Public seating being invaded by redback spiders

By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au

DON'T worry about the redback on the dunny seat, the spider is setting up house in much more public places as well. Skate-boarders Luke and Josh Watts have found hordes of redback spiders on the seating outside Gladstone City Council's chambers.

The webs were also found on the nearby play equipment.

"We were skateboarding on the steps of the council building about 10.30pm and saw all these spiders, big ones, being very active in their webs,'' said Luke.

"We decided to leave, but we wonder what might happen if a kid gets bitten by one.''

Council is not the only one with a red back spider problem. Boyne Tannum Pest Control's Shay Kuchtin said the spiders are everywhere at the moment brought on by the recent hot weather.

"With the new sprays, you kill the spiders, but it does not affect their eggs which can hatch a few days later,'' he said.

He said the eggs have got to be squashed or else the situation carefully monitored for further action until the cycle is broken.

Officer in charge at the Gladstone Ambulance Ron Gibson said the ambulance was only "very rarely'' called out to attend redback spider bites. Those most at risk from redback spider bites were young children and the elderly.

Mr Gibson said in case of a redback spider bite, icepacks should be used to reduce the pain and swelling. Bandages only increased the pain.

He said an ambulance would transport the patient to the hospital where a doctor would decides if an antivenine should be administered.

Council's environmental director Brent McAlister said if the presence of redback spiders at council buildings was brought to its attention, it would arrange for treatment of the areas.



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