Spiders – Friend or foe? Their appearance may betray it, but spiders offer humans a few benefits when they move indoors.
For one, these creepy-looking creatures eat a diverse array of pests, ranging from mosquitoes to cockroaches. Inviting spiders into your home can actually help you control the population of other pests.
Spiders also eat other spiders, including the venomous ones.
Finally, spiders help prevent the spread of diseases brought by other pests like fleas, roaches, and mosquitoes.
Does that mean that you should let all types of spiders into your home?
In Australia, two of the most dangerous spiders that people have to watch out for are the funnel-web spider and the red back spider. Both species are known to cause deaths.
The funnel-web, which is the larger of the two, is distinguished by its black colour and seemingly aggressive appearance. Its powerful fangs are known to penetrate fingernails.
Once the spider bites its victim, it latches to it firmly while biting repeatedly. This arachnid’s venom is quite toxic.
This spider is known to live in and around Sydney but there have been sightings in New South Wales and even Brisbane.
Between the male and female funnel-web, it is the male which has the more toxic venom. It is also the male that has the tendency to move around more, sometimes finding its way indoors.
The bite of a red back spider, on the other hand, is rarely fatal as the neurotoxins of this arachnid work slowly. However, without prompt and proper treatment, a bite from this spider can result in death.
The red back is distributed fairly evenly around Australia and can be found even in urban areas. It prefers areas where there is ample room for its web as well as a steady supply of food.
Should you fear spiders?
All spiders have venom which they use to subdue their prey. Sometimes, spiders will attack humans, but only when provoked. Most will simply scurry off and hide.
In terms of fatalities, there has been no recorded death in the country since 1979. In fact, the number of deaths resulting from anaphylactic reactions from insect bites is as high as the number of deaths from snake bites.
If you do not wish to allow these creatures entry in to your home, there are a few things that you can do.
First, you need to seal off possible entry points. Next, you have to move plants, debris, mulch, and garbage a good distance away from your home. If you must store firewood, store it outdoors away from your home. You can also deny spiders a welcome space into your home by depriving them of food sources like insects. Finally, you can create a perimeter barrier around your home using an outdoor pest control treatment.
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