This summer, Australians are being warned to learn basic first aid response actions for snake and spider bites, because there will be more of them around due to weather conditions. Experts advise on what to do and what not to do, and how to be on the lookout for potentially dangerous slithery serpents and eight-legged creatures over the next couple of months.
Some might say it's what nightmares are made of. As if Australia's reputation for life-threatening animals wasn't freaky enough, well now wildlife experts are warning there will be an abundance of venomous snakes and spiders around this summer.
Wet and humid weather, and an abundance of food available courtesy of the mouse plague that terrorised inland New South Wales, will lead to an increase in snakes and spider numbers over the next couple of months.
- Australia has some of the most venomous animals in the world, ranging from the brown snake to the funnel-web spider.
- Research suggests around 3,000 Australians will be bitten by a snake each year, with about 300 of those requiring antivenom treatment.
- Instead of squashing and killing spiders, residents are urged to capture and hand them to an authority where the venom is milked to produce lifesaving anti-venom.
The Bureau of Meteorology recently declared a La Niña event developing in the Pacific Ocean, meaning much of north and east Australia is likely to experience a relatively damp and stormy summer.
New South Wales Poisons Information Centre senior pharmacist Genevieve Adamo says these weather conditions will result in more creepy crawlies, including spiders and snakes, in the vicinity of the home and coming out of their usual hiding places.
"Snakes and spiders are more active in the summer months and we are more likely to be outside in their environment. Keep your eyes open and look out for snakes and spiders during the summer, especially if you are out gardening, camping or bushwalking."