Snakes are on the move and so too are humans seeing a rise in bites treated by paramedics.
Snakes are on the move and so too are humans seeing a rise in bites treated by paramedics.

Snake and spider bites on the rise

INCREASED snake activity has brought about a spike in bites treated by paramedics.

As the weather warms up and more people get outdoors spider bites are also on the rise.

From July 1 to September 29, paramedics attended 38 Triple-0 calls for snake bites across New South Wales and 74 calls for spider bites.

There have been seven funnel web bites so far this season, together with one scorpion bite.

Paramedics had previously experienced a busy spring and summer in 2012-13, responding to 288 calls for spider bites and 136 for snake bites arounhd the state.

The state's north is the second biggest hot spot for bites behind Sydney with 91 spider bites and 64 snake bites recorded.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage advised they if you come across a snake back away slowly.

Around the home, measures to reduce snake activity include removing piled up debris from the yard and keep lawns mowed to reduce the potential for reptilian surprises.

If you find a snake in your home or garden and would like it removed, call OEH on 1300 361 967 for contact details on licensed reptile handlers, or click here

Alternatively, if you need assistance or advice on reptiles, contact WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information

Rescue and Education Service Inc) on 1300 094 737, or click here 

The Australian Reptile Park & Wildlife Sanctuary advises that, if bitten by a snake, under no circumstances should a person try to catch the reptile for its venom.

Hospitals have venom detection kits and will be able to test that bite site, determine the species of snake and administer the antivenom.

A white-tailed spider.
A white-tailed spider.

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

off the 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; and



• Remember, never cut or excise the wound and do not attempt to suck the venom out. And do not apply a tourniquet.

For spiders (eg redbacks, white-tails, trapdoors):

• Apply an ice pack or cold compress to relieve the pain; and

• If severe symptoms develop, seek medical aid.

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