Venom toxicity – the Red-Back Spider can inflict a painful bite which can be fatal, especially to the young and elderly. An effective anti-venom was developed in 1956. About 250 people receive the anti-venom each year.
Nerve poison – Only a small amount of venom can cause serious illness, as the poison attacks the nervous system. Usually results in headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, hypertension and in severe cases, paralysis.
Painful – The pain around the bite area can be excruciating. First aid and medical attention (ambulance) should be sought as soon as possible, if bitten.
Area of distribution – Australia-wide.
Spider Identification – size varies greatly – the male can be tiny, with the abdomen of the female growing to the size of a large pea. Red-Back Spiders do NOT always have a “red” marking.
Habitat – prefers dry habitats – often found in out-houses, letter boxes, undersides of seats, in rubbish, such as empty cans, in the sub floor and other dark areas. Electric lights attract their prey – moths, flies, mosquitoes and other insects.