The vast majority of spider bites are not considered harmful, but that doesn’t stop many people from being terrified of spiders. Learning the truth about spider bites will be helpful in distinguishing fact from fiction and calming some of the fears surrounding these interesting and beneficial creatures.

Spider Bites are Rarely Fatal

Most spider bites are merely nuisances and may even go completely unnoticed. For those that do cause pain, rest, ice packs, and a simple pain reliever will most likely do the trick. Since the introduction and widespread availability of anti-venom in the early 1980’s, there have been no confirmed deaths in Australia due to spider bites. Statistically, less than one person dies from a spider bite every 10 years. That means anaphylaxis due to bites from ticks, ants, bees, wasps, or snakes cause far more deaths than spiders.

Dangerous Spiders in Australia

Although very few spiders in the world are truly dangerous, Australia does have two species of spiders that should be taken seriously. Bites from either of these spiders need to be addressed by medical professionals.

Sydney Funnel-web

Widely considered the most dangerous spider on earth, the bite of a Sydney funnel-web (and other similar Atrax spiders) can be fatal to humans.The Sydney funnel-web is typically larger than 2 cm, dark in color, and found mostly in the region around Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and the south coast of NSW. 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sydney_funnel_web_spider.jpg

Symptoms of a funnel-web bite may include:

  • Immediate pain
  • Sweating
  • Muscle twitching
  • Salivating
  • Rapid heart beat
  • High blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unconsciousness, leading to death

Any and all bites in that area of the world from large black spiders should be treated as a possible funnel-web bite and should receive immediate intervention at a medical facility. Thankfully, there is an anti-venom that works very well, and complications are extremely rare.

Redback Spider

A bite from a redback spider can also be fatal, though they are also very rare. Redbacks have a body that are about 1 cm big. They also have a red, orange, or pale stripe on their backs. The venom of a redback contains neurotoxins, but it works very slowly. 

CSIRO [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)] via wikimedia

Symptoms of a redback spider bite may include:

  • Localized pain at the site that may include swelling, redness, and heat
  • Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
  • Sweating
  • Swollen glands in the groin or armpit

If the pain lasts longer than a few hours, go to a hospital. There is also a very reliable anti-venom for redback spiders. 

How to Prevent Spider Bites

Even if spiders are mostly harmless, it is still best to prevent potential bites by taking some simple precautions.

  • Leave spiders alone when you encounter them
  • Wear gloves when gardening
  • Declutter your home to get rid of potential spider hiding places
  • Check in and shake out shoes before putting them on
  • Don’t leave clothing on the floor and make sure to shake them out before wearing them
  • Seal the exterior of your home to prevent pest entry

Sunshine Coast Pest Control

Spiders seem to be nearly everywhere in the world, but they need not be in your home. If you are in need of Sunshine Coast Spider Control, look no further than Radar Pest Control. Our expert technicians will work with you to customize a plan to get rid of the spiders in and around your home. Contact us today for more information.