Life Science Environment Snakes, spiders tipped to surge in summer

Snakes, spiders tipped to surge in summer

snake spider summer nsw
Snake and spider bites are rare but it is important to know how to treat them quickly.
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Wildlife experts are warning there will be an abundance of venomous snakes and spiders around this summer.

Wet and humid weather, as well as plentiful food stocks courtesy of the mouse plague that terrorised inland NSW, will lead to a spike in snakes and spider numbers.

“We have already seen an increase in snake bites from this time last year,” NSW Poisons Information Centre senior pharmacist Genevieve Adamo says.

“We have some of the most venomous critters in the world, from the brown snake to the funnel-web spider but thankfully, plenty of antivenom available to treat any bites,” she said on Monday.

Snake and spider bites are rare but it is important to know how to deal with them quickly using first aid before proper treatment can be administered, Ms Adamo said on Monday.

Despite common misconceptions, snake bites should not be washed, cut or sucked, but if someone has collapsed from a suspected snake bite, immediate CPR could be the thing that saves their life.

Pressure bandages, but not tight tourniquets, should be used on a wound and the person kept still until an ambulance arrives.

While most spider bites are harmless, encounters with big black spiders and the much-feared funnel-web qualify as a medical emergency.

Spider bites should be treated with a pressure bandage on the wound and another bandage around the entire limb before antivenom can be administered.


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