In leafy eastern suburbs such as Croydon and Knox it’s not uncommon to have a spider visit the home or reside in our gardens.
Common species of spiders in Victoria include the White-tailed spider, Huntsman, Black house spider, Daddy Long Legs and the Red Back. These are amongst the 20,000 species believed to be in Australia. Many spiders are harmless, however some are poisonous and caution should be taken.
Common Black house spiders and Daddy Long Legs play a role in the ecosystem managing the number of insects and pests, however many people will consider them to also be unwelcome!
Redback spiders are the only spiders in Victoria considered to be highly venomous. They are notable for their distinct marking and can be found at home or in the garage in old containers, in discarded rubbish, in outdoor areas and in areas difficult to access like under the house. Often Redbacks stay on their webs, so unless this is disturbed you are unlikely to risk being bitten by one.
What does a bite feel like?
We hope you never experience it, but should a Redback bite you it is likely you’ll likely experience:
– A sharp pain, not unlike a pin-prick
– A hot sensation around the bite
– Oedema (water retention)
– Pain and swelling in the lymph nodes
What should I do if I’m bitten?
It is unlikely that a spider will bite unless they are provoked, however they are still widely feared. In the uncommon event of a bite, it is suggested to clean the affected area with water and soap. Then hold a cold pack to the area to relive swelling and pain. Medical attention should be sought if:
– The cold pack isn’t providing relief to the pain
– Pain grows beyond the place of the bite
– You experience swelling or pain in glands
– You are sweating or shivering
– Secondary tissue infection
– You have nausea, stomach cramps or vomiting
– You are suffering headaches
– Increased heart rate
– Pins and needles in hands or feet