Hospital stamps out redbacks



IF you were unlucky enough to be bitten by a redback spider, there would be worse places than a few metres from Rockhampton Hospital's emergency ward.

But that was the danger yesterday morning before hospital management moved quickly to remove numerous red-back nests outside the emergency department.

Earlier this week, Garry Gladman counted 17 of the potentially fatal spiders in railings along a fence near the entrance.

He feared the spiders were an accident waiting to happen, particularly for young children and the elderly.

"What worries me is I see a lot of kids hanging around (the fence),'' Mr Gladman said before the area was sprayed.

"They, the doctors, nurses and staff do a great job and I'm not saying otherwise ... (but) the kids and their parents need to be aware (of this).

"If a kid were to stick a finger in there . . . .''

Mr Gladman who suffers from two rare diseases, Crest Syndrome and Raynaud's Phenomenon, is a regular visitor to the hospital.

He first noticed the spiders when his son, Andrew, 15, stood alongside the fence on the weekend. He moved the nearby spider away, before noticing more.

On Tuesday he showed The Morning Bulletin the red-backs and counted 17 in a section of fence about 20m in length.

A hospital spokesman yesterday said regular inspections and a spray program were undertaken.

"All building exteriors are treated annually for spiders by a local pest control contractor and that is only part of the extensive pest control measures used at the hospital,'' he said.



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