Spiders | Australian Spiders | Spider Control

Post image for Spiders | Australian Spiders | Spider Control

by 1300PestControl on November 11, 2018

Spider Control.

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Spider Facts

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How to Get Rid of Spiders. Spider control in house

Spider control.  Spiders are part of our environment and have an important role to play in the control of insects in and around our homes.  Spiders fall into a few categories, Ground Dwelling Spiders, Orb Weaving Spiders, Spider Anglers and Other Spiders, categories by where they reside commonly. Most spiders that we encounter are non aggressive and/ or produce a non toxic bite.  There are those few though that give the spider a bad reputation, that will show signs of aggression and whose bites cause be painful and at times fatal.

The best method for how to get rid of spiders or spider control in house is to reply on direct contact between the spider and the insecticide.    A blanket spray spider treatment will prove a positive result in eradicating ground dwelling spiders, particularly if the spider infestation is severe, but will also destroy many useful creatures.  Consult with your pest technician as to what your spider problem is and the activity that you experience.  Your technician will carry out an inspection of the property and ensure areas such as roof voids, crevices, mail boxes and other commonly accessed areas to specific spider types are treated. Proper spider identification to determine control methods and minimize blanket sprays is important.

Once spiders have established themselves it is difficult to get rid of them without professional help.


Spiders have the remarkable ability to close off their lungs for several hours, so many surface sprays and aerosols fail to kill them and their egg cases.  The most efficient method is the use of fast-acting contact chemicals that kill spiders dead in their tracks.


1300 Pest Control treatments are environmentally friendly, child and animal safe and can be specifically tailored to suit your needs.  Our pest control specialists will thoroughly inspect your home to determine the extent of your spider problem and will recommend an appropriate action plan.

1300 PestControl offer clients Warrantees on Treatments*

Spider Prevention

In most cases, spiders are timid, reluctant to bite and are great for controlling cockroaches and other nasties in your home.  It is usually best to leave them be, as many people are bitten whilst trying to capture or kill spiders.  However, if you have young children, are worried about being biten or simply can’t stand sharing your house with 8-legged tenants, you can try the following:


  • Seal any cracks and crevices around your home and place rolled up towels or door stoppers under your doors.  Even the largest huntsman spider can flatten its body to sneak through tiny gaps.
  • Control insects – spiders enter our house seeking readily available prey and will quickly move on if there are no bugs for them to eat
  • Turn off exterior lights at night time – these will attract insects into your home, encouraging spiders
  • Keep your lawn mowed, bushes well pruned and yard clear of debris.  This will reduce shelter for both spiders and the insects they eat.
  • Remove any webs that you see in your home and stomp on any egg cases (or if you’re feeling charitable, pop them in a jar and release them in a nearby park or bushland).
  • Wear gloves when gardening or handling rubbish
  • Wear footwear when outside, particularly at night when ground dwelling spiders are more active and in spider prone areas such as on bushwalks
  • Tidy up outside toys and articles each night to avoid spiders using these things are temporary shelter
  • Be alert for ground dwelling spiders after very wet conditions and after insecticidal treatments as they tend to wander further than usual


Spider Facts

Arachnida Order Araneae

What Do Spiders Look Like?

Spiders are arachnids, a group of 8-legged critters including mites, ticks and scorpions.  The body of a spider can be divided into 2 parts – the “front body” known as the head or prosoma and the “rear body” called the abdomen or opisthosoma.


Most spiders have 8 eyes, but depending on the species they may have 6, 4, 2 and in some cave dwelling species – none at all!


Despite all of those eyes, many spiders have poor vision, relying instead on touch and taste to detect prey.  Jumping spiders are the exception – they have excellent vision and can even track their own image in a mirror!


Spiders have two finger-like palps near their mouth, which are often mistaken for legs or antennae (which arachnids don’t possess).  They help spiders to taste and manipulate their prey (like a little set of cutlery).  The jaws of a spider are known as chelicerae.  They consist of a strong, wide base which tapers down in to a sharp, curved fang.  Venom is pumped from glands in the head through a narrow tube ending in a tiny hole at the tip of the fang, much like a hypodermic needle.


Spiders have eight legs, which are covered in highly sensitive hairs that help to detect their surroundings – in particular the vibrations caused by nearby prey.

How Do Spiders Breed?

Attracting a mate in the spider world is not all that different from our dating rituals.  Spiders use alluring perfumes (chemical smells known as pheromones) and strut their stuff (by flashing brightly coloured legs or abdomens).  Males impress females with their dancing skills (by waving their legs or body) and will give elaborately wrapped gourmet gifts (usually a fly bundled up in silk).


Male spiders lack a proper sex organ.  Instead they deposit their sperm on a little pad of silk and then pick it up with the swollen tips of their palps.  The male then transfers it to the female.


Eggs are laid in batches wrapped in silk to protect them from the elements and hungry predators.  The silken egg case can contain several hundred eggs.  Some spiders show maternal care – a female wolf spider will carefully tow her egg case around until they hatch and will even give her young spiderlings a piggy-back ride on her abdomen until they are big enough to fend for themselves.


Spiders will moult their skin between 4 and 20 times to reach adulthood, depending on the size of the spider.

Where Do Spiders Live?

Spiders are found in every country, with the exception of Antarctica.  Over 40 000 species have been described so far.


Australian Spiders can occupy many different habitats, from tree canopies to underground burrows, in domestic dwellings and even in and around the water.  Many spiders disperse by ballooning – releasing parachute-like webs from the end of their bodies and rising on the breeze to colonise new locations.  They can travel hundreds of kilometers and have even been found floating several thousand meters in the air!

What Do Spiders Eat?

All spiders are carnivores, preferring to catch and kill live prey.  They will eat any organism small enough for them to overpower, from insects such as flies and grasshoppers for smaller spiders, through to lizards, frogs and even small birds in larger species.


With a few rare exceptions, all spiders produce venom which is used to subdue their prey.  Venom also contains enzymes to help break down tissue – spiders have no teeth so can only suck up liquid food.


Their hunting techniques are varied.  Orb weavers produce large silken webs and wait for insects to become tangled in the sticky threads.  Huntsman spiders are ground hunters using their powerful legs to chase down prey.  The clever (and very lazy) net-casting spider can’t be bothered spinning an entire web.  Instead he makes a little net which he holds between his front legs.  He throws this web over passing insects, much like a lasso!

Are Spiders Dangerous?

It goes without saying that spiders are probably the most feared and hated animals on Earth.  But of the 40 000 plus species world-wide only around 200 can inflict a harmful bite.  Many spiders have fangs that are too small to pierce human skin and most spiders are timid creatures, only striking as a last resort.

Most Australian Spiders are no threat to humans and function well as natural pest controllers themselves.  Some common types found in and around the home that are harmless are;


Garden Orb Weaver – Not aggressive. Hides in foliage during the day and constructs web at night.


Golden Orb Weaver – Not aggressive. Web is very strong with slight yellowish sheen.


Huntsman – Not aggressive. Lives under bark or mulch during the day and active of a night, often found entering houses to feed on insects.


Daddy Long Legs – Not aggressive. Lives mainly indoors, a tangled web tucked into crevices, cracks, upper walls and ceilings.


Spider Identification is important.  Some of the more commonly found spiders in our homes or those to watch out for spider bite symptoms are listed below.


Red back Spiders

Latrodectus hasseltii

Adult female red back spiders are 12-15mmthe size of a fifty cent coin, with shiny black legs and head.  Males are only 3-4cm, Their abdomen is black to dark brown, with a bright red stripe down the centre and a red marking underneath their abdomen in the shape of an hour-glass.  Only adult female red back spiders possess fangs that are large enough to pierce our skin – males and juveniles are considered harmless.


The Red back Spider has a very bad reputation and belongs to the same genus as the infamous Black Widow Spider in the Northern Hemisphere.  The following factors contribute to its status as a notorious pest:


  • Widespread throughout Australia.
  • Very tough – can withstand extremely cold and dry conditions.
  • Breeds prolifically – egg sacs can contain up to 300 eggs and are resistant to aerosol insecticide sprays.
  • Redbacks are rarely found in natural forest, instead preferring developed urban environments such as our homes and backyards.
  • They build their tangled webs under the lips of pot plants, the handles and edges of wheelie bins, the rim of above-ground pools; around outdoor furniture and play equipment, under window sills and around the petrol pumps at service stations.
  • They can inflict a painful bite and their venom contains a powerful neurotoxin.  Spider bite symptoms may include sweating, nausea, vomiting, fainting, irregular or rapid heartbeat, muscle spasms and paralysis.  Anyone bitten should seek medical advice immediately
  • Over 5000 bites are recorded in Australia each year – thankfully a readily available, highly effective anti-venom means that few bites are fatal.


What to do if bitten by a RedBack  Spider.  Red back spider bite.

  • Remove any tight clothing and remain calm
  • Apply a cold pack to the bite being careful not to freeze tissue
  • Seek medical assistance promptly or call triple 0 for an Ambulance
  • Avoid all stimulation until medical assistance has been sought


White-tailed Spider


The White-tailed Spider, also referred to as the white tip spider, gets its name from the pale spot located at the end of its dark grey, oval-shaped abdomen.  It is the size of a fifty cent coin and doesn’t build a web, instead hunting food on foot.  White-tails prefer cool, dark places and are frequently found in our homes on the walls, under beds and in bathrooms.


White-tailed spiders aren’t timid and will bite repeatedly if disturbed.  Their venom is a cytotoxin, causing tissue death which paves the way for bacterial infections.  Bites are painful and may be accompanied by redness, swelling and small ulcers.  Despite reports in the media, there is no scientific evidence to support claims of extensive necrosis (widespread skin loss) and ulcers as a result of White-tailed spider bite symptoms.

What to do if bitten by a white tail spider. White tail spider bite.

  • Remove any tight clothing and remain calm
  • Apply a cold compress to the bite site
  • If you do suffer skin loss you need to seek emergency medical assistance.  In these rare instances surgery in hospital can be required.


Funnel Web Spider

Altrax robustus

The Sydney Funnel Web Spider (as well as the Northern Rivers funnel web spider) is regarded as the most dangerous of all spiders in Australia to humans as their spider bite is very toxic and they are considered aggressive.  They favour moist dark situations and are active in late summer and autumn.  Males are the most sighted as wonder further in hunt of a female during the later summer months.

A pain will develop in the area of the bite and numbness could set in.  Other spider bite symptoms that can develop include; nausea & vomiting, profuse sweating and collapse, frothing at the mouth, breathing difficulty, cramps and pain in the limbs and abdomen, deleriousness, twitching & contractions, sluggish reflexes, eye failure and coma.  If you are bitten or even suspect it a funnel web bite seek an ambulance immediately as anti venom is available in most ambulances & well as hospitals.

What to do if bitten by a Funnel Web Spider. Funnel web spider bite.

  • Remove any tight clothing and remain calm
  • Apply pressure to the  bite using a broad roller bandage or equivalent. Cover the bite side first and extend bandage to both extremities of the limb.
  • Call triple 0 for an Ambulance
  • Avoid all stimulation, avoid liquids, remain as calm as you can while waiting for help to arrive


Spider Web

Spider silk is one of the strongest substances on Earth.  A single strand is five times stronger than a similar-sized strand of steel.


Written by Michelle Gleeson from Bugs.Ed  www.bugsed.com/


For further spider information relating to spiders in Southern Queensland visit www.findaspider.org.au

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