Spiders in Australia
Spiders thrive in the heat and humidity typical of Australia. Australia is home to some of the most poisonous spiders in the world, including the:
- Funnel web spider
- Redback spider
- Mouse spider
- White tailed spider
- Black house spider, and
- Wolf spider.
If it’s any consolation, the world’s most venomous spider (according to the Guinness Book of Records) is the Brazilian wandering spider which, as its name may suggest, is native to Brazil.
Although many people are bitten by spiders each year, morbidity and death are extremely rare, especially since the introduction of anti-venom. With a bit of knowledge, you can easily protect yourself from spider bites.
Spiders usually build their homes in dusty, undisturbed areas. To prevent them from making your home their home, sweep, vacuum or mop regularly – this includes under beds and cupboards. You can also knock down their webs, although it’s not a bad idea to leave outside spiders be, as they eat insects and other household pests.
Spiders also like dry, cool places. It seems like their favourite place is inside shoes and gardening gloves left carelessly outside. Most Australians are in the habit of shaking out shoes or gloves before putting them on. Always be careful when gardening and never, ever stick your bare hand inside a hole in the ground or the wall.
If you are bitten by a spider, it is vital that you remain calm and still to prevent the venom from coursing through your blood stream – in fact, the Aboriginal remedy for spider bites was to have a nap. In the worst case scenario, i.e. if you are bitten by a funnel web spider, which has the most potent venom, you more than fifteen minutes to get to the hospital (a funnel web bite can kill a child in fifteen minutes if medical attention is not sought.) For other spiders, you have hours and even days. Of course, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Try to remember what the spider looked like, and catch it if you safely can – this will help with your treatment. Get yourself to the emergency room
While all spiders possess venom, many are too small (such as the daddy long legs) to commit a bite, while others (such as the huntsman) are non-aggressive and will only attack when severely provoked. It is a good idea to get yourself a spider identification chart (these can be obtained for free online or at reptile stores) so that you know which are venomous (and thus should be removed by a professional) and which are harmless. Spiders eat flies, mosquitoes and other household pests, so if you can stand to share your house with a spider, the benefits are enormous.
Spider Prevention & Safety in Australia
There are thousands of species of spider in Australia but there are only a few of them that remain deadly to us. This doesn't necessarily keep us calm though as spiders are often a great source of fear to many people. Here are some tips when it comes to spider prevention and tips for dealing with spider bites.
Avoiding getting bitten
- Most Spiders are nocturnal so be extra cautious at night time. You will also find spiders like dark areas so always be careful of these places when you enter them
- Always shake out your clothing before putting it on, especially if it has been on the floor
- Do the same where you sleep, as spiders may have crawled into your bed
- Places like basements, wood piles and attics are haunts for all kinds of spiders. Always be weary of this
- Plants too can have spiders, be careful of them when gardening
Spider Bite Treatment
- Never panic in the situation and keep the bite victim calm
- Kill the spider and keep the body for identification purposes
- Wrap a light bandage above and below the wound
- Remove all tight clothing and jewellery
- Keep the wound elevated to around chest level. Keeping the wound too high or too low can be extremely dangerous
- Do not feed the victim or let them take any medication or drink
- Contact the ambulance and take them to hospital, bringing the spiders body with you if you can
Always keep your wits about you in a situation with a spider to help prevent the danger of being bitten by one!
Spiders in Brisbane
Like in any city in Australia, spiders can be found in all parts of Brisbane. Unfortunately for people in Brisbane these spiders include one of the most deadly spiders in the world: the funnel web. It also includes the red back spider which on its day can also be quite deadly. You should always try to be as safe as possible when it comes to potential haunts for spiders in your home as it is never a pleasant thing to be confronted by a spider. And the last thing you want for you or for any member of your family is to be bitten by a spider that has the potential to kill or seriously injure you in the long run. Here is some advice for you and your family when it comes to spider prevention in Brisbane.
- One key note to prevention would be to straight away call an exterminator to clear your property of any bugs and insects in your house. This is a great way to not have to go to a lot of hassle in getting rid of creepy crawlies and it will save you time in the long run. The downside though is obviously they aren't cheap and this is an expensive operation in order to have a spider free home. This might be the most ideal option when it comes to a large problem of spiders in your home but it will also obviously come down to your financial situation also. Make a few phone calls around to local exterminators to see who and what are available to best find out your needs and that way you will better understand the cost involved and what other tasks you need to do to hire an exterminator in your area.
- Always keep dark areas clean and be careful when getting your shoes and clothing from outside if they have just been laying on the ground. Spiders love dark areas to hide and they love hiding in clothes and shoes if it's outside. You will also find most spiders are nocturnal creatures so they will only come out at night, and they also love to appear when rain is close as they trying and find solitude inside away from the oncoming rain. If you have to go into dark areas of your house such as the basement or attic always keep your wits about you as that is the most frequent place you will find spiders. The same can be said too for wood piles so if you have a wood heater and are constantly taking in piles of wood inside and to an outside pile you should always make sure you are ready for spiders.
- Funnel web spiders have been renowned for 'playing dead' if they fall into a swimming pool so you should always look in your pool before jumping in. A funnel web will die in water but it can take a bit of time, so they still have the potential to cause a life threatening bite before they die in your pool. If you see a spider in your pool never just assume it is dead and always remain cautious of it. If necessary get a large pool cleaner to scrape it out of the pool or if you aren't confident enough to do this call an insect expert or exterminator to have it removed. Make sure you tell your kids this also as they may not be aware of this fact and could potentially get bitten by jumping in the pool, not knowing entirely what has happened to them until it's too late.
- Sometimes spider bites can go unnoticed, so if you feel as though you have bitten or you have a weird lump or insect bite on you that is making you feel funny, then consult medical help immediately. There is no harm in being over cautious so you should always seek advice if you are unsure as you would rather be sent home from hospital alive and slightly red faced rather than going there to die wouldn't you? The symptoms of a spider bite differ from spider to spider so it may not be completely apparent you have even been bitten by one until a lot later, so if you have any doubts you should take yourself to the hospital. The same can be said for your children or even animals, as they too can potentially die from a spider bite.
Some simple steps in spider prevention may just save your life in the long run so always make sure you follow what we have written out for you today in order to better protect your home and yourself from the chance of a spider bite. It will benefit you and your family in the long run.