Never taunt your wife with a plastic spider.
That's the lesson a Faulconbridge man has learnt after being bitten by a funnel-web spider on Australia Day, less than an hour after playing a practical joke on his wife with a fake arachnid.
Ian Beard was bitten by the funnel-web spider while clearing a drain at the bottom of his Sir Henry's Parade driveway about 12.40pm on Sunday. The spider was still clinging to the 66-year-old's index finger when he pulled his right arm from the drain.
After calling 000, the Faulconbridge man was taken to Nepean Hospital by ambulance where he was eventually given six vials of anti-venom to recover from the attack.
Initially experiencing some numbness in his arms and lips, Mr Beard didn't think it was so serious.
"I was just hoping the ambo would give me some anti-venom and we could go to the club," he said.
But he had no chance of enjoying an Australia Day beer; instead spending the night at Nepean Hospital after his symptoms included spasms and extreme sweats.
Reptile authorities had issued a warning about increased funnel-web spider activity only last week, following the recent hot and wet conditions.
Australian Reptile Park keeper Jake Meney told the ABC the recent rainfall followed by hot days had created conditions in which funnel-web spiders "thrive within".
Recovering at his home on Monday, Mr Beard was able to make light of the experience, with a vow to refrain from spider-related practical jokes in the future.
"I surprised [my wife] Bridgette with a plastic spider and half an hour later I got bitten by a funnel web. That's karma for you," he said.
But he also took away a serious lesson from the spider attack.
"Stupidly, I should have been wearing gloves, which I will from now on," he said.