The itsy bitsy creepy crawlie.  Oftentimes, spiders are merely scary to look at.  However, some of them are venomous so we need to steer clear of them.  Spider bites can range from mildly irritating to horribly painful and in a few cases, lethal.  Spiders also do not often enter homes but there are some instances when they do.

Here’s some advice to help you spot them.

Signs of a problem:

  • Spiders are often concealed in dark, isolated places, inside and outside your home.
  • Presence of cob webs in and around your home
  • Other insect pests in your home will attract spiders as these are potential prey
  • Appearance of spiders and their hatchlings
  • When bitten by any spider, try to catch it so that it can be identified and the correct anti-venom prepared.

Fast Facts on Common Spiders:

  1. SpidersRed back Spider
  • Redbacks are either black or brown. A red strip or spots, and sometimes white or yellow patterns, mark the back of their abdomens.
  • They build webs in areas with stacked items, trash, under roof eaves, on the floorboards and in the garden. They prefer the quiet and dark.  Their webs are loose and messy, with some leaves stuck on them
  • Their bites are initially hardly felt but severe pain occurs after a few minutes, as well as swelling, weakness, nausea, and fever. Victims should seek treatment and anti-venom right away.  Their bites can be fatal for children and the elderly.   
  1. Funnel Web Spiders
  • Funnel webs are large and dark-coloured, either black, brown or purple.
  • They live in burrows found in damp, cool areas, like under rocks, shrubs and decomposing logs. Funnel webs tend to invade homes after rains.
  • Their bites cause pain, numbness, sweating, and nausea. Anti-venom should be administered right away as the funnel web’s bite is deadly.
  1. White Tail Spiders
  • White tails are usually dark red or grey with medium sized bodies.  Their abdomen has faint white spots and a white spot at the tip but these marks fade as they grow older.
  • They prefer to live in dark, moist areas around the house and garden, like under rocks and logs, but during the summer and autumn, they often venture into homes. They may hide in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas.  They’re nocturnal and don’t have their own webs but approach others because they prey on other smaller spiders.
  • When bitten, victims will feel a burning pain and then swelling and itchiness.
  1. Mouse Spiders
  • Mouse Spiders are dark brown or black, with large fangs, and are known to be aggressive and strong, able to subdue larger prey.
  • They live in burrows in damp areas near water sources. They are rarely seen and only venture out at night when looking for a mate or if heavy rain reaches their burrow.
  • Their bites are painful and result in swelling and itchiness. Anti-venom should be administered right away as their venom is almost as deadly as the funnel web spider’s.
  1. Black House Spiders
  • Black house spiders are also aggressive and strong, with a dark brown to black body and grey abdomen.
  • Their webs look messy with a funnel-like area and can be seen in gardens on tree trunks and logs. In homes, they often lie in wait around windows, or fences.
  • These spiders are not dangerous and do not often bite. But when they do, their bites cause acute pain, numbness and nausea.
  1. Wolf Spiders
  • Wolf spiders are usually brown or grey with light brown or black markings on their backs. Another distinctive feature they have is their large eyes.  They are robust, quick and aggressive, chasing their prey on the ground.
  • They build their burrows in open ground, with a circular trap door. During the day, they hide in moss and anything decomposing.
  • Their bite is not dangerous but in some cases, can cause pain, nausea and swelling.
  1. Trap Door Spiders
  • Trap door spiders have dark brown to black bodies with tiny hairs.
  • They make their burrows in gardens and open ground. Their burrows are silk-lined, with a silky lid, but actually do not have a trap door.
  • They also bite when threatened and this causes pain and swelling but they’re not particularly dangerous.
  1. Garden Orb Weaving Spiders/ Garden Orb Spiders
  • Garden Orb Weavers are large, with reddish brown or grey bodies and triangular abdomens.
  • They make sticky, orb-shaped webs between trees or shrubs to catch flying insects.
  • They are timid and do not bite unless threatened. Their bites cause mild pain, and sometimes numbness, swelling, and nausea.
  1. Huntsman Spiders
  • Huntsman spiders are mostly brown, black and grey, with a flat body and long legs. Their two back pairs of legs shorter than those in front, which let them move sideways swiftly.
  • They live on tree trunks, under rocks, on the walls or near the roof spaces of dwellings.
  • They move fast; however, they are timid and do not bite unless provoked. Their bites cause swelling and pain but are not dangerous.
  1. Daddy Long Legs Spiders
  • Daddy long legs are distinguishable because of their very long, thin legs and small grey body.
  • They tend to spin loose webs near human dwellings, in hidden areas like under furniture, behind doors, and in garden sheds.  They prey on insects and other spiders.
  • They are not dangerous, having only small fangs which cannot pierce human skin and are not known to bite.
  1. Andrew’s Cross Spiders
  • These garden spiders are so named because of the cross-like position of their legs and the cross-like pattern in their webs.  The females are more conspicuous with yellow, red and black bands on their abdomen.
  • Aside from the cross pattern on their webs, the webs are also sticky, orb-like and reflect ultraviolet light, which are thought to attract flying insects. Andrew’s Cross Spiders often spin their webs around shrubs and walls.
  • These spiders are harmless, and hardly bite. Their bites cause mild pain and perhaps some numbness and swelling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image by Tatters on Flickr