Do you think I should stop talking about the dangerous Australian wildlife? Nah, you want to be prepared, right?
On the other page I told you about the most dangerous Australian animals that live in the coastal areas of the tropical north. Now we move further into the inland. Fascinating animals are waiting for you - nasties and cuties.
Is it fair to call animals "nasties" at all? Well, there are quite a few that don't look particular nice, and don't invite to be cuddled.
Many people think of spiders and snakes as the most dangerous and nasty animals in Australia.
In my opinion, snakes and spiders are not nasty. They are wonderful animals. Though, I wouldn't touch them either. Know what is crawling out there, and there's no need to fear Australian wildlife.
The redback spider is a member of the black widow family, and bites are very painful for a few days. Antivenom is available so there were no deaths to report since 1956. Only the female redbacks bite.
Redbacks can be found all over Australia, in the cities and the Outback. They like dry and dark places in houses, sheds, outdoor toilets etc. About half of the bites occur indoors. Don't panic if you see a spider, they won't attack you.
Tips to prevent redback spider bites, and other insect bites as well:
How to treat redback spider bites:
Apply ice packs to relieve the pain that starts immediately after the bite. Antivenom is only given if the pain consists for several days, or if the victim develops systemic effects such as nausea, vomiting, and headache.
Even if you arrive at a hospital days after the bite, the antivenom will be effective to relieve the symptoms. So there is no need to panic.
The Sydney Funnel web spider is far more dangerous than the redback. As the name already tells you, this spider is found in the greater Sydney area. Due to the urbanization in this spider's habitat it is very rare.
The funnel web is a 6-7 cm big, black spider with massive fangs. The venom of the male spider is more toxic than the female.
First aid: The pressure immobilisation technique, which is also recommended for snake bites, must be commenced immediately. It prevents the spread of the venom, and gives the victim some time to arrive in hospital.
It is recommended that all bites by big black spiders are treated as suspected funnel web bites. You never know.
Wolf spiders, mouse spiders and the white-tailed spiders are also species to be avoided.
Some Australian spider venoms cause severe skin destruction. Scientists admit that they don't know much about the substances causing the skin problems, so there's more research to be done.
Apart from spiders, snakes definitely belong to the group of dangerous Australian wildlife. I've dedicated a separate page in the Outback Guide to Australian snakes, see link below.
Want to know how to apply that pressure immobilisation bandage correctly? See the instructions on the Australian Venom Research Unit.
Print it out and take it with you. You certainly won't need it, however, isn't it a good feeling to be prepared for anything? Also, refer to the First Aid Kit Checklist and take the necessary items with you.
Don't forget that even non-venomous Australian wildlife and cute animals can also hurt humans. Always treat wild animals with respect. You never know what they would do if you scare them.