Spiders have eight legs.
Some are poisonous, most are not.
Some pack a punch when they bite, most do not.
They may freak you out wherever you see them.
Are you concerned for your children or pets accidentally coming into contact with them?
They can be evicted! Call Defender Pest Control Specialists Now for a free quote and we will DEFEND you!
What are Spiders?
Spiders are members of the Class Arachnida. Generally eight-legged, clothed in hairs and sporting three or four pairs of eyes, spiders are distinctive arachnids that often send chills down the spines of homeowners. They look creepy, can move at speed, are capable of surviving many months without food, and there are some that have a toxic, venomous bite!
Spiders have an exoskeleton (an external skeleton that supports their bodies), which they moult in order to grow, and along with their eight jointed legs, they have two distinct sections to their bodies – the head and the abdomen. They are mostly nocturnal, hunting and feeding at night, and are only seen in the daytime if their shelters are disturbed.
These creepy arachnids are known cannibals that will kill and eat each other if food is scarce, if confined in a small space with another eight-legged friend, or even shortly after mating. If a male and female of the same species are confined together, the female will more often than not kill the male.
Whilst all spiders produce silk, not all use it for the purpose of spinning webs. For example, some ground-dwelling arachnids, by their very nature, do not spin webs, but rather use their silk to line their burrows and ensnare small creatures for feasting on. They mostly feed on live or freshly killed insects by first rendering their prey immobile with their venomous bite. They will then squeeze their prey and consume its bodily
Spiders and their Bites
A spider’s bite is predominantly used to immobilise their prey for easier feeding. There are approximately 2,000 different species of spider in Australia, most of which cause no harm to humans at all. However, there are two spiders of particular concern to humans due to the lethal toxicity of their bite: the Sydney funnel web spider and the Redback spider.
The Redback Spider
This arachnid is found all over Australia. Nonetheless, it is only the female with the distinctive red or orange stripe along its back and a pale or red underside which is most often encountered. The female ranges from 12-15mm in size, whereas the male by comparison, ranges between 3-4mm.
Redbacks favour man-made sheltered environments, such as rubbish piles, inside sheds, under outdoor furniture and barbecues, and roof voids, using these shaded areas to construct their webs. A Redback’s web contains a thickly spun ‘cone’, which is where the spider sits. Unlike the Sydney funnel web, redbacks are not aggressive arachnids, with associated bites mostly occurring when the spider feels threatened. Often, this happens unintentionally when a person accidentally disturbs their web or nest.
The White-Tailed Spider
Found across Australia, this common arachnid is dark-grey to black in colour with a characteristic white cone on the end of its abdomen. Inside the home, the White-Tailed is typically found on walls, and particularly in cool areas of the home with tiles, like bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. They also have a tendency to hide inside old shoes and items left on the floor, like clothes (jumpers, socks). Outside, these arachnids often hide under loose tree bark, logs and leaf litter. As is the case with Redbacks, the White-Tailed is not aggressive, but they will bite if touched and these bites can cause local pain and blistering.
The Sydney Funnel Web Spider
Indigenous to Sydney, the Funnel-Web favours moist, dark environments. They construct a funnel-shaped, webbed burrow (hence their name) and are most active during late summer and autumn when the male leaves the burrow in search of a female mate. They are particularly aggressive, with the male funnel web having a more toxic bite than the female.
Periods of continual wet weather and the use of insecticides can send these spiders indoors in search of shelter. These creepy crawlies love water and so are often found in swimming pools or garages. Footwear and clothing often offer great harbourages and so banging shoes together to ensure they are empty before putting on is a good practice to follow. The bite from a Sydney Funnel Web is the most toxic and venomous in the world.
The Mouse Spider
Distributed throughout Australia, this arachnid is a ground-dweller that likes to live near the water. Unlike the funnel web, these creepy crawlies are not aggressive, but they do have strong fangs and so leave a painful bite.
Fortunately, with the introduction of anti-venom, there have been no recorded deaths from confirmed spider bites. It is also important to note that most arachnids only bite or appear aggressive when provoked or disturbed.
Spiders as Pests
Aside from their venomous bites, spiders are natural pest controllers. As a generalist predator, they can help limit the number of insects in your home and garden. Huntsman spiders, despite their fearsome appearance, are particularly effective at pest control, feeding on small insects found inside the home, with cockroaches being a particular favourite.
Having said this, not all arachnids are as practical and helpful as the Huntsman. The most common nuisance arachnids are primarily the Black House and the Daddy-Longlegs.
Black House Spider
At Defender, one of our most common spider pest control treatments is typically for the Black House. The Black House is found in eastern and southern Australia. Those webs you keep finding around your window frames, in the highest corners of your rooms and under protruding eaves are often constructed by the Black House. When not spinning their webs inside your home, they can be found constructing their webs in and around the loose bark of trees. The female is dark brown to black in colour and ranges in size from about 15-18 mm long, while the male is only 8-10 mm long. If you believe your home is infested, get in touch with a qualified professional to handle your spider pest control service needs.
After the Black House, the next most common nuisance spider we treat with our spider pest control services is the Daddy-Longlegs. These annoying arachnids also spin loose webs, which are often a nuisance to homeowners more than anything. This spider is characterised by its very long legs. They can be found throughout your home, in cupboards and in sub-floor areas. There is also a long-standing myth that the venom from the Daddy-Longlegs has the most potent, venomous bite, however, its fangs were incorrectly conceived as being too weak to penetrate human skin. This has since been debunked by several notable organisations.
Thus, if you believe your home is infested with this long-legged arachnid, do not be concerned as they are not highly dangerous. Nonetheless, you should still hop on Google and search for “spider exterminator near me”, as you won’t want hundreds of them running around your home.
Spiders – Treatment & Control
Our spider pest control services involve a spray treatment, which is applied to internal skirtings and other likely harbourages, and also usually includes the application of a pesticide dust to the roof void and under the building (if access is available). The external perimeter walls, eaves, verandas, etc and webs are all also sprayed. Please leave the webs for 1-2 weeks before removing to allow the treatment to work fully.
The size and scale of your spider pest control service needs will be dependent on a variety of factors. Indeed, the severity of their presence will be taken into consideration when coming to an overall cost. If you have only noticed a few webs here and there, or if the infestation is contained to a specific part of the house, the cost of your spider pest control treatment will be cheaper than a more comprehensive treatment plan. More expensive treatment options will be necessary should the infestation affect larger portions of your home. If you want convenience and reliability, make sure you get in touch with our expert spider exterminators.
Spider Prevention Tips
Whilst our spider pest control services are the most effective methods of eradicating these annoying little arachnids, there are several in-house tips you can use. Indeed, the best way to stop spiders from setting up house in your home is to familiarise yourself with their habits and preferences and take some common-sense precautions. This refers to habits like shaking out shoes and clothes before wearing them, clearing away garden foliage from around entryways, fitting draught strips to doors and installing flyscreens on doors, windows and vents.
Applying a ‘blanket-spray’ in your garden can often drive ground-dwelling spiders into your home, and so should be avoided. Also, because some arachnid species can be quite aggressive and confrontational (e.g. the Funnel Web), it is always advised that young children do not engage with any creepy crawlies, especially if you are unaware of their species. If someone is bitten and you are concerned, make sure you seek medical attention promptly.
Remember, many arachnids are most active at night so check bedclothes and bedding before getting into bed. If you should come across them, you can either catch and release them into your garden or kill them with either a household insecticide spray or by squashing. If you notice more and more of them, then there is a strong chance you have an infestation. Get in touch with the experts today for a reliable spider pest control service.
Always proceed with caution when dealing with spiders. As outlined above, several species can be quite harmful to humans, so it’s best to steer clear and leave your spider pest control needs to the experts. If you have an infestation, do not hesitate to call us at Defender Pest Control Specialists for reliable and compassionate services. Our team are highly qualified and will get the job done.