider bites."