SPVM has received up to 30 per cent more calls about redback spiders, than the same time last year. It is believed that rain is responsible for the explosion in spider numbers.
Redbacks are generally found in playgrounds, toys, crevices and outdoor furniture. Since Redback Spiders don’t stray from their webs often, it is unlikely that a human will be bitten unless they come into direct contact with the web or female spider.
There have been no deaths in Australia from a confirmed spider bite since 1979. An effective antivenom for Redback Spiders was introduced in 1956. Source: Sutherland, S K and Nolch, G (2000) Dangerous Australian Animals. Hyland House, Flemington, Vic. 201 pp. ISBN 86447 076 3
The bite of the Redback Spider is highly venomous. Common symptoms of a Redback Spider bite include:
- Profuse sweating
- Muscular weakness
- Loss of coordination
- Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain
- Severe localised pain at the bite
- Convulsions (in serious cases)
A Redback Spider bite can be life-threatening to a child, the elderly or a pregnant women, but is rarely serious for an adult. If collapse occurs and pain is severe, casualties should seek medical attention immediately.
How do you know it was a redback?
- Bites occur typically when the spider is disturbed in the garden or shed.
- The initial bite may not be felt.
- Puncture marks are not always visible.
- Local intense pain follows after about five minutes.
- Localised sweating often occurs around the bite.
- May cause a burning sensation.
- All the above symptoms have started to occur – time to get medical attention!