Yes there are lots of biting insects in the bush, spiders, horse flies, wasps, ticks, leaches, and many other bugs that bite, not all poisonous and of course snakes. We have some of the most deadly insects and snakes in the world but most of our bitting insects are just annoying. A google search of venomous Australian snakes and insects should get you sorted, remember its rare you will encounter many of these.
Spiders, there isn't a lot of deadly spiders but plenty that pack a nasty bite like orb spiders etc. General house keeping is the best way to tackle spiders, dont leave shoes or clothes outside and if you do check your gear, towels are a big culprit so never pick something up and put it straight to your skin, always shake it out first. If you are walking in the bush and need to put your hand somewhere, look first. If you are gathering wood or picking anything up always roll it away from you so you can see under it. If you are bitten buy either a Redback (not normally deadly but requires attention) or Funnel web (deadly, requires urgent attention) you should commence first aid immediatly. Do not wash the wound, apply a wide bandage to whole of limb, start at the top of the limb then work down applying firm but not tight pressure with a bandage all the way to past the bite, where possible elevate the limb and restrict movement, get medical assistance. You do not wash bite wounds because it allows the medical people to find any venom that might be at the wound site, A towel torn into 4 or 5 inch wide strips can make a bandage if you dont have one.
Horse flies, wasp, not deadly and unlikely to carry disease but they can sting a bit. A good insect spray like aerogard or rid can help with these.
Most likely wasp you will get stung by will be a paper wasp and they kick like a mule, apply ice to the bite maybe some antihistamine and tough it out, possible small swelling at bite area but it goes away.
Ticks, not really a big deal as long as you find them relatively quickly. Peralisis tick can be a problem but takes a few days to become a problem (I think, please check). The best way to deal with ticks is a product call tick twister, extreamly easy to use and effective. Apply metho or antihistamine to entry area after removal. I use metho for most bites including annoying mosquito bites.
Leaches, no big deal but some people find them iccy lol. Again spray your self with insect repellent and they rarely attach, should you get a leach just pull it off, if you cant pull it of then either apply salt or strike a match blow it out and touch the leach, it will drop off. You will probably bleed a bit but thats because the leach has an anti coagulant to make the blood flow, its stops fairly quickly.
Snakes and lizards. Its a good idea to investigate our snake species so you can see which ones require urgent medical attention. I have camped in the bush plenty and rarely have trouble with them, you see them sometimes but mostly they dont like humans and try to get away from us. Most times you will get bitten is if you corner them, tease them or accidentally tread on them. Treatment is the same as for spiders above.
I dont know of any lizards that have toxins but plenty will bite if you really try to get bitten and you have to try to get bitten. If you are stupid and grab a lizard that bites the main first aid is to clean the wound well, very well because your only danger is infection from their mouth, they eat nasty stuff.
A couple of other things to be aware of are water born pests if your swimming. In NSW there isnt a lot thats going to bother you but a few, a water born bug that I call pelican itch, blue bottle and blue ring octopus are the main ones.
Pelican itch is annoying and treatment is basically metho or antihistimines and I remember as kids mum used to use calamine lotion.
Blue Bottles, (please read suggested websites below for revised, different treatment methods to mine)
mainly on the beach occasionally in tidal estuaries near the mouth. The have a blue coloured float with a long tail, the tail has little minute spike on it and thats where they sting. Treatment is basically with care remove the thin tail or stinger as its called and rinse with very cold ice water, do not rub the area. Metho or vinegar is very good for the pain, keep it very cool with ice or ice slurry and wait for the pain to go which dosnt take too long.
Blue ring octopus, (please read suggested websites below for revised, different treatment methods to mine)
normally you have to try to get stung by these but can sometimes happen by accident, they are not aggressive until disturbed or threatened then they become very aggressive developing brilliant blue rings on their bodies, time to retreat. Im not sure of the first aid but I would ice the bite area and get medical assistance.
Further north you get box jellyfish and irajinki (sic) and probably other things, I have a basic knowledge of these but better to let somebody from up there explain more, dont want to send you on a bum steer.
A good Bite, sting kit would consist of a couple of wide elastic bandages some antihistamine cream, some vinegar and metho and a venomous spider and snake chart and the knowledge to use all of the above. With this you will be able to handle pretty much anything.
To put it into perspective
I think we have only had around 40 odd deaths through snake bite and NO deaths from spider bites since anti venom has been around.
Last edited by Pauly
on Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.