Warnings over funnel-web ‘bonanza’

 

AUSTRALIANS are being warned to watch out for a funnel-web "bonanza" with recent wet weather creating perfect conditions for the deadly spider.

The Australian Reptile Park has issued a warning to the public after the wet conditions and hot days made for the ideal environment for the spiders to thrive.

There has been an increase in the number of spiders seen in recent days.

One Newcastle mum found the deadly arachnid in her pool. They can survive under water for 24 hours.

Bug Stop Newcastle said people should check their pool and filter every day before the kids get in because a bite could lead to death in 10 minutes.

The Australian Reptile Park sanctuary is asking for any collected spiders to be brought to the park to contribute to its lifesaving antivenom program.

 

Funnel-web spiders could come out after the rain and hot weather. Picture: Australian Reptile Park
Funnel-web spiders could come out after the rain and hot weather. Picture: Australian Reptile Park

The park is the sole supplier of funnel-web spider venom.

The program has saved countless Australian lives since its inception in the early 1980s.

There has not been a single death since the introduction of the program.

Reptiles and spider keeper Jake Meney said the public needed to remain vigilant, aware and safe when dealing with funnel-web spiders.

"The weekend rain brings humid conditions where funnel-web spiders thrive," he said.

"It's important that Australians are across the correct first aid and know how to safely catch the spiders so that we can continue to milk them and save lives.

"We rely on public donations of funnel-web spiders to build up our milking individuals. If you are an adult and feel safe to do so, please catch the funnel-webs using a big glass jar and keeping your hands away from the spider, coax the spider into the jar using a long stick and bring it to us at the Australian Reptile Park."

 

The Australian Reptile Park wants people to collect them. Picture: Australian Reptile Park
The Australian Reptile Park wants people to collect them. Picture: Australian Reptile Park

There are also drop-off points in Sydney, the Central Coast or Newcastle.

"Funnel-webs cannot climb up glass or plastic so once you put the lid on tightly, the funnel-web can't get out," he said.

"You can help us save Australian lives."

The Sydney funnel-web prefers to make its home in sheltered, shady spots, which are always cool and humid.

When found inside homes, Sydney funnel webs prefer habituating cool, damp places like the laundry, garage or in shoes left out on the ground.

The most common species in south-east Queensland is the Toowoomba Funnel-web (Hadronyche infensa), according to the Queensland Museum

If a member of the public was to be bitten by a funnel-web spider, it's important to stay as calm as possible and apply the correct first aid, which is a pressure immobilisation bandage and get to hospital as fast as you possibly can.


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