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Category: Pest Control Tips | 30.11.2013
A sunny Saturday morning in Sydney and your 56 year old patient was just outside doing some gardening when they feel a rather sharp bite on their right hand (on webspace between thumb and index finger). In Australia, spiders are incredibly common & their bites occur more frequently than snakebites. Funnel Web Spiders are arguably the most deadly spiders worldwide, but are confined to the eastern coast of Australia.
The following decision algorithm was created to help differentiate between these spiders, classifying them into three groups; 1. The Funnel Web produces a venom that contains potent neurotoxins which prevent inactivation of sodium-channels and lead to a massive increase in autonomic activity and neuromuscular excitation.
It is important to note that other BBS’s do not cause significant CVS, autonomic and neurological features. If there are any symptoms of systemic envenomation, give 2 vials of CSL Funnel Web Spider Antivenom IV. Further doses are often required and should be given until all significant symptoms and signs have resolved. The majority of cases will be less obvious, and the patient is well with no apparent envenomation.
Essentially, if the patient is asymptomatic and has no clinical evidence of envenoming, then observe them for a minimum of 6 hours after the removal of first aid.


This entry was posted in Evidence, Toxicology, Toxinology and tagged Funnel-web, spider, Toxinology, Venomous Creatures.
If you do not live within these areas on the map, you do not have recluse spiders (unless you can prove it by sending me a specimen). Be aware that it is almost impossible to eliminate recluse spiders from a building once they get established. Many bites have occurred when people put on clothes that had been lying around for several weeks or months, and pressed the spider against their skin.
Despite all the hoopla surrounding the brown recluse, there is still not one PROVEN death due to brown recluse bite. Creating a diagnostic dilemma is the fact that the potentially lethal Funnel-Web looks very similar to other ‘big black spiders’  that can inhabit the same area. The following flow chart (taken from the NSW Health’s Snakebite  & Spiderbite Clinical Management Guidelines) demonstrates a guide to observing and evaluating the various presentations of big black spider bites !
The best you can hope for is a signficant reduction in the numbers of spiders and take steps to reduce the chances of being bitten.
I'm sure your kids will hate me for this one but don't throw clothes on the floor and then wear them the next day.
This is especially important for things that you stick your hands and feet into like: roller skates, baseball gloves, gardening gloves, boots, raingear.


Recluses like woodpiles and if they take up residence inside wood stacked next to a house, there is more chance that they will wander into the home.
Remove everything from under the bed so that the only way the spiders can get up on the bed is to crawl up one of the four legs.
Move the woodpile as far from the house as possible, stack it off the ground and cover it with a tarp. This information originates from two separate publications in medical journals written by two recluse venom experts who are medical doctors, who have been studying the medical implications of recluse bites for decades in Missouri and Tennessee where brown recluses occur frequently, and who know much more about the effects of recluse venom than your local doctor. These steps make the firewood less attractive to insects and the spiders that feed upon them. I have heard from several people who collect dozens of recluses in their homes every year and nobody in that household (including their little babies) has ever shown evidence of a bite.



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