|Redback 1, Skink 0|
|Redback in tagled web|
Up to 400 Redback bites are reported annually in Australia, but very few deaths have been recorded. My yard in Brisbane had a good population of Redbacks, but the closest I came to being bitten was while moving some large flower pots. My finger under the pot rim was right in a Redback's face, but she fled rather than bite, perhaps because I screamed and dropped the pot.
If you live in an area with good populations of Redbacks or other Widows, it is a good idea to be cautious when using outdoor furniture or facilities. Checking under a lawn chair and removing web and spider with a stick can help prevent unfortunate juxtapositions of soft skin and spider fangs. This is especially true when using a dunny (not the mutant Easter rabbit toy, but an 'outhouse'). Checking under the seat may seem a bit obsessive, but is preferable to being bitten in a sensitive spot: such bites used to be a high proportion of those reported. This year in New South Wales spider bites of all kinds (314) resulted in more calls to paramedics than any other category (twice as many as dog bites), but lost out in the headline of the linked article to 'ants, bees, snakes, and one ferocious rabbit'. I suppose that is a fitting end to an Easter post.