Warning from spider bite victim

Dianne Edwards shows the effects of a white-tailed spider bite.

A COLAC woman who suffered a white-tailed spider bite wants people act fast if the same thing happens to them.

Dianne Edwards said she felt and painful sting and burn on her thigh when she put on a pair of jeans that were sitting on her bedroom floor.

“I got them off and I couldn’t see anything – but I picked them up and shook them and out came this big white-tail,” Ms Edwards said,

“It got me two or three times – it stung and burnt at the same time, like a red hot needle going in,” she said.

Ms Edwards said she no further pain for the first 24 hours after the bite but it then started to itch and irritate her.

She said she went to a doctor at Geelong who prescribed antibiotics and antihistamines 48 hours after the bite.

“After speaking to the doctor apparently it’s quite common to have no reaction for 24 hours and it was exactly that long before it started itching,” Ms Edwards said.

“The doctor said it’s imperative that you get onto antibiotics very quick,” she said.

A white-tailed spider.

Ms Edwards said she had noticed, and heard cases of, more white-tailed spiders around Colac and district recently and she said she wanted people to be wary.

“People are saying there’s a lot around and it sort of worries me a bit,” she said.

Museum Victoria’s manager of live exhibits Patrick Honan said a warm and wet climate made spiders more prominent.

“There’s more around now than there usually is this time of year, and that will continue probably until the end of summer,” Mr Honan said.

“It’s mainly to do with the breaking of the drought – with the warm and wet summer we’ve had increases in plant growth which increases the amount of insects around and therefore the amount of spiders,” he said.

Mr Honan said white-tailed spiders were “vagrant” and more active at night before “finding somewhere to hide” at dawn.

“That’s when people tend to get bitten, when people pick up clothes or shoes,” Mr Honan said.

“In terms of avoiding being bitten the number one thing would be to not leave your clothes on the floor and to bang out your shoes before you put then on – and even check your bed before you get in it at night,” he said.

“The only known symptoms of white tail bites are pain around the bit and possibly a bit of nausea and that’s about it.”

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