Australia is home to more than 2.000 known species of spiders, and it is estimated that four times that number actually exist in this country waiting to be discovered.
Love them or loathe them, spiders are a part of everyday life in Australia. Within the ranks of Australian Spiders we find some of the most uniquely interesting and skilled creatures of the animal world, along with a few potentially deadly species and some even more harmless individuals with fearsome reputations. Spiders are as well tuned to their environment as any other group of animals and are probably aware of their surroundings in ways we do not yet understand.
Facts About Spiders
- Of all the billions of spiders that are born every day on earth, more than 99% of them die before reaching adulthood.
- They are preyed upon by other spiders, a range of insects, scorpions, centipedes, fish, frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals.
- They also suffer from diseases and are attacked by fungi and parasitic worms.
- The spider’s most effective strategy in defence of all attacks is to hide. Most spiders are active at night thereby avoiding birds and most of the parasitic wasps and flies.
- During the day they hide under bark or underground, or camouflage themselves so superbly that they are almost impossible to see.
Australia’s Venomous Spiders
The continent of Australia is home to many a species of eight legged nightmares. The fauna in various parts of the country is infested with such spiders. Venomous and deadly – these constitute a true nightmare for those who suffer from arachnophobia. Even though there is no record of deaths being caused by spider bites since 1981, the presence of so many varieties of spiders induce a fear amongst both, the residents and the tourists. Here are a few of the most venomous and dangerous spiders present in the ecosystem of Australia –
Atracinae or Australian funnel web spiders
- Touted as one of the deadliest varieties of spiders and not without reason too. They produce toxin in high quantity and heave the deadliest fangs to spew them as well.
- They burrow in humid sheltered spaces and are present in both, the forests of New South Wales and in densely populated residential spaces as well.
- Their fangs can pierce even through nails and toe nails.
- The venom directly attacks the human nervous system and has the power to alter the functioning of various organs.
Fortunately, the anti venom has been developed and has been in use since 1981.
- They prefer dry sheltered places and hence are more commonly found in garden sheds, and crouching under mailboxes and toilet seats.
- On an average, 2000 people are bitten yearly by this variety of spiders.
- The female ones are more venomous and are longer than their male counterparts.
- Their venom can be fatal for human beings but their small fangs make the bites rather ineffective in most cases.
- Eight species of mouse spiders have been discovered all over Australia and are typically found in burrows near water bodies.
- These are not that aggressive as a species and are mostly lethargic.
- The female ones prefer remaining inside the burrows while the male ones set out to search for them especially during the late summers and the early winters.
- Unlike other varieties of spiders, these ones are more active during daytime.
- Their venom is similar to that of funnel web spiders and hence the same anti-venom can be used for both sets of spiders.
Australian Native Tarantulas
The very name of ‘tarantulas’ is a fear inducing one. However, contrary to popular belief, these are seldom fatal to the human body.
- They possess long fangs which are capable of delivering rather painful bites and can also kill a dog.
- Only six species of this family has been identified so far even though a few more wander around the continent of Australia.
- The lifespan of the female spider is twelve years while that of the male one is a mere five years.
Spiders What To Do – Prevention Tips
- Do not clean down spider webs prior to treatment
- Leave them for several days after treatment before you attempt to clean them down.
- Contact the professionals at Outback Pest Control Pest Management Services to discuss your options and arrange a time for a technician to address your concern/s.