Spider Bites

Summer is here and our eight-legged friends have come out to play!

Australia is home to some of the most venomous spiders in the world; not exactly the greatest tourism plug! When left alone these arachnids are harmless, however, on the odd occasion we accidentally disrupt their peace or conversely they disrupt ours!

Some venomous spiders encountered in Australia, in particular Victoria, are white tails, red backs and Victorian Funnel-Webs.

The most common of these is the white tail – a distinctive little creature, only 1-2cm in length, with a white (or light grey) spot on its backside.

White tails enjoy living with us and are often found in bedding, towels and clothing left on the floor. Surely that’s some incentive to keep on top of the washing! They play outside too – and can be found hiding under rocks and leaves.

The good news is, even if you are bitten by a white-tail, it is unlikely you will suffer a serious reaction. Common symptoms include stinging, burning, itchiness and swelling. There may also be a red mark or lump which may remain for around 12 days.

First aid for spider bites:

  1. Wash bitten area with soap and water
  2. Apply an ice pack or frozen peas (wrapped in a tea towel or similar) to the area to reduce pain and swelling
  3. Medical attention may be required, particularly if symptoms such as severe nausea, headache, sweating, pain, increased heart rate, pins and needles or signs of infection or skin damage occur. So please don’t delay!

For further information about treating the symptoms of spider bites come and chat to your UFS Pharmacist.