Spider Bites – Funnel Web Spider

The bites of many different Australian spiders may cause pain but only bites from some Funnel-web spiders are an immediate threat to life, although the Redback spider bite may be a threat to life in the very young or very old.

Funnel Web Spiders

A bite from a large (>2cm), dark coloured spider, especially in the regions of Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central, Northern, Southern Highlands or south coast of NSW, or south-eastern Queensland, should be considered as a dangerous bite and immediate treatment given.

Recognition (Funnel Web)

Symptoms and signs of Funnel Web spider bites may include:

  • Pain at the bite site, but little local reaction.
  • Tingling around the mouth.
  • Profuse sweating.
  • Copious secretion of saliva.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Muscular twitching.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Confusion leading to unconsciousness.

NOTE: Life threatening effects may occur within 10 minutes

Management (Funnel Web)

The rescuer should:

  • D.R.S.A.B.C.D. and call an ambulance.
  • Apply Pressure Immobilisation Technique Immediately

Attempts to capture the spider may result in further bites. DO NOT bring a live spider to hospital. A photo on a phone may help in identification but should not delay the first two steps of management.