The venomous spiders are more likely to attack during summer, as they like hot, moist weather.
If you do get bitten, you will get sick very quickly. St John’s Ambulance lists the following signs and symptoms of being bitten by a funnel web spider:
- sharp pain at bite site;
- profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting; and
- abdominal pain.
What to do if someone is bitten by a funnel web spider
St John’s Ambulance recommends the following First Aid procedure:
- Lie the patient down.
- Calm and reassure the patient.
- If they are bitten on a limb, apply a broad crepe bandage over the bite site as soon as possible.
- Apply a heavy crepe or elasticised roller bandage starting just above the fingers or toes of the bitten limb, and move upwards on the limb as far as can be reached (include the bite). Apply firmly without stopping blood supply to the limb.
- Immobilise the injured limb with splints and ensure the patient does not move.
- Ensure an ambulance has been called.
If possible, it is a good idea to capture the spider for identification so that the correct anti-venom is administered at hospital.
The hospital will also send the live funnel web spiders to a zoo for milking so that anti-venom can be created.
How to catch a funnel-web spider
Funnel-webs are deadly venomous and only adults should attempt capturing a spider.
According to The Australian Museum, you can reduce the risk of a bite by wearing gardening gloves and long trousers tucked into socks with sturdy shoes or boots.
- Find a glass jar with a wide mouth.
- Remove the lid and pierce it with air holes.
- Invert the jar over the spider. Take care as funnel-webs are highly defensive and may strike; however, they cannot jump or climb glass.
- When the spider is within the jar, slide a piece of heavy cardboard or solid plastic under the opening to completely cover it.
- Invert the jar, keeping the top covered.
- Check the spider is in the bottom, carefully drop a moist cotton bud into the jar with the spider, then put on the lid.
- Keep it away from direct sun and heat.