Australia is home to some of the most unusual and deadly spiders in the world. Our parents always tell us not to touch spiders and let someone know if they see one in the yard or around the home. Unfortunately, every year children and adults are bitten by spiders and many don’t know what to do to ease the pain and preserve life of our loved ones.
We often find spiders under kid’s toys, on play equipment and around outdoor areas such as BBQ’s, pergolas and inside homes. Of course, we treat these pest problems immediately for our customers, but here we would like to share important information on what to do if you or your family and friends are unwittingly bitten by a spider.
Below is a list of the most common spiders, where they can be found and what to do if you are bitten – please stay safe!
Australian Spider Characteristics
Funnel-Web Spiders are potentially the most dangerous spider in the world and one of the most feared in Australia. The body length of the male is approximately 25mm in length and the female up to 40mm. They have a shiny dark brown to black head/thorax with a dark plum to black abdomen.
Both males and females of all species of Funnel-Webs are very aggressive and bites from either sexes are potentially dangerous, even fatal.
In Queensland, Funnel-Web Spiders tend to be more common in moist, cool rain forests, whereas in southern states they occur also in the drier eucalypt forest.
Occurs in all parts of Australia except Tasmania and are often referred to as the true Trapdoor spider. The name “mouse” comes from its burrowing tendencies. This species lives in tunnels (vertical burrows) in the ground.
Fangs are strong so bite is painful. Several bites have been recorded without serious effects. Localised swelling with some pain, burning or itchiness at the site of the bite have been recorded. No recorded fatalities from bites. Adults are normally considered the pest but should be considered as useful because they feeds on other insects.
More abundant in warm, dry areas. Occur under or amongst stones, logs, mallee roots, loose bark, in hollow logs, occasionally amongst foliage but always with some pare of the web in contact with the ground. Frequently around habitations in boxes, tins, farm machinery, sheds, outdoor toilets, around window sills and crevices in bricks.
Female bites are very painful and can cause illness or death. The bite is often felt initially as a mild sting, although some victims have reported a burning sensation around the bite area. In most cases, intense local pain is experienced about five minutes after the bite. The main indication of a Redback Spider bite is localized seating at the bite site. Other symptoms can include muscular weakness, lack of coordination, paralysis and tremors. Nausea, vomiting, local swelling, dizziness or fainting, fever and muscular spasms have also been recorded Male does not bite. Webs can be unsightly on structures. Adults are considered the pest.
White Tailed Spider
Found across Australian mainland, Tasmania and New Zealand. Can be found under stones, under bark, leaf litter and on bark of trees. Frequently enter homes and can be found on walls at night.
Bite readily and repeatedly. Bite causes discolouration, redness, blisters at the site of the bite, headaches, local burning, pain and itchiness. Bacterial infection and tissue necrosis are known side-effects of bite from this group of spiders.
The Brown House Spider has the same overall body
shape as the Redback Spider but does not inflict a dangerous bite. Recorded
symptoms include mild nausea and headache, pain and the formation of an
itchy red welt at the bite site.
Nothing worse than adjusting your sun visor and a huntsman drops on your lap while driving. This is a common and dangerous experience for most people.
Bark-dwelling, often found beneath loose bark of trees, suited to their flattened bodies. Emerge at night to hunt for food. Can enter homes during wet or unseasonal weather (especially at night when in search of food).
Can invade homes much to the horror of spider haters because of size and hairy appearance. Bites occur rarely and no known causes of fatalities exist.
If you keep your car in the garage, there are some basic signs to look out for to protect your vehicle from a spider infestation and you from an unwanted surprise.
For more information and to get your free checklist, visit Garage Lovers.
Black Widow Spiders
What to do if you are bitten by a spider
Some of the listed spiders pack a nasty sting while others can be deadly. The following out lines basic first aid steps – if in doubt, call 000 immediately:
- Follow DRSABCD.
- Lie the patient down.
- Wash with soap and water.
- Apply icepack to relieve pain.
- Seek urgent medical aid if patient develops severe symptoms such as anaphylaxis – Call 000 Immediately.
If you believe or suspect that you have a spider pest problem, please contact Amalgamated Pest Control Adelaide for further advice.