Keep An Eye Out For The Redback Spider
As if Australians haven't had enough to worry about, we now have to keep an eye out for venomous spiders, imparticular the redback spider. Over the past few weeks, we have had increase calls for pest control for the redback spiders, and this is partially due to the recent weather pattern.
Identifying A Redback Spider
On the whole, spiders carry out an essential roll in our eco-system. They are natural pest controllers, with many species we see around the home like the huntsman spider or golden orb spider being relatively harmless. Other species like the redback spider, however, are considered dangerous and pack a painful and potentially-deadly bite. Females are aggressive and recognised by their black bodies and distinctive red stripe on the abdomen. Males usually are light brown with white markings and much smaller; they lack the distinctive red stripe. It is rare to be bitten by a male redback due to the size of its fangs.
Identifying A Redback Spider's Web
A redback spider's web is usually reasonably easy to spot. Their webs are messy and will capture a lot of loose leaf litter and debris due to the way they are constructed and where they are constructed. Unlike most other spider webs, that are an orbed-shape, suspended between two anchors. The redback spiders web is a gum-footed tangled web; it is irregular in shape and created between two flat objects. Their webs are typically found in dark, dry and warm places. It's common to find a redback spiders web between the ground and a pot plant or outdoor furniture or under barbecues and in letterboxes. The web strands are incredibly strong, strong enough to support the redback spider and strong enough to trap prey which can even include lizards and snakes.
Common places to check around the home for Redbacks Spiders
Dry, sheltered areas such as:
Barbecues (check underneath)
Shake out any clothes that are left outside, check items such as shoes and gloves bike helmets
Children's cubby houses and sandpits and play equipment
Outdoor toilets and woodpiles.
Drums and old barrels.
Redback spiders have been known to put people into hospital once they have been bitten; in severe cases their bite can cause death. A bite from a redback spider, nowadays is seldom life-threatening, and an antivenom is available. Young children and older people are particularly vulnerable to a redback's spider venom, and medical attention should be sought if they are bitten. Initially, a bite from a redback may not feel anything more than a pinprick. Still, if the spider has envenomated, the victim will soon experience intense pain, with it radiating away from the bite site. A redback spider's bite can cause nausea, excessive sweating and vomiting hours after the initial bite. If you or you suspect a family member has been bitten, please seek medical attention immediately.
Daddy-Long-Legs, A Natural Predator