Spiders are predators that feed on insects, other spiders, and sometimes small reptiles and amphibians. Either using a silk web to catch their prey, or hunting and ambushing their prey; the prey is quickly killed by toxic venom injected through the spider’s fangs.
Female spiders lay eggs, protecting them by wrapping them in a weather-proof, predator-resistant, silk casing. With many species, the females will guard the egg case until the spiderlings hatch. Most spiders only live for one year, but some species can live for as long as 20-25 years.
Found in a wide variety of habitats, spiders prefer dark, undisturbed and sheltered places. They are often found in ceiling cavities, basements, behind furniture and in cracks between boards. Most house spiders are seldom seen except during house cleaning, when they are disturbed.
Outdoor spiders do sometimes crawl inside through open windows, doors or when carried in with an object. Most of these die however, either of thirst or after becoming prey to resident species.
Redback Spiders are commonly found in logs, under rocks and in flower pots in the garden and in roof eaves, garden sheds and in shelves inside the home. Bites occur frequently, especially in the warmer months. Their bite can cause serious illness and even death particularly for pets, the young and also the elderly. Immediate medical attention should be sought if bitten. A pressure bandage should not be applied as this increases the pain.
Orb Weaving Spider
Orb Weaving Spiders build large, strongly constructed webs to catch prey. The webs are usually placed between bushes, built at night and then taken down at dawn. The spiders will usually wait on nearby foliage during the day for nightfall. Orb spiders are reluctant to bite, symptoms are usually negligible or mild local pain, numbness and swelling. Occasionally nausea and dizziness can occur.
Black House or Window Spider
Building untidy webs, usually with a funnel entrance, the Black House or Window Spider usually lives in trunks, logs and rock walls in the garden. Inside the house they are usually found around window frames and crevices. Because of its timid nature the Black House spider rarely bites, however its symptoms generally include nausea, sweating, localised pain and swelling.
The most commonly found spider, the Huntsman can live anywhere, but favours sheltering plants. A fast moving spider, they can measure up to 15cm from leg to leg. They have a flat body which is useful for them to crawl into hiding spots. The Huntsman is a harmless spider but they can bite. If one does bite you, it is usually painful and swelling may occur. An ice-pack may relieve symptoms but if pain persists please see a doctor.
Wolf spiders are hardy spiders, often found living in small burrows or under leaves , bark or other debris. The Wolf Spider will feed mainly on insects such as crickets or lizards and doesn’t use a web to catch prey, choosing to hunt instead. Although not an aggressive spider, the Wolf Spider may defend itself by biting. Symptoms of a bite include local pain and itchiness. If symptoms persist please see a doctor.
White Tailed Spider
White Tailed Spiders are often found in homes where they prey on other spiders including Black House and Redback Spiders. Their bite is very painful, causing burning, redness and swelling. There is little conclusive evidence that bites by these spiders cause extensive skin ulceration. But medical attention should be sought if symptoms persist.
Hints for Spider Control
– Remove any piles of bricks, firewood or debris that may become a home for spiders
– Keep any grass or weeds near your home cut short
– Trim back shrubs and other plants near your home
-Seal any obvious cracks or spaces around the foundations, doors or windows
– Make sure any screens fit tightly and repair any screens that are damaged
– Change outside lights to ones less attractive to spider prey. Yellow lights are less attractive to insects than sodium vapour lights.
– Remove papers, boxes, bags and other clutter to minimise hiding spots for spiders
– Remove webbing with a broom or a vacuum, and destroy any egg sacks and spiders that are found. These are found particularly around windows, in corners and in other quiet places.
– Eliminate insects that serve as a food supply. This could mean installing fly screens on doors and windows, or simply keeping these things shut unless in use.
Sandgate Pest Control completes a spider treatment by treating all external areas. We spray the outside of your house, trees, fences and other likely webbing areas. The product we use is completely safe once it is dry, however while it is being applied we ask that you shut all windows are doors and remain inside. If you are experiencing a spider infestation, or have simply seen a few around, please notify the technician of anything you have seen and they will be able to tailor the treatment to effectively solve your specific problem.
It should be noted that the spider treatment we complete is most effective on webbing spiders. Non-webbing spiders will not usually spend enough time touching treated surfaces.