Spider Control

Authored by Bruce Gow
Armadeira-spider

 

Are you looking for expert spider control? Australia harbours several hundreds of different spider species which means they’re a common find in the average Aussie back yard. The majority of these insects are harmless, though some might give you a painful bite there are others – such as the Red Back, White Tailed and Funnel Web spiders – which can severely harm someone who receives their bite.

Not many people would are fans of spiders, so regardless of whether they’re harmful or not, we prefer being safe rather than sorry and keeping all spiders away from our home! This whole process becomes a breeze when you get your local pest expert to annually treat your home for spider control. If you’re a parent of young children who might be at risk or you’re not to keen on spiders yourself then yearly spider control treatments could already be part of your routine however, there are still a few things you yourself can do around the house to make it less appealing to spiders:

·

Make sure not to store or stack things against the outside of the outer walls of your home. If you’ve been keeping an eye out for spiders you would’ve noticed that Red Backs in particular love these dark little corners. Wear protective gloves when you clean up these areas and take care when moving items as it might disturb and aggravate any resident spiders.

·

Garage and shed owners should take the time to keep both neat and tidy – spiders prefer constructing their webs between and around static items so having stacks of boxes and unused paraphernalia are often their favourite places to set up their cobwebs. They are interested in quiet and peaceful areas that are dark, thus garden sheds that aren’t used often are an ideal spot for them to hang out. Maybe it’s time for a spring clean!

·

It is important to note that spiders feed on other insects thus taking the initiative to manage other insect communities on your property can help with spider control. You can also consult a pest control specialist for advice regarding other pest populations on your property.

·

During the break between your spider control treatments, you might want to consider using commercial surface spray in places that you know spiders tend to reside.

·

Ensure that your windows are properly fitted with fly screens, and in case you are without fly screens, look into the costs involved to install them. Windows without these screens are easy access points for spiders.

·

After your home undergoes a spider control treatment, take a week before removing the remaining webs. This interim allows for the baby spiders, newly hatched, to crawl through the webs and encounter the poison. Using a vacuum to suck up the webs is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of the webs, it’s important to also spray inside the bag with a surface spray before disposing of it.

Spiders have millennia of evolution on their side and can therefore be a bit of a mission to get rid of as they’ve become quite smart. But perseverance and persistence pays off in the end – paying attention to the outside of your house, keeping it clear of rubbish and clutter, cleaning outdoor furniture often and having a pest control expert come out annually to treat the spiders will definitely minimize the number of spiders hanging around your property.

Sydney Funnel-Web Spider

If you’re trying to figure out whether a hole in the ground might be a Funnel-Web burrow then you need to pay attention to the presence of irregular spider web “trip lines” surrounding the opening to the burrow. These burrows are usually found in places that are moist or clammy and dark such as rockeries, thick shrubbery, fallen logs and piles of leaves. A small, tidy hole which is surrounded by a silk collar that doesn’t extend beyond 10MM from the rim of the hole could be the home of a trapdoor spider (a common Brown Trapdoor Spider won’t have a ‘door’ at the entrance to it’s burrow). Other residents of holes could be mouse spiders, wolf spiders and other insects (most often cicadas and ants.)

Female Funnel-webs rarely exit their burrow, but they can be roused by excavating, removing ground clutter or gardening. They could also be driven out by extended periods of rain. The male Funnel-web on the other hand often exits the burrow to look for females during the summer and autumn seasons, this occurs predominantly during the night time. You are most likely to encounter a roaming spider after a period of wet weather.

Precautions

When in areas that are known to have a high concentration of Funnel-webs there are a few measures you can follow that will reduce the risk of getting bitten. Roaming spiders can get access to your house at floor level, commonly sneaking in underneath a door. You can fit weather strips or make use of a draft excluder to block this as an entry point. If you the area surrounding your house is cleared it would also be less appealing for Funnel-webs to construct their burrows in that area.

Within the home, Funnel-web spiders will look for a place to stay where they won’t dry out.
Consequently it’s essential to check clothes, shoes and bedding that are found either on the floor or close to the floor for signs of spiders. This also applies to any clothes that are left outside or near camp sites where Funnel-webs are common.

Funnel-webs are often found in swimming pools. These spiders are capable of trapping small pockets of air on the hairs around their abdominal area which assists them with floating and breathing. They have been known to survive around 24-30 hours like this and therefore it cannot be assumed that a spider at the bottom of a pool is dead.

The Red-back Spider

Redbacks are commonly found in urban premises in areas such as the garden shed, beneath logs or stairs/steps and surrounding swimming pools or rubbish piles. Their webs are built in dry and sheltered sites, commonly the upper part of the web will be hidden away from sunlight. The spider would be found hiding in a funnel-shaped cone at the top end of the web. The bottom part of the web will consist mostly of a clutter of vertical threads that are sticky – intended for catching prey.

Treatment

Surface sprays when directly aimed at Redbacks will be lethal. This treatment is to be exercised often as more of these spiders are often carried in on a wind.

One efficient way of managing Redbacks is to regularly inspect areas that would be ideal as Redback habitats, looking out for the spiders or their telltale webbing. You can remove the whole set up, spider included, by putting a stick into the back of the web and then rolling it which catches up the webbing, spiders and any egg-sacs inside it. Taking this step allows you to notice when new spiders have turned up by the presence of fresh webs.

Precautions

Redbacks are sly spiders and rarely seen as they mostly construct their webs under a form of shelter. Wearing gloves while checking any areas you might suspect of Redback activity is a must.

The White-tailed Spider

Due to the fact that White-tailed spiders don’t make a web, there aren’t any specific indicators to look for, apart from the spiders in question. These are commonly found within a bathroom or laundry.

Treatment

White-tails are a common nomadic species, so pest management regarding those yields short term results. When there is a population of these in your region they will most likely return to your house after the surface sprays and pesticides wear off.

Precautions

If you are aware that there are White-tailed spiders on your property then you should take steps to check your clothing and shoes before wearing any. It’s also a good idea to inspect laundry and linens for these spiders. White tiles are most active during night-time and any that you encounter during the night should be removed from your home.

Other Spiders

Other spider species are usually not cause for pest control. If you come across an orb-weaver (spider) that is constantly building a web over a path you frequent then you can move it to a safer area.

Widow Spiders and Black House spiders are shy species and they will commonly hide and retreat into the rear of their web network if they are disrupted. Their webs are commonly found in the nooks and crannies of windows, they could also have a funnel-shaped cavity where you would find the spider sheltering. You can remove these making use of a broom or a stick, similarly to Redbacks, and then deposit the spiders outdoors.

It might be helpful to note that Black House Spiders are often killing and eating Redback spiders and having them around can make an impact on the chances of a Redback population developing on your property. It is important to take into account that White-tails favour them as food.

Spiders known as “Wandering” are best to be dealt with on a case by case basis when you encounter them. When they reside in the garden they shouldn’t be handled and if necessary removed from your home by use of a broom. These spiders are quick but not commonly aggressive.

A jumping Huntsman or one found on your car unexpectedly can be quite unnerving. Make sure to keep car windows close and doors well secured when your car is parked – especially overnight. If you notice a spider inside your car but can’t catch it you can encourage it to leave by parking in a warm spot.

Brown Trapdoor Spiders, Mouse spiders as well Funnel-webs are oft found in and around swimming pools, or they are encountered when disturbed during garden or construction activity. Of the trapdoor species, the males are known to wander during the autumn and summer seasons. As stated earlier their burrows have a tidy silky collar around the lip without any “trip lines” stretching outward.

Male mouse spiders are more frequently encountered later in the year – as they wander from April t June – and are quite active during the day. Males two of the species most commonly found in NSW are easy to recognise by either having a red head and jaw area (Red-headed Mouse Spider), or alternatively a pale blue-white patch in front of their abdominal area (Eastern Mouse Spider). The females of both these species are either dark brown or black. The Red-headed female Mouse Spider is known to make a burrow that has two trapdoors at the entrance; both are angled at right angles toward each other.

The same precautions observed for Funnel-webs are to be followed for Trapdoors. Due to the fact that they are oftentimes confused for the Funnel-web, it’s important to take caution when bitten and follow the correct procedures, especially when a child is involved. Trapdoor’s aren’t considered a high risk to humans whereas Mouse Spider venom on the other hand can be highly toxic and any bites not be taken lightly. When possible, the spider should be captured to identify it correctly, then the appropriate measure of spider control can be followed to manage the relevant spider species to a safer level.

First Aid

For any spider, apart from Funnel-webs and Mouse Spiders, the only essential first aid measures are to apply an ice pack to relieve pain and swelling when necessary. If you find that the symptoms persist and become more severe then seek medical attention. When bitten by a Redback spider always seek out medical assistance. For individuals bitten by a Funnel-web or Mouse Spider a ‘pressure bandage’ should be applied to the area ASAP while the victim is kept calm and medical attention pursued.

“I know that spiders can be a huge nuisance and a danger around kids or pets. So ring me up on 0417 251 911 ASAP and we can organize an appointment or discuss your spider problem.” – Bruce Gow

Or send us a message if you have a problem with spider control.