Spiders and Snake Bite

Spiders and Snake Bite

This page contains information on how to identify and avoid insects like spiders and snake bites in an emergency situation. You will also learn how to treat and prevent a snake and spider bite after understanding the signs and symptoms.
Your survival in an emergency situation depends upon your ability to use the available survival equipment, and special skills to apply them to cope with the hazards you face as well as your will to survive. But most importantly your ability to improvise, because every survival situation is different, so think and improvise by taking advantage of what you have available to you.

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Insect Bites

It's important to note first that spiders are not insects. Red back spiders and scorpions cause pain, not death. The other major problem is allergy. An anaphylactic [severe allergic] reaction may occur in some cases such as bee stings, wasp stings, ant bites or ingestion of certain foods such as shellfish for some people.

How to Treat an Insect Bite

Insects inject their venom below the skin and the skin is there to keep in what's in and what's out, out and it mainly does that, but things like alcohol, ammonia and methylated spirits may be useful as counter irritants. In bee-stings the poison sac is attached to the sting and the sting being barbed will often remain in the skin. It should be removed with a sterilized blade of a knife or the edge of a piece of paper, not between the fingers as this will squeeze the venom sac and inject more venom. Ticks should be removed using alcohol to irritate and then prying it off using tweezers on either side of the mouth part. Do not hold by the body and pull it off as this may leave mouth parts embedded in the skin.

How to Prevent an Insect Bite

Simple self protection measures can be used to minimise contact including avoiding outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, wearing long sleeved, light coloured loose clothing and not using perfume, cologne or after shave. Use insect repellents with a DEET content of between 15 – 20% on exposed skin.

Snake Bites

Ninety per cent of snake bites are at the ankle or below, eight per cent occur on the hands and two per cent elsewhere on the body. Assume all snakes are venomous. Always believe someone when they say they have been bitten, even though you may not see any puncture marks.

Signs and Symptoms of Snake Bites

Puncture marks, slight bruising, redness and swelling, nausea, sweating, diarrhoea, pains in the chest and double vision are the most common signs of a snake bite.

How to Treat a Snake Bite

  1. Apply broad firm elastic pressure bandage over bite and as much of the limb as possible. After covering bite continue bandaging up the limb and if sufficient bandage back down again.
  2. Immobilise limb with splint. On leg, splint in straight position. On forearm, splint to elbow and support arm in sling.
  3. Keep victim still. Bring transport to victim and convey to nearest hospital.
  4. For bites on trunk of body or face, apply local pressure only with flat of hand.

Note: Do not wash venom from bite site. Bandages and splints should be left on and removed only by a doctor.

Preventing a Snake Bite

The best guard against snakebite is protection to prevent such problems from happening. If you wear above ankle boots and/or thick socks and long trousers you are less likely to be bitten by anything. Use gloves when collecting firewood, never put your hand under anything without first rolling it over with your boot and watch where you put your feet when walking and never step over logs, always step up on them and then step down.

More information: We hope this page was helpful and provided you with some information on how to identify and avoid spiders and snakes bite. Check out our main page for more survival scenarios here Survival Guide, knowledge is light, and knowledge can save your life. Make sure you do your best to know what to do in a survival situation and then hope for the best.

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