Redbacks on the rise in Gympie

AS Gympie residents battle through a hot and humid February, redback spiders are making the most of conditions, breeding in large numbers throughout the area.

Amalgamated Pest Control Gympie owner operator Garry Pratt said he had noticed increased redback activity in recent weeks, with residents reporting the spiders around their homes.

“Redback treatments are keeping us very busy at the moment, following high temperatures and humidity which aid the spiders in their mating process.

“Female redbacks are prolific breeders and can produce eggs for up to two years after mating.

“They will lay up to ten egg sacs in a lifetime, containing approximately 250 eggs, which makes them very difficult to treat in high numbers," Garry said.

Easily identifiable by their red striped abdomen, Garry recommends locals inspect yard areas for redbacks, paying particular attention to dark, dry areas including the underside of children’s play equipment, garden sheds, green houses, letterboxes, empty cans, shoes and under the lid of wheelie bins.

While redback spiders are not aggressive and rarely leave their webs, Garry urges homeowners to keep their distance as a redback bite is very poisonous and poses a serious health risk for children and the elderly.

“Only the female bite is dangerous and has the potential to cause serious illness, but people are most likely to be bitten if they place their hand directly into a web,” he said.

Common symptoms of a redback bite include pain, sweating, muscular weakness, nausea and vomiting.

Anyone who receives a redback bite should apply an ice pack to the bitten area to relieve pain and seek medical attention immediately.

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