Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

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Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Peta on Thu May 17, 2018 2:57 pm

In our travels and prospecting through the Western Australian centre I fully expected to come across snakes, Scorpions and other nasties, and yet over a period of 2  -3 months, and during some of the hotter climate of Spring and Summer we didn't see any.

Were we just lucky or did they see us first and simply didn't show their heads?

I have experienced snakes on the East coast but I know nothing about Scorpions.

What are the dangerous parts of a Scorpion?
I know they sting with the tail but do they bite and are their claws dangerous too?
Do you render them harmless if you cut off the tail.
Are there any basic rules one should follow when coming across them?

When we leave for our next trip we intend wearing ankle gaiters as protection against snake bite. Do others wear them or am I being over cautious?

I just feel that being bush and in the middle of nowhere, miles from emergency services and with limited communication it would be smart to be cautious.

What do others think?

Peter.

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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  slimpickens on Thu May 17, 2018 4:20 pm

Peta wrote:


When we leave for our next trip we intend wearing ankle gaiters as protection against snake bite. Do others wear them or am I being over cautious?



What do others think?

Peter.

Peter, are you serious? The snake gaiters would have to be at least up to your knees. But seeing how cautious you are, perhaps you could get a pair made up that go up to your neck. Mate, don't worry about the snakes and scorpions, just worry about where the next nugget will come from.
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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Peta on Thu May 17, 2018 4:34 pm

slimpickens wrote:
Peta wrote:


When we leave for our next trip we intend wearing ankle gaiters as protection against snake bite. Do others wear them or am I being over cautious?



What do others think?

Peter.

Peter, are you serious?   The snake gaiters would have to be at least up to your knees. But seeing how cautious you are, perhaps you could get a pair made up that go up to your neck.   Mate, don't worry about the snakes and scorpions, just worry about where the next nugget will come from.


You misunderstood my post SlimP.
Whilst I may be cautious I am also sensible, so if wearing a pair of light, short (mid lower leg) gaiters prevents a snake bite, then it seems sensible to me.
I wondered whether anyone else did this?
I also posed questions on snakes, Scorpions etc in the middle of WA.

Have you prospected in WA, it's different to Victoria in many ways?

I look forward to your advice once you re-read my post.

Thanks mate,

Peter.

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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Minermike on Thu May 17, 2018 6:03 pm

Nothing to worry about , you are more likely to hit by a bus in Sydney or bitten by a shark . Just give them some space and they will go away . Keep your eyes open , worst thing is to stand on a snake that is dozing in the sun .
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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  slimpickens on Thu May 17, 2018 6:42 pm

Sorry Pete, but when you said gaiters to just cover your ankles...... well it staggered me. If your going to use snake gaiters make sure they come up to your knees. As far as I am aware we haven't any scorpions that can outright kill you with their stinger. Harry
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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Jen on Thu May 17, 2018 7:17 pm

Hi peta

Well its not that bad over here in W.A
I find the bushes and trees are worse for me, i keep hitting my head on them, ouch!
or scratching my hands on a bush.  Rolling Eyes

As for snakes, just be mindfull wear you step. I havent seen any yet. ( touch wood )

The other creepy crawlies are also not that bad, unless you are sleeping on the ground and they join you.
We get scorpions back in vic as well, unless they are inside with you, just let them be.

My dog sniffed a tiny scorpion once, ( in vic )  we told her not too. Did she listen? NO
She wasn’t a happy dog for a little while as it gave her a good sting, right in her nose
but she didnt die from it.

We wear our gaitors sometimes. Mostly for the spear grass or sphinx.  
And if the grass is very long where snakes could be lurking.
Should really wear them all the time when out detecting.

Just dont walk around in bare feet or flip flops, when out in the bush.



_________________
Be happy everyone Lifes to short

Cheers jen.
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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Travelergold on Thu May 17, 2018 7:26 pm

The only critters we ever saw was one snake that was more scared than us, some big sand goannas and a few centerpedes hiding under rocks. Nothing to worry about. Just enjoy them. Get ya tecta out and find some yella.

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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  adrian ss on Thu May 17, 2018 8:02 pm

Peta wrote:In our travels and prospecting through the Western Australian centre I fully expected to come across snakes, Scorpions and other nasties, and yet over a period of 2  -3 months, and during some of the hotter climate of Spring and Summer we didn't see any.

Were we just lucky or did they see us first and simply didn't show their heads?

I have experienced snakes on the East coast but I know nothing about Scorpions.

What are the dangerous parts of a Scorpion?
I know they sting with the tail but do they bite and are their claws dangerous too?
Do you render them harmless if you cut off the tail.
Are there any basic rules one should follow when coming across them?

When we leave for our next trip we intend wearing ankle gaiters as protection against snake bite. Do others wear them or am I being over cautious?

I just feel that being bush and in the middle of nowhere, miles from emergency services and with limited communication it would be smart to be cautious.

What do others think?

Peter.



Hi Pete,
Aussie scorpions are not dangerous or deadly. The sting is in the tail. A sting will feel a bit like a bee sting but not as painful. You might get a bit of swelling and redness around the sting.
Scorps are very common in Australia and pretty much everywhere. NT has the most venomous scorps. Canberra is chockers with them.

If you are in snake country when tecting then where knee high gaiters. Tough ones not some flimsy green cotton crap types. Also, Some of our snakes can punch through canvas gaiters.

Snakes do not hear the same way we hear but they do feel vibrations in the ground; So walk heavily and they will keep out of your way. Step on one and it will have a go at you and the Brown snake will have a go even if you don't step on it. Don't think you are safe if you are behind a snake because they can flip back and strike in a flash faster than when moving forward.

generally snakes will get out of your way. I have had one go straight between my legs without even slowing down for a look see.
Keep your eyes open coz the bludgers can blend into the background very well.

I recall one time when walking through Tidbinbilla nature park with one of the rangers and he said to keep a watch out for snakes because there was plenty about, and I said. What? Like that one there do ya mean? He said. Where? n I said there right where ya just walked past it!! He said Sh...t and I was looking for them!! affraid
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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Peta on Thu May 17, 2018 8:52 pm


I have had a bit of a look and Googled; Scorpions.

Not having grown up with them they are a new insect to me.

I find out that the Scorpions in Australia are non-venomous.

The recommended treatment for a Scorpion sting is to wash the sting site with soap and water, apply antiseptic and a cold pack to the sting area and, if you need to, take a mild pain-relief medicine, such as paracetamol.

They say the pain is about as intense as a bee sting.

I can handle that.

Peter.

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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Peta on Thu May 17, 2018 9:01 pm


Ok, I'm good with snakes and now I'm good with Scorpions.

Bush Ticks? Up here in the tropics (and maybe other places also) we have small Ticks in the bush that if they latch on to you can make you very sick.

It will hang on until found and you will be sick up until you find the Tick.

Do we have similar in WA, particularly the dry, gold mining area North of Kalgoorlie?

The bush can throw up all sorts of surprises for the unwary and unprepared.

I had a friend who 'stuck' his lower leg with a sharp twig. It became infected and an ulcer formed.
No matter what the medico's did, it wouldn't get better and the infection just continued to spread.
At one point they were discussing amputation.
He was off his feet for months, in and out of hospital, but eventually, slowly he recovered.
All this from a simple scratch.

Have I missed any of nature's dangers that one should be aware of in the WA bush?

Peter.

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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  WF2.0 on Thu May 17, 2018 10:06 pm

Hi Peter,
I wear gaiters and wouldn't be without them. As you say we are isolated and exposed out there. I met a guy who's leg was near lost to a branch from infection. Stings may become an issue for people if they have an allergic reaction so a packet of antihistamine is a good idea especially for those that have never been bitten. Inch ants, wasps and bees can kill. Another thing we are exposed to that some people may over look, and applies to all goldfields, is not keeping there tetanus shots up to date. A small scratch can result in blood poisoning and big issues. I have seen a fit man hospitalised due to this.
Personal hygiene and food storage issues could cause some dramas if ones not careful. I have a couple of fire extinguishers and fire blanket.
Cheers

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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Dig24crt on Fri May 18, 2018 12:19 am

Hi
Had a few experiences with snakes in the Wild West
1 I had left the missus detecting while I went into Leaonora to restock.When I returned at 10am she was sitting on the camper step getting  stuck into the  Chateaux Cardboard.She told me the the terrible tale of how a snake had chased her.The campsite was in a mess .I could see where she had thrown the detector at it ,then the pick and finally the harness with battery . Unfortunately for the snake it was travelling in the same direction she was , it had passed thru our campsite .To help it along she had then thrown all the saucepan s the frying pan and one of those toasting racks and the Kettle.The snake probably thought it was at Harvey Norman in a cyclone.I saw by its track and her description it was probably a Gwarder (Baby Western  Brown) highly venomous. Tiny less than 9".But with the wine it had  become the size of an anaconda.
I cleaned up the campsite and by this time she had calmed down after drinking the required amount of wine.The dust had finally settled and all was calm .I had to ask the obvious question, did you really have to throw your detector at it.You cant win in this world she said that she didn't throw her detector at it she was using mine .

2 I was detecting one day and noticed a small Gwarder travelling paralell to me about 5 metres away  I started singing Me and
my snake and called Dances with Snakes over.Told her lets watch it and see where its going.Oh no Kimosabe couldnt have that.Kill it she implored.No way lets watch it.She had been reading too much Bryce Courtney and said its parents will be around.We were in open country and there was only a tiny stump 20 metres to the right.She said they will be over there behind tbe stump.So I said so you believe theres 2 fully grown Western Browns watching us and you want me to thump their baby on the head with my pick.She saw the logic.Think I'll get her a job in Australia Zoo.

3We were sitting around the campfire when the wife of the couple we were with casually said snake coming, lifted her legs up the snake went under and on its merry way and continued her conversation.
Cheers Dig
As I said you'll be lucky if you ever see one , respect them and give them room and if you ever see one dont call my wife
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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Kon61gold on Fri May 18, 2018 1:13 am

G'day Pete

Good advice given by all here, for no matter where we go, or what we do in life, simply expect, the unexpected to happen. Now you can't be prepared for all things, but as they say, prevention is far better than cure.
Although more intolerable to the hotter weather, you'll find knee height gaiters, offer more leg coverage/protection, to the chance of snake bite, than ankle gaiters. Another thing to mention, is the low laying, well camouflaged Australian death adder. So be extra careful when walking through thick grass, shrub or rocky terrain & don't be to eager in lifting or pushing any larger pieces of tin, rocks or fallen branches/logs out of the way, which might be hidding some nasty looking critter/s,  in/under them. It is not so much the scratch of a tree limb/branch or stick that can cause serious health risks down the track, as much as a bleeding wound left unattended. Not tending any wound which has drawn blood, with an effective antiseptic straight away, leads to bacteria settling in, leading to infection. I carry a small brown bottle of Iodine in my back pack for such occurrences & never had an issue after treating my sting from an insect or bleeding scratch mark, from an unexpected branch or twig, straight after its occurrence.  
I'v seen a couple of the King browns or Mulgas (what ever people prefer to call them) whilst prospecting in parts of north WA, which put shame to the size of our Victorian ones. No wonder they call them "King Brown"  (6/7 foot long, with a crown on their heads) but never had I heard of a snake when left alone, deliberately go out of its way to chase you, corner you & give you a good hiding. Shocked Q35)
Fret not though. Pay careful attention to your surroundings when walking to & from anywhere & don't worry to much about the critters you happen to encounter out there, for its all part of nature & the rule of thumb, is understanding it. Respect your surroundings & the creatures that happen to inhabit them & I'm quite sure you'll receive the same respect in return.

Cheers Kon. T25
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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Olddognewtricks on Fri May 18, 2018 8:02 am

Would appear many have a very blaz'e view about snakes Shocked Well have seen plenty and have re located plenty also Surprised Even if one doesn't kill you chances are once bitten you won't be finishing your trip as you will be as crook as the proverbial dog. As a previous post has mentioned, even when looking they camouflage in well, and as an example like when you hear a signal and step back to re assess you just might wake one up as you stand on him Rolling Eyes Your life and your call affraid

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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  adrian ss on Fri May 18, 2018 9:29 am

Peta wrote:
I have had a bit of a look and Googled; Scorpions.

Not having grown up with them they are a new insect to me.

I find out that the Scorpions in Australia are non-venomous.

The recommended treatment for a Scorpion sting  is to wash the sting site with soap and water, apply antiseptic and a cold pack to the sting area and, if you need to, take a mild pain-relief medicine, such as paracetamol.

They say the pain is about as intense as a bee sting.

I can handle that.

Peter.

Australian scorps are venomous but not lethal. The sting can carry bacteria which may cause localised infection.

Some info re ticks in Australia.
Most ticks ocupy the warm coastal regions.
http://www.bravecto.com.au/ticks
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/article/2016/10/24/how-sick-can-you-get-tick
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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Nightjar on Fri May 18, 2018 10:02 am

We wear ankle gaiters to keep the rocks and prickles out of our socks, keeping this in mind we are aware there are highly venomous snakes out there but you rarely see them. If we do they are making rapid retreats for cover. While you are swinging your coil you are relatively safe, snakes have poor eyesight, acute hearing and pick up the vibrations of your approach and disappear long before you arrive.
What is common we see prospectors who wear knee length gaiters all day while prospecting, when they get back to their caravan/camp they strip of and walk around wearing thongs and shorts if it is warm.
Snakes hunt at night, you have a greater chance of stepping on one after sundown than during the day.
If you leave your boots outside your tent/van at night jamb your socks in them, scorpions love sheltering in them if left open.
Back in the ICQ days I made contact with many Americans who were paranoid about Australia's venomous snakes, when they were reminded about their cougars, bears, gun toting hill billies and more they seemed to shrug that danger off?
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Re: Snakes, Scorpions, Bush Ticks and other nasties in the Western Australian bush?

Post  Guest on Sat May 19, 2018 8:32 am

Its a sensible idea to wear snake gators in the bush, as if you get bitten here in the WA goldfields your chances of survival could be quite slim even if someone can get you to a town medical post, a recent case in Meekatharra saw a woman and her unborn child die due to from what I can gather the lack of anti venom and she was in the town already, another prospector died last year near Cue and although no details were ever released the rumours were that when found his skin was blue indicating a possible snake bite.

I have seen many snakes over the years on the goldfields and my closest encounter was very early one morning out the back of Cue and it was absolutely freezing and windy, while detecting I happened to look down and a snake about 60 cm long, looked like a Gwardir slid between my feet as I stepped forward and in my surprise I put my detector coil on it and pinned it down while I stepped back, it was very unhappy and bit at the coil, then it shot away into the underbrush, I also noted that it seemed to have flattened itself out very close to the ground maybe to try and stay warm?

Also I have seen death adders in the spinifex out from Karratha and once I even found a snake skin near a rabbit warren that was about five or six feet long and about 3 inches wide, I thought that it was possible from a King Brown, in another place I have found skins in the rocks one being some 3 feet or so long, when I spot these I just move on as you know the owner may be still around better safe than sorry, on my last trip I saw a snake some distance away as they tend to shimmer with the sunlight bouncing off them and it looks a bit like running water, it appeared to be at least 6 ft in length and moving fast, what you have to remember is that they are about even if you don't always see them.

We have them all over here scorpions are common as are big ass spiders and other bugs, the worst pests are the flies but ones that put more fear in us than any other bugs are the "midges" as they are tiny and you don't usually relise they are about until you have multiple bites and you spend the next week or two scratching like a mongrel dog, usually they get you on the ankles, wrists and neck and sometimes on the face as well so you look like you have the pox, if you are allergic to them you can have a bad reaction and end up in hospital as a friends wife did once.

Protection is the key as any injury in the bush can ruin your trip, even a scratch from some of the wood here can make life uncomfortable, I scratched the back of my hand rather badly while collecting fire wood on my last trip and more than two weeks on its still not healed completely, best cover up wear long tight fitting clothing, gloves and gators also serve to keep the bug bities from getting you on the wrists and ankles, some mates have even been bitten much further up by ants and midges in the nether regions as well, while funny to hear about its not do amusing for the receiver.

Apart from that there nothing to worry about just enjoy the trip and get some gold.

cheers

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