A DRIER winter followed by an influx of rain this spring has seen an increase in redbacks and huntsman spiders in Gladstone.
Natrapsray Gladstone owner Sheldon Cosford is warning people to stay vigilant, saying spider activity was dependent on the seasons.
"Basically from mid-August right through to the end of March, a good six months in the year, there is a good lot of spider activity,” he said.
"It's only for the cool, shorter months you're not going to get a lot of spider activity.
"If you have a dry winter and all of a sudden you get storms, then you'll get an influx of insects and then predators that feed off them which is spiders.”
Mr Cosford suggested some simple ways to prevent redback spider bites, such as keeping shoe racks outside and checking your shoes, especially if you haven't worn them in a long time.
Bike helmets, gloves and gardening equipment are also common hiding places for redbacks, Mr Cosford said.
"Make sure you check underneath chairs, barbecues, and redbacks like tin, they're gonna get in under tin and warmer areas and stored products.”
What to do
. apply an icepack (cold compress) to the bitten
area to lessen pain
. seek medical attention if patient develops severe
Other spider bites
. wash with soap and water
. apply icepack (cold compress) to relieve the pain
. seek medical attention if patient develops severe symptoms
Source: St John Ambulance
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