Summer is nearly here – a time when we naturally spend more time outside and have the potential to be exposed to some pretty dangerous spiders.
But unlike Peter Parker’s experience in The Amazing Spider-man, being bitten by a spider doesn’t always give you super powers!
Evan Armstrong, Arachnid Expert at Wild Life Sydney Zoo has helped me put together some hints and tips about the most dangerous spiders in Australia and what do if you find yourself bitten.
Most dangerous spiders:
- Funnel-Web spiders and Red Back spiders.
Most poisonous spiders:
- The Funnel-Web and Red Back spiders.
- There have been 13 deaths caused by Sydney Funnel-web bites.
- Red Back spiders can cause serious illness and have caused deaths in the past.
- There is now anti-venom available for both spiders, to prevent death, which can be given if quickly rushed to hospital.
Where are these spiders most likely found:
- Funnel-Web spiders are found at the bottom of swimming pools and can survive under water for 24-30 hours. They are also found in backyards and bush land areas.
- Red Back spiders are found around Aussie homes as we like the same kind of environments. They build their webs on hard surfaces like rocks, concrete, bricks and event toilets.
Number of spider bites per year:
- More than 250 cases of Red Back spider bites are reported each year.
- 30-40 people are bitten by the Sydney Funnel-Web spider each year.
What to do if you've been bitten
- Most spider bites, including the Funnel-Web spider will require a pressure/immobilisation method of first aid which involves applying pressure to the bite to delay the absorption of the venom.
- Red Back Spiders require an ice pack to be applied to the bitten area to relieve pain. Do not apply a pressure bandage (venom movement is slow and pressure worsens pain).
- Take a picture of the spider so it can be easily identified and quickly rush to hospital to obtain the anti-venom.
Tips to avoid being bitten
- Be cautious when gardening and wear gloves.
- Never put your hands where they cannot be seen.
- If boots or shoes are left outdoors makes sure you shake them before putting them on, as spiders often make dark burrows their home.
- Make sure the bottom of the swimming pool is clear before jumping in.
Keeping these spider danger tips top of mind will ensure that you and your family can enjoy the sunshine without any unexpected surprises.
However, if you want to see how amazing some spiders can be, grab a copy of The Amazing Spider-man on 3D, Blu-ray or DVD from 31st October 2012.