There are many species of Spiders that vary in shape, colour, size and behaviour.
Many people fear or dislike spiders due to their appearance,
their building of webs that become unsightly but generally, spiders
are beneficial because of their role as predators
In Australia there are few species of spiders which are:
- deadly and dangerous (red),
- toxic and poisonous (orange) and
- low risk (green)
These species include:
- Sydney Funnel Web Spider,
- Red-back spider,
- White Tail spider,
- Wolf Spider
- Black House spiders, and
- Mouse spider,
- Huntsman spider
- Garden Orb spider,
- Trap Door spider, and
- Saint Andrews Cross spider
A professional pest control sydney expert can assist you to:
- identify the spider in your area,
- eliminate the arachnids in the your area; and
- give you the peace of mind.
There are many species of Spiders that vary in shape, colour, size and behaviour.
Sydney Funnel Web Spider
The Sydney Funnel Web Spider is regarded as one of the most
venomous spiders in the world as is the only species known to have causeddeath in humans. It is up to 4.5 cm inbody size and it presents with 4 spinnerets at the end of the abdomen.It has powerful fangs andis very aggressive.
A male funnel web spider is known to wander from garden and into homes in search of a female, especially summer and autumn and after heavy rain. The funnel web may find shelter in your shoes and clothing. Outside of home, it may also be found in the pools andlast several days under water.
This is achieved by trapping a small air bubble in hairs around the abdomen, which the spider uses to breathe and float.
Usually the female spider is considered the more dangerous, but in the Sydney funnel web species, the male is more dangerous than the female. There are about 40 species of the funnel web spider in Australia.
Having a regular professional pest control expert check your area will assist in minimising and eliminating the risks of these arachnid species.
Red-back spider is a relative of the American black widow spider. The red-back spider is found all over Australia in warmer regions. It prefers to build a web in dry and dark environments usually among rocks, in hollow logs, shrubs, verandas, flower pots, sheds, storage yards, on industrial sites, wood or rubbish, empty cans, under seats, garden sheds, letterboxes and even your house.
Red-back Spiders can be found around homes during all seasons. They are more common in summer and less common in winter months. The red-back spider’s web is a tangle of silk which is used to catch food. They mainly eat insects but are known to include mice, lizards, frogs and snakes in their diet.
The female is bigger than the male. These species are easily identified by their small black body and a red mark on the upper abdomen. Note that the red mark may not always be present on these species.
Symptoms from a bite of a red back spider are: pain, sweating, muscular weakness, abdominal pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure and even paralysis.
White Tail Spider
White tail spider is recognised by white marking on the tip of its tail. The legs are glossy with a reddish tint. Their size is about 12 – 20 mm.
It is commonly found on the eastern and southern parts of Australia during spring to late autumn. These prefer cool and moist environment. These are ground dwelling hunters and are most active at night, looking for insects and other spiders.
The white tail spider lives in gardens and mulch areas, under logs, under rocks and leaf litter.
During summer, the spider is known to enter buildings in order to escape the heat. They find their way inside your home and then the wardrobes, clothes left on the floor, folded towels, bed sheets, bathrooms, laundry, behind curtains and even shoes. They are able to walk on glass due to specialized hairs on the end of their legs.
The bite from these spiders can cause nausea, burning pain, swelling and itchiness near the site. Many people get bitten while sleeping or when getting dressed.
The Wolf Spider is found throughout Australia. There are many species of wolf spiders which vary in size and colour. The colour range is from grey to brown and they can reach body length of up to 3 cm.
Their bodies are low to the ground when walking or running. Wolf spider is recognised by a specialised pattern on its back similar to the Union Jack. Wolf spiders have excellent vision, large jaws and long, strong legs.
The wolf spider is a ground dwelling hunter which builds round burrows in the ground. The burrow entrance is lined with silk may have a trap door, camouflaged and lined equally with the ground.
The wolf spider may be found in gardens, leaf litter and areas of tall grass where they keep watch for food – insects and small vertebrates. They may also dwell under stones and logs, preferring covered, hidden areas.
The wolf spider is considered poisonous but not deadly. The wolf spider is known to bite if provoked. The bite may be very painful and result in swelling and itching around the site. Other symptoms may include nausea and headaches.
Black House Spider
The Black House Spider’s body ranges from a dark brown to black. There is a faint pattern on the body and legs. The body may be up to 15 mm in length.
This species is shy and runs into hiding when approached. The species is not considered as deadly and bites are rare. The bite may be result in the following reactions: pain at the site, sweating, muscular pains, vomiting and headaches.
The black house spider builds messy webs usually in isolated areas such as: corners of windows and doors, guttering, brick walls, garden sheds, bathrooms and among rocks and bark. These feed on insects such as: flies, mosquitoes and moths.
The mouse spider is found throughout Australia. The species is recognised for its glossy black colour. The body length of the female is up to 3 cm and 1.2 cm of males. These species have large, thick fangs which can inflict a painful and serious bite.
The mouse spider lives in burrows that may be up to 60 cm deep in the ground. The burrow and entrance is lined with silk. The spider also builds a side chamber, which is used for egg sacs, and is closed by a trapdoor. Their diet consists mainly of insects. The mouse spider often leaves the burrow after the rain in search of a female. The mouse spider is often mistaken for a funnel web. It also has spinnerets but these are much shorter in mouse spiders and also there is no spur on the legs.
The mouse spider is considered aggressive and will stand up on hind legs when threatened.
There are about 100 species of the Huntsman Spider in Australia. It has a very flat and brown, hairy body of about 2 cm in length. The front legs are longer than the hind legs. The huntsman has the ability to move forward as well as sideways. They are move at lightening-fast speed. The huntsman spider is a shy, non aggressive spider and is known to rarely bite. There are no known fatalities from their bite.
They live under the loose bark of trees andlogs, in crevices and under rocks, and on screen of your car. The huntsman may enter your home during the wet weather and is often spotted at night on walls of kitchen, dining room; in search for food. These spiders are hunters – they chase their prey and immobilise it with their venom.
Their diet consists of insects, small lizards and frogs.
It is found throughout Australia.
Garden Orb Spider
There are over 100 species of the Garden Orb Spider in Australia wide. These are commonly found in the bush and also around the home during summer. This spider sets its web between trees and shrubs to trap food. The garden orb spider’s body is up to 3 cm in length with colour ranging from reddish brown to grey.
This species spin circular webs that can extend for more than 2 meters. When the web is completed, the spider sits in the middle of it and waits for food. When an insect flies into the web, the spider feels the vibrations and rushes to wrap the insect in silk and then inject venom to kill the prey. Once the insect has been killed, it is then taken to the middle of the web and is eaten or saved for later.
The garden orb spider is not aggressive and rarely bites. If bite occurs, symptoms include: mild pain, numbness, swelling, nausea and dizziness.
Saint Andrew’s Cross Spider
The St Andrew’s Cross Spider is a common species of orb-web spider found on the east coast of Australia. It is more common in summer in gardens among shrubs. The spider’s body is up to 1.5 cm long.
The St. Andrew’s Cross Spider always sits in the middle of the web: upside down with the legs in pairs. Females are bigger than males. Their colour ranges from silver, yellow, red and black bands on the abdomen while males are brown and cream.
St Andrew’s Cross spider is not aggressive and is considered a low risk to humans.
The Trapdoor Spider appearance may be confused with the funnel web. The trapdoor is found throughout Australia.
Its body is covered with fine hairs and may be up to 3.5 cm long. The trapdoor spider is smaller than the funnel web. The first pair of palps consist of the spur, unlike the second pair of palps in the funnel web.
The Trapdoor Spider lives in a burrow, up to 25 cm below the ground and traps passing by insects as food. These may include: cockroaches, crickets, other spiders and beetles.
The habitat preferred by this species is dry in lawns, gardens and bush.
The species is non aggressive and considered a low risk to people.
The presence of spiders can be recognised by either spotting the spider or the web inside your home, in your garden or backyard.
Careful inspections and checks of areas at risk will assist you to prevent and minimise spider occurrence in your home and garden.
For more information contact your local Pest Control expert.
Simple strategies to achieve this include:
- identify the spider as this will assist in determining the management for the species for example: if the spider builds webs, then aim will be to destroy the webs as this is the place where the spider spends most of its time
- eliminate the spider by gentle use of broomstick or vacuum cleaner
- destroy spider webs by use of broomsticks
- reduce outdoor lighting that may attract insects
- decrease vegetation near buildings
- eliminate debris to discourage insects and other spiders
- seal openings and crevices
- install screens
- install door sweeps to prevent spider coming indoors
- check fire wood before bringing it into the house for spiders or spider eggs
- keep wood piles away from the house
- keep grass cut low
- have regular pest control inspections
The elimination of spiders basically focuses on preventing spiders entering the house, minimising the food supply and minimising the conditions that encourage the spider to set up house and reproduce.
If you are concerned and unsure about the spiders living in and around your home, the best thing to do is to leave the spider alone.
Remember: Do not touch the spider or provoke it.
Call the pest control experts who can offer practical and environmentally friendly solutions.