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Spiders in Australia: The Most Common Species, the Most Venomous Ones, and Preventing Spiders from your Home

Spiders in Australia: The Most Common Species, the Most Venomous Ones, and Preventing Spiders from your Home

Australia and dangerous animals are considered to be in tandem with each other. From a plethora of spider species to snakes, Australia can be considered chock-full of some of the world’s most dangerous animal species. Amongst the most infamous casts are the spiders found; of different sizes to different toxicity levels and living habits. These critters can frequently be found in your homes and gardens.

Many spiders are just gentle dwellers and pose very little threat, even being beneficial to your environment in some cases. The rest are dangerous, venomous and unwelcome in our homes and backyards. Exhibiting knowledge of the most common spiders and the possible hazards they bring about is critical to developing effective spider management and spider-related issues mitigation.

The Most Common Spiders in Australia

Amongst the spider population in Australia, a few species stand out as the usual suspects, commonly spotted in and around housing and gardens. Some notable culprits are:

Portrait of a redback spider taken in the basement of my house in Australia

Redback Spider (Latrodectus hasselti)

The redback spider may be the most iconic spider in Australia, and it lives mainly in the cities, commonly found in sheds, garages and under houses. The most distinctive feature of the redback is its stripe on the abdomen which can either be red or orange. Only the venom of the female spider is known to be considered the most dangerous, though they are considered retiring spiders and only attack defensively. This venom can bring severe pain and discomfort, especially in children and the elderly, as the venom acts on the nerves. No death from redback spiders has been reported since 1955 despite there being approximately 2000 envenomed bite cases, only 250 of those afflicted needed antivenom.

Identification:

  • Female redback spiders are more poisonous than their male colleagues. Females are almost 1 cm in length and can be spotted by a red stripe on the abdomen.
  • The length of the male redback spiders varies from 3 to 4mm, and they are light brown. On the upper surface of their abdomen, males, on the other hand, have white markings and a pale hourglass mark on the backside.

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae)

The Huntsman spiders have been having widespread distribution all over Australia, both in urban and rural settings. Huntsman spiders are often seen throughout the country and are most well known for their large size and threatening appearance. These spiders can grow up to 15 cm and are particularly well known for emerging from nooks and crannies and frightening people by springing out from behind the curtain or some other hiding area without warning. 

A fair question to ask when you spot one is: Are huntsman spiders dangerous?

Quite the opposite of the image they conjure in people’s minds, huntsman spiders usually pose no threat to humans. They are quite reluctant to bite and will run away if they are approached. Additionally, the venom of these spiders is not highly dangerous to humans and therefore at most could cause minor irritation or some discomfort.

Nevertheless, the true danger that comes with a huntsman spider bite has to do with the accidents they could cause. A panicking driver may suffer distraction and be triggered to take unnecessary or hazardous actions if these spiders emerge suddenly somewhere behind the sun visor or dashboard while the car is moving.

Although they might look scary and frightening, huntsman spiders are often friendly presences inside the house. These beneficial insects provide us with a natural way of eliminating pests, enabling us to maintain safe and low pest density in our ecosystems.

Identification:

  • The leg span of up to 15 cm.
  • Dark brown, light brown or grey in colour.

White-Tailed Spider (Lampona spp.)

Aptly named for its characteristic white mark on its abdomen’s rear, the white-tailed spider is considered one of the most fatal spiders due to the necrotic properties of their bites. This, however, is a common misconception as their venom, in reality, generally inflicts localised pain and has no reports of inflicting necrotic ulcers

The white-tailed spider is found in rural and urban regions across southern Australia, from south Queensland to Tasmania and from east to west coast. They tend to stick to dark, secluded areas when inside your homes. 

Identification:

  • White coloured tipped at the rear of the abdomen.
  • 1.8 to 2 cm in length, while their legs can reach up to 2.8 cm lengthways.
  • It is dark reddish to grey. Their legs are dark orange-brown banded legs.
A closeup of an orb weaver spider on the cobweb.

Common Garden Orb Weaver Spider (Eriophora biapicata)

As the name implies, the Common Garden Orb Weaver is a common sight in Australia. Along with this, they are also the most likely spider species to bite, though their venom is non-fatal but painful. 

Ranging from 1.5cm to 3cm in size, these spiders are famous for their artistic web network, usually found between trees, hedges or washing lines, where they construct their intricate tapestry, trapping unsuspecting flying insects in their sticky threads.

Common Orb Weaver spiders are active at night. They spend their day in hidden spots like under leaves or within clothes hanging on a line where they can remain concealed. Whilst resting with their legs tucked in below their body, they pass the time until the safety of night will allow them to hunt again.

Although they have a major role in preventing an increase in the insect population, Common Orb Weaver spiders are extremely aggressive and may bite when someone accidentally disturbs them. Consequently, one should be careful when coming across them in the garden or any natural space.

Identification:

  • 3-5 cm.
  • Round and stocky.
  • Reddish brown or grey.
  • Oval/triangular-shaped abdomen, sometimes with white or brown patterns.
  • Two protruding bumps on the front of their abdomen.

How do I get rid of spiders ASAP?

Preventing and managing spider infestation at home can be achieved by the use of both proactive methods and treatments that are targeted. Adhering to these measures helps you greatly reduce spiders and thereby make an area around you and your loved one safe.

  • Seal Entry Points: Look around your house to see for any holes or cracks spiders could use to access your home. Caulk or weather stripping should be used to seal off any of the entry points thus preventing spiders from getting into the house.
  • Reduce Clutter: Spiders love to occupy a messy home hence, tidying up and keeping your home clutter-free will help keep them away. Give great care to places like basements, attics or storage areas where it tends to be easier to accumulate unnecessary clutter.
  • Use Spider Repellents: Use spider repellents or deterrents near the entranceways, windows or outlet of the house where spiders are likely to come. These products are capable of driving spiders away even before they populate your home. Home remedies include the usage of eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil will help deter spiders as the scent given off these products is offensive to spiders.
  • Regular Cleaning: Vacuum and dust your house often to clear away spider webs, egg cases, or any spiders that could be hidden in the corners or crevices. Give particular attention to areas that are behind furniture, under beds and in closets as these are common hideouts for spiders.
  • Professional Pest Control: However, in case you are handling a spider infestation of a magnitude that you cannot remedy or if you are dealing with a variety of venomous species, then it’s advisable you hire the services of a pest control firm. They can determine the degree of the infestation and serve developed treatments to remove spiders that threaten you. Considering the behaviours of redbacks, black house spiders, white tail spiders, mouse spiders, and wolf spiders, it is better to take precautions when it comes to these unsightly, often poisonous creatures.

Qualified pest control technicians will do the necessary inspection and then use a chemical spray that is safe and potent, causing no harm to your family or the environment. Check out SWAT Pest Control Brisbane for an example of a certified pest control service you can rely on.

By implementing these preventive attempts and taking active steps to control spider spreading, you can create a much safer and more comfortable home for you and your family to live in. Check for spiders frequently, and treat any problem spots as promptly as possible to keep the entire house spider-free.

Conclusion

Finally, Australia has several different spider species some of which can be harmful to humans. It’s important to know that although many types of spiders are not dangerous and even helpful in some instances, other spiders, such as the redback spider, white-tailed spider, and common orb weaver spider, can cause painful or venomous bites.

Learning the characteristics and behaviours of these spiders is vital for their management, prevention and mitigation of spiders-related matters. Therefore, homeowners can better recognise common spiders, and the potential hazards they might pose, which makes it possible for them to take precautions and reduce the danger.

In conclusion, proper information should be passed to people and the right spider control techniques should be used to ensure the home safety and well-being of all family members. Consider enlisting pest control to help you get rid of spider infestation for a carefree and safe control method.

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