Take away the pain, leave the swelling: Builder bitten on penis by redback spider

A building site worker needed hospital treatment after being bitten on the penis by a deadly redback spider when he went to the toilet. The tradesman received the nasty nip when he sat down on the portable toilet in the south of Sydney. The 21-year-old made his own way to St George Hospital emergency department before an ambulance crew had arrived to treat him. He was expected to be discharged from hospital on Wednesday.

You’d experience pain — pain as the venom stimulates the nerves around the bite — along with swelling and increased blood pressure. But certainly, that would make you very miserable

Associate Professor Julian White, from Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital

The incident comes two weeks after a 22-year-old man died in the city from complications arising from a spider bite. However, bites are not normally fatal as an antidote has been available for more than 50 years. They usually remain red and itchy for several days after the spider strikes. Associate Professor Julian White, from Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital, said: “Going back 80 years or so when people were still using outhouse toilets it was extremely common, something like up to 80 per cent of cases of spider bites were bites on the male genitalia. But it’s much less common now, I can’t think of a case.”

Of all the places to get bitten and of all the spiders, he had to pick this one. The redback has to be the most painful spider in Australia

Associate Professor Bryan Fry, Australian Academy of Science