When it rains, it pours… funnel web spiders. That’s right, with the high levels of rainfall, experts are urging people to beware of funnel-web spiders as they get washed out of their burrows and into our unsuspecting paths, basements, bathrooms and other refuges.
Pest control expert Neel Patel from Fantastic Services says some funnel-web spiders produce venom, which is dangerous to humans, and bites by spiders of six of the species have caused severe injuries to victims.
“The bite of the Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus) and northern tree funnel-web spider (Hadronyche formidabilis) are potentially deadly, but no fatalities have occurred since the introduction of modern first-aid techniques and antivenom,” Neel explains. “But you still don’t want to risk being attacked by one of the critters!”
Funnel-web spiders: where you will find them
So where do these critters hang out?
“In Sydney, male funnel-web spiders have a habit of wandering into backyards and falling into suburban swimming pools, where they can survive many hours,” says Neel.
But the rain, and the seasons can both affect where spiders reside.
“You have probably noticed an increasing number of spiders during autumn and winter, because they’re hungry,” Neel says. “And Daddy spider is out looking for a Mummy spider. In other words, it’s mating season. This usually happens at the end of the summer, but it varies for the different kinds of spiders.”
What to do if you are bitten by a funnel-web spider
NSW Health advises that funnel-web bites should be left untouched, except for the use of an elasticised bandage, and the victim should remain still until medical help arrives. Call 000 immediately.
How to get rid of spiders naturally
So what happens if you’re faced with an eight-legged friend?
“Before you go straight for the kill, our advice is to always try to relocate and get rid the spiders humanely,” advises Neel. “If they are somewhere near an exit, such as a window, or a door, push them gently with a stick or a ruler for some motivation. However, if you are a bit squeamish and you just want them out of your sight, you can use a vacuum, try spider glue traps, or deter them with a mixture of vinegar and peppermint oil.”
When to call Pest control
“If you are afraid of dealing with spiders or you think your home is infested with them, it is best to consult with a professional,” explains Neel. “Fantastic Services follows a 4-step process: a professional pest control technician surveys the property, treats the property, observes efficiency with follow up visits and ‘prevents’ the return by sealing entry points.