Creepy crawlies and things that slither kept the NSW Ambulance paramedics busy over summer.
A 71-year-old Oak Flats man, bitten multiple times by a black snake last month, was among those who fell victim to some of nature’s most fearsome creatures during the warmer months.
Paramedics responded to 288 calls about for spider bites and 136 for snake bites statewide during spring and summer.
In the southern region, which includes the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, there were 26 snake bites compared to 34 calls for spider bites.
A 60-year-old Kiama Downs man was taken to hospital in October after he was bitten on the finger by a funnel web spider.
A 32-year-old Kangaroo Valley woman was also hospitalised in January after a bite from a suspected red back spider.
February was the most popular month for slithery creatures on the South Coast with seven snake bites reported, including one at Croom and another at Coniston.
John Mostyn, manager of Venom at the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast, said snake bites would become less common as autumn set in.
However, he warned the public to be wary, with many snakes looking for their last feed before going into hibernation.
‘‘They’re noticing that the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder,’’ Mr Mostyn said.
‘‘By the end of April, it is unlikely you will see any out, not until September and the start of spring.’’
Mr Mostyn warned that snakes should always be left alone.
When it came to spiders, Julie Mendezona, head of Reptiles and Spiders at the Australian Reptile Park, said the cooler months should see fewer red backs.
However, she warned that funnel webs, Australia’s most deadliest spider, remained active throughout the year.
In the event of a snake or spider bite, call Triple Zero and ask for an ambulance.