Increase in snakes, spiders, as temperatures heat up

A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said people should be mindful that warmer weather will lead to an increase in spider and snake activity. Photo: File

A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said people should be mindful that warmer weather will lead to an increase in spider and snake activity. Photo: File

As the weather heats up residents are being reminded that this will lead to an increase in spider and snake activity.

For the first 13 days of September there have been 13 incidents of suspected snake (7) and spider (6) bites across NSW.

There were 14 suspected incidents of snake and spiders bites across NSW for the month of August 2017.

A 75-year-old woman was believed to have been bitten on the ankle by snake at Ballimore on September 4.

A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said people should be mindful that warmer weather will lead to an increase in spider and snake activity.

“Snakes in particular are on the move, looking for food and a mate after their winter hibernation,” the spokesperson said.

“The number of reported incidents will increase substantially in the next couple of months with on average 100 suspected bites per month across NSW from November to February every year before the numbers start to decline again.”

Other cases of suspected snake and spider incidents in September include:

· A woman, aged 40, bitten on the arm by a snake at Elermore Vale on September 11.

· A woman, 36, bitten by a spider at Willbriggie on September 9.

· A girl, 16, bitten on the leg by a snake in the Girraween National Park at Wallangarra on September 6.

·A man, 28, bitten on the leg by snake at Newrybar on September 5.

·A man, 48, bitten on the hand by a snake at Goonellabah on September 4.

NSW Ambulance advises residents to:

- remove piled up debris from the yard and keep lawns mowed around the home,

- check clothing items that have been left outside before wearing them. Paramedics attend many cases where people have put on boots and been bitten by spiders and even snakes hidden inside,

- wear thick gloves if you are cleaning guttering, 

- lift a rock or log, lift it facing away from you.

- call triple zero (000) for an ambulance in the event of a spider or snake bite.

NSW Ambulance paramedics attend many cases where it does not always transpire that patients have in face been bitten by a poisonous snake or spider. However it is better to call Triple Zero (000) for assistance to be on the safe side.

First aid for snakes and spiders varies depending on the species:

For snakes and funnel web spiders -

- If the bite is on a limb, apply a pressure immobilisation bandage. The bandage should not cut off circulation.

- If the bite is not on a limb, apply direct, firm pressure to the bite site with your hands. Keep the patient still and discourage them from walking around.

- Never cut or excise the wound. Do not attempt to suck out the venom and don’t apply a tourniquet.

For spiders (e.g redbacks, white-tails, trapdoors) –

- Apply an ice pack or cold compress to relieve the pain.

- If severe symptoms devleop seek medical aid.

- In the cases of small children involved in a suspected redback spider bite, medical aid should be sought, irrespective of whether symptoms manifest.

To have a snake safely removed form a property call your local wildlife care organisation, a licensed pet control operator or your National Parks and Wildlife Service office.

Alternatively if you need assistance or advice on snakes and other reptiles contact NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Servvice (WIRES) on 1300 094 737.

WIRES advises snakes are generally placid creatures and if left alone will invariably disappear on their own accord. People are advised never to approach a snake as many people are bitten either trying to catch or get rid of a snake.

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