Pest Info - Spiders
Redback Spider ( Latrodectus hasselti )
A redback spider has a somewhat round, shiny black abdomen with a red stripe on its back. Outdoors they live under rocks and down tree limbs, around the house they are often found in firewood piles and pool areas. Indoors they may be found in basements and crawlspaces, and sometimes in secluded places in garages and sheds.
(Lactrodectus spp.) The redback spider is found throughout the Australia. They live in secluded locations and feed on insects and other spiders that are trapped in their web. They are usually not aggressive spiders, but if handled or accidentally touched they may bite. Their venom may cause pain and serious illness; if bitten a person should place ice on the wound and seek medical attention.
Wear gloves when working around wood piles or moving item in sheds and garages. Be cautious of spider webs when working in basements and crawlspaces.
White-tailed spider ( Lampona cylindrata )
The White-tailed spider is a medium sized spider with long bullet-shaped charcoal grey abdomen. The abdomen is charcoal with a distinct white or cream spot at the tip of the abdomen just above the spinnerets. The legs are brown or reddish brown in colour. These are slow moving spiders and travel looking for prey which is other spiders.
White-tailed spiders seek cool dark areas under bark and leaf-litter. They often come into houses but are not often seen because the spider is most active at night. Bathrooms are a common area to find this spider due to the cool nature of this area. They are sometimes found in the folds of clothes, towels and shoes.
Bite symptoms are local pain, red mark, local swelling and itchiness, sometimes nausea, vomiting, or headache may occur. The bite from these has been linked with spreading skin ulcers and necrosis. Current treatment involves skin grafts to halt the spread of the necrosis. It is thought that the disease is caused by bacteria present on the spider's fangs rather than the venom itself.
Sydney Funnel-web Spider ( Atrax robustus)
The Sydney Funnel-web Spider is very aggressive and one of the deadliest spiders in the world. They are glossy and darkly coloured, ranging from blue-black to black to brown or dark-plum coloured. The carapace covering the cephalothorax is almost hairless and so appears smooth and glossy. Males are smaller than females. The male has more slender legs and a spur on the third segment of the second leg.
This tiny spur is used to hold the female's fangs during mating. Funnel-webs are extremely aggressive spiders and when threatened they raise their front legs high off the ground and point their fangs forward ready to strike. When they strike they drive the fangs down with force and speed.
Males tend to wander during the warmer months of the year looking for receptive females to mate with. They are attracted to water and therefore are found in swimming pools, into which they fall while wandering. The spiders can survive in the pool for up to twenty-four hours and can still bite when removed from the water.
The Sydney funnel-web spider bite is one of the most dangerous in the world. Bites can be fatal if not treated. An antivenom is available and no fatalities have been reported since its introduction. Seek medical treatment immediately if bitten.