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Australian Redback Spiders are closely related to the Black Widow Spiders found in America. They are one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia and the female redback's venom is toxic. An adult female has a round black body of about one centimetre across with a long red stripe on the upper abdomen, and long slender legs. The male redback is brown and has a body of only about four millimetres with white markings on the upper abdomen.
Redback spiders are found in most parts of Australia and they live everywhere in close proximity to humans. Common places where redback spiders can be found are in the garden sheds, under flower pots, in dark corners, children's play areas, in the shrubs, flower beds, rubbish heaps, under piles of stuff in the garage and under old tree trunks, which is virtually everywhere!
Symptoms Of Redback Spider Bites
The danger of being bitten by a redback is that sometimes the victim does not know he has been bitten. The redback spider injects venom into its victim and this venom acts slowly.
These are some of the signs of spider bites in Australia to watch out for :
- sharp pain at the bite area
- swelling around the bite area
- pain in lower limbs
- abdominal pains
- sore muscles
- a dry mouth
- excessive sweating
- swollen eyelids
- muscle weakness or spasms.
First Aid and How to Treat Spider Bites
If a person is bitten by a redback spider, they should seek medical attention immediately. If the victim has localised pain and swelling, they should be given treatment with ice pack and analgesics (also known as painkiller). In more severe cases, the victim is usually given antivenom.
If the person is distressed, calm them down, ask them to lie down and be comfortable. Apply a cold pack or cold compress to the bite area to lessen the pain. Always seek medical aid immediately.
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