Australian Reptile Park warns residents of New South Wales about funnel-shaped spider plague due to flooding

The Australian Reptile Park has issued an urgent warning of an impending ‘plague’ of deadly funnel spiders following recent wet weather.

Devastating floods have hit many parts of Australia, washing away homes in torrential rains over the past week.

But now, with the rain falling and warmer, wetter weather on the way, the park urges people to be on the lookout for Sydney’s poisonous and deadly funnel webs.

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Spiders are feared for their intimidating size and highly toxic, fast-acting venom, although no one has died from a funnel bite since the introduction of antivenom in 1981.

Australian director of Reptile Park, Tim Faulkner, warned residents of the Greater Sydney area could encounter spiders in the coming days, and said it would be “completely different” from the normal increase in spider activity. spiders in humid weather caused by heat. days after the rain.

“Not only are we seeing an increase in movement due to the humidity, but we are already seeing a plague of land spiders looking for higher ground, out of the flood waters,” said Faulkner.

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Spiders typically live in moist, wooded areas near a water source, but flooding has forced many to move.

“They have been forced to leave their habitat and seek refuge in drier areas,” said Faulkner.

“Unfortunately, that could mean that they will find their way into the residences very soon.”

If you’re unlucky enough to get bitten by a funnel, Mr Faulkner said the most important thing to do is to stay as calm as possible, place a pressurized immobilizer bandage over the bite and get to the bite. hospital for a life-saving dose of antivenom.

This antivenom is made from the venom of spiders captured at the Australian Reptile Park, and the park has another request if you encounter spiders.

The park encouraged “responsible adults” who encounter wandering Sydney funnel spiders to catch the arachnids and deliver them to the park or a drop-off location so they can help in the production of antivenom.

The Australian Reptile Park is the only supplier of venom to be turned into antivenom and no one has died since the program began.

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