Australia is home to hundreds of species of spiders, of which only about twelve or so are regarded as urban pests. Spiders are usually nocturnal creatures and come out at night, when they hunt for food and feed on insects and other spiders.
Spiders can be especially annoying when they invade homes. They tend to gravitate towards dark, warm and narrow spaces like corners, cracks in the wall, eaves and air vents. If you are not sure which type of spider has taken up residence in your home, our pest control experts can identify the offending species.
Some species opt to stay closer to the outside world and spin webs in the yard or close to outdoor lighting. Spider webs are one of the biggest annoyances with spiders.
How do you know if you have a Spider Infestation?
Spiders usually reside in the darker, more deserted areas of both the house and the yard. Here’s how to tell if you’ve got a spider problem.
- Check for spider webs – The shape and size of a spider web can be indicative of the species responsible for making it. Observe whether the web is shaped like a funnel wheel or messy, tangled looking web.
- Not all species live in webs. Some live in burrows, while others run around all over the place and then retreat into crevices.
- Some spiders prefer moisture, so check for signs of dampness in walls, basements, sheds and elsewhere.
- Some types of spiders are commonly found in attics, wardrobes, on cornices and boxes used for storage.
- Spiders eat insects like flies, ants and moths, as well as other spiders. So a home where there is a rich supply of other creatures to devour is more likely to be also inhabited by spiders.
As autumn approaches and it becomes colder, spiders can tend to become livelier as they emerge from their hiding places in search of a mate. Some die as autumn ends, but others go into hibernation till spring.
Spiders create a silken sac into which they lay their eggs. Each sac contains about a hundred eggs (this varies with the species). The sac may be attached to something, concealed in the web or carried on the body of the female. If you spot a sac fixed somewhere in your home, that’s a sign that there will soon be more spiders.
Controlling spiders must be done regularly in order to stop minor spikes in the spider population from escalating into full blown invasions.
Spiders can be tricky to keep at bay, and certain species prefer hiding places that are difficult to locate. When spiders go into hiding they can be very difficult to find, so it is important to have regular treatments done in order to keep the population under control.
Sydney funnel-web spider: There are approximately 40 species of funnel-web spider is spread out over Australia. The Sydney Funnel Web spider is large when fully grown, black and can be quite aggressive. Its painful bite is also toxic, and the males have been crowned the most dangerous spider in Australia (and in the world). They thrive in cool and moist environments and usually reside in burrows marked by web lines which extend from the entry. These burrows are often situated beneath plants which grow close to the ground, logs, rock gardens and fallen leaves, as well as in areas with plenty of moisture like swimming pools, laundries and taps located outdoors. The male spider exits the burrow to look for a mate in autumn, especially after rain, which is also when most victims get bitten. The spider’s bite is very painful and the affected area must be subjected to a pressure immobilisation bandage and a doctor sought immediately. Nobody has died since anti-venom was developed in 1981.
Redback spider: Found in all parts of Australia, the female of this species is highly dangerous. The male, which is smaller, does not bite people. Female redbacks are medium sized black in colour and quite often have a distinctive red stripe atop the abdomen. These spiders spin webs in sheltered, dry areas like sheds, piles of trash, logs and toilets. Bites are painful but the poison but the development of anti-venom, nobody has died. The victim of a bite should immediately apply ice packs on the affected area and seek medical assistance. Redback spiders usually do not venture far from their webs, so steering clear of these webs is the best way to stay safe.
White-tailed spider: This species lives mostly on the ground and usually feasts on other spiders. It is reddish grey in colour and is found mostly in Southeast Australia, inhabiting homes and hiding in cupboards, bathrooms, cracks and crevices. When outdoors, it is often spotted hiding in leaf litter and beneath logs and bark. Beware as these spiders sometimes hide in clothes, shoes and bedding. The white tailed spider bite has been recorded causing tissue necrosis and ulcers in a few very sensitive specific people. To be safe, if you are bitten, see a doctor immediately.
Mouse spider: These spiders live in burrows near water bodies like rivers and creeks. The females are big and their bodies brown or dark brown. They closely resemble trapdoor or funnel-web spiders. Bites from this species are poisonous and hurt, so put on a pressure bandage and see a doctor immediately if you are bitten.
Black House spider: Otherwise called the window spider, is a dark brown or black spider with body markings. It spins webs and is often concealed in wall crevices and in undisturbed corners. Outdoors, it often hides on tree trucks and beneath logs and bark. Although this is not an aggressive species, bites when they do occur are painful.
Huntsman spider: These spiders have a frightening appearance. They are characterised by large, flat bodies, long, hairy legs and vary in colour depending upon the species. They devour insects, cockroaches and white-tailed spiders, which are actually much more dangerous. They often hide under bark or in cars during the day. Bites, while painful and capable of causing swelling, are usually not dangerous, and can be treated with a cold pack.
Flick Pest Control’s Spider Treatment Program
The key to controlling spiders is to firstly find their breeding sites and hiding places, and then treat them directly. In the context of a building or structure, all the areas they live in must be treated.
Spiders often live or nest in areas that are invisible to the naked eye, such as cracks and cavities in walls, the spaces in between two storeys of a building, roof voids, drains, grease traps and subfloors.
The offending spiders must be treated directly with an approved and registered insecticide. All crevices and cracks, lighting, windows and doorways must be treated, as well as around down pipes, under seating and also around any business equipment or furniture which may contain webbing where spiders live.
Professional Spider Control
Flick Pest Control will perform a thorough spider inspection of your property to ensure any harmful spider species are found and identified.
- If a dangerous or problematic species of spider is found, you will be advised on the most appropriate treatments for your situation.
- All of Flick’s qualified technicians are proficient in spider control and provide a wide variety of professional spider solutions.
If you would like to know more about our spider control services, give us a ring on 13 14 40 or fill in our contact form and we will get back to you.