Warmer weather brings white-tail spiders out to play

White-tail spider bite

Warmer weather brings white-tail spiders out to play

Although a white-tail spider bite can be painful and cause temporary skin irritation and inflammation, experts now say it’s very unly that the white-tail spider is responsible for the hard-to-treat skin ulcers and slow-healing wounds attributed to the spider over the past 30 years. It appears this particular spider’s reputation is undeserved and greatly overestimated.

Symptoms of a white-tail spider bite

A bite from a white-tail spider usually results in temporary symptoms at the site of the bite. This can include:

  • Irritation or a red mark on the skin (including visible puncture marks);
  • Pain or discomfort that is generally mild-to-moderate in severity;
  • Swelling; and
  • Itchiness (either immediately or several days later).

The average duration of symptoms tends to be around 24 hours, but the time taken for symptoms to disappear can vary. Some people only experience symptoms for an hour or two, whereas others may have symptoms (such as a painful red mark on the skin) that last for up to a week.

More rarely, white-tail spider bites may cause:

  • Severe pain (in just over one-quarter of cases);
  • Nausea, vomiting, headache or feeling unwell (in around 10% of cases).

There are thought to be more than 10,000 different species of spiders in Australia. But with the exception of several highly venomous ones – the redback spider and funnel-web spider that can cause serious illness and possibly death – most spider bites in Australia generally cause relatively minor symptoms.

Do white-tail spider bites really cause a ‘flesh-eating’ wound?

The white-tail spider has often been blamed in media reports and on social media for the development of nasty ‘flesh-eating’ skin wounds that take a long time to heal, or sometimes never completely heal.

Some reports even suggest that being bitten by the white-tail spider results in wounds so severe that amputation of an affected body part is necessary.

This phenomenon goes by the complicated name of ‘necrotic arachnidism’, which is another way of saying that a patch of skin dies (a process known as necrosis), possibly due to a bite from a spider (which is an arachnid).

However, spider experts now strongly question whether the white-tail spider is the guilty party in these cases of severe skin ulcers.

The initial theory several decades ago was that the venom of the white-tail spider resulted in the death of skin tissues.

However, later experiments have confirmed that white-tail spider venom is quite weak and does not result in the death of skin cells in laboratory tests.

Support for the innocence of white-tail spiders also comes from the largest study of its kind looking at 130 Australian cases confirmed to be caused by white-tail spiders (proven by capturing the offending spider and having it identified by a spider expert). Although all victims experienced pain and discomfort following the bite, there were no cases of skin ulcers or persistent skin wounds in any of the 130 cases.

So the good news is that – on the basis of the currently available evidence – spider bites of any kind in Australia are very unly to cause skin ulcers or slow-healing wounds.

What else can cause slow-healing skin wounds?

Anyone with skin wounds that don’t heal should seek medical attention and be investigated for other causes of skin ulcers and wounds.

This can include problems with blood circulation, skin ulcers due to diabetes, secondary infections with bacteria, fungi or viruses, drug reactions, burns (especially chemical burns), physical injury to the skin, some inflammatory skin diseases, and some types of cancer.

How common is a bite from a white-tail spider?

Although the available evidence appears to clear white-tail spiders as the culprit when it comes to skin wounds, it seems that the general public has an unnecessarily high level of anxiety about this particular spider.

In a survey of 663 calls made to the Victorian Poisons Information Centre for suspected spider bites, calls about white-tail spiders accounted for more than a quarter of all calls over the course of the year. This is unusual considering that white-tail spider bites generally cause only minor effects.

Phone calls about the more dangerous redback spider accounted for almost 70% of calls.

Where do white-tail spiders live?

White-tail spiders live throughout Australia and are often found indoors, so the majority of white-tail spider bites occur indoors, particularly during warmer months (September to April).

The spider is most active at night, and in the Australian study of 130 confirmed white-tail spider bites, 75% of bites occurred between 4 PM and 8 AM, primarily from spiders that were in caught up in bedding or on towels and clothing.

Around a quarter of white-tail spider bites occurred on the lower arms and hands or lower legs and feet.

What should I do if I think I’ve been bitten by a white-tail spider?

It can be difficult to tell what type of spider has bitten you unless the spider has been seen at the time the bite occurs. If the spider can be safely captured in an escape-proof container, this may help later identification by an expert.

Un many types of spiders that look similar to each other, white-tail spiders are easier to identify because of a distinctive white spot on top of the end of their abdomen. The abdomen is also longer (almost cigar-shaped) compared to some other spiders, such as the redback spider, that have a round abdomen.

If there is a possibility that a spider bite is due to a redback spider or a funnel-web spider, you should seek immediate medical attention. Bites from these spiders can be serious and potentially deadly. You may require treatment with anti-venom (particularly for bites from a funnel-web spider).

In contrast, the venom of white-tail spiders is weak, so for bites from this and many other species of spider, temporary treatment of the symptoms may be all that is required. This can include simple remedies such as:

  • Cleaning the affected area with a disinfectant or antiseptic;
  • Applying a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel to the bitten area;
  • Taking a pain reliever to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling – such as paracetamol (Panadol) or ibuprofen (Nurofen); or
  • Taking an antihistamine to relieve itchiness.

In the Australian study of confirmed white-tail spider bites, only 21 of the 130 patients visited an emergency department or a local doctor, and none required admission to hospital.

In the very unly event of skin wounds that are slow to heal after a suspected white-tail spider bite, a doctor may take a sample of tissue from the wound and conduct a full health check to look for other possible causes. Antibiotics may be necessary if the skin becomes infected with bacteria. Very occasionally, skin grafts may be used to help heal chronic skin ulcers.

References

1. Isbister GK, Gray MR. White-tail spider bite: a prospective study of 130 definite bites by Lampona species. Med J Aust 2003; 179 (4): 199-202.2. White-tail spider bites – An overview of best practice. Accident Compensation Corporation Review 42 (April 2009). Available at: http://www.acc.co.

nz/PRD_EXT_CSMP/groups/external_providers/documents/guide/prd_ctrb109760.pdf (accessed 11 July 2016).3. Sutherland SK. Australian spider and insect bites (updated 23 April 2016). Available at: http://www.acc.co.nz/PRD_EXT_CSMP/groups/external_providers/documents/guide/prd_ctrb109760.pdf (accessed 11 July 2016).4.

Women’s and Children’s Hospital Adelaide. Clinical Toxinology Resource. Australian white tailed spiders. Available at: http://www.toxinology.com/about/white_tailed_spider_bites.html (accessed 11 July 2016).5. Australian Museum. Spider facts (updated 30 October 2015). Available at: http://australianmuseum.net.

au/spider-facts (accessed 11 July 2016).6. Australian Museum. White-tailed spider (updated 30 October 2015). Available at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/white-tailed-spider (accessed 12 July 2016).7. Braitberg G & Segal L. Spider bites – Assessment and management. Australian Family Physician 2009; 38: 862-867.

8. Tibballs J.

Spider bites – An update on management. Medicine Today 2004; 5: 27-32.

Source: https://www.mydr.com.au/allergy/white-tail-spider-bite

New Zealand Fun Facts: 15 Things You Might Not Know About NZ

Warmer weather brings white-tail spiders out to play
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I've been to New Zealand multiple times now, and yet I'm still constantly learning new things about it.

Even though the country may not be as “exotic” as other destinations around the world, it still has characteristics and quirks that many people may not be aware of.

Sure, you probably know that Kiwis (AKA New Zealanders) drive on the left, love rugby, and have a lot of beautiful scenery to look at. But do you also know they were the first to give women the right to vote, or that the country only has one native mammal? I didn't.

So, allow me to shed some light on some things you may not know about New Zealand.

First, here's a cool video from New Zealand:

1. There are no snakes

Much Hawaii, New Zealand is an island grouping devoid of snakes. It also has no deadly spiders, killer jellyfish, or other creepy crawlies that are ly to kill you. Australia is home to all of those.

(Edit: New Zealand does have a couple venomous spiders – only one of which is native – but it's very rare to see or be bitten by one.)

2. New Zealand has only one native mammal

Before settlers began arriving, the country had only one mammal – a bat the size of your thumb. Most of the country's native fauna come in the form of birds, and many of the native bird species in New Zealand are flightless ( the kiwi, takahe, weka, and kakapo) because there were, historically, no large land predators to endanger them.

Takahe bird

When Europeans arrived, however, they brought with them invasive species possums, stoats and rabbits that threatened a lot of the native birds (which is why many of them are now endangered).

3. Very high sheep-to-human ratio

There are roughly a little over 4 million people in New Zealand, and about 30 million sheep. You'll find sheep farms all over the country, including huge sheep stations (where they farm thousands of sheep) on the South Island.

Because of the large number of sheep, you can find lamb and mutton on just about any menu in New Zealand – including the one at Subway.

The number of sheep in New Zealand has actually dropped, though. Dairy farming is on the rise (in fact, New Zealand is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products!), and New Zealand also farms deer for meat (NZ venison is delicious!).

4. New Zealand was home to Sir Edmund Hillary

Yes, the first man to summit Mount Everest was a Kiwi. Quite fitting, isn't it, considering New Zealand's claim of being the “adventure capital of the world”? Hillary is even on the NZ $5 bill.

Other famous people from New Zealand include actors Russell Crowe, Sam Neil and Anna Paquin, and director Peter Jackson. 

5. A country of firsts

My favorite “first” from New Zealand is the fact that the country was the first to give women the right to vote in 1893. Kate Sheppard, the country's most famous suffragette, is now on the NZ $10 bank note. 

Another fun “first”? The town of Gisborne on New Zealand's east coast is said to be the first city to see sunrise each day!

6. New Zealand has 3 official languages

While English is the predominant language spoken in New Zealand, Maori is also an official language, in honor of the native people that originally inhabited the islands.

When looking at the numbers, only about 3 percent of the population actually speaks Maori, but the two languages can be found everywhere. Most place names in New Zealand have both a Maori and an English name, with many of them going by just the Maori name. (The Maori name for New Zealand, by the way, is Aotearoa, which means “the land of the long white cloud.”)

NZ's tallest mountain goes by both its Maori and English names: Aoraki / Mount Cook

And, as of 2006, NZ Sign Language is the country's third official language. Way to go, NZ, being one of the first countries to do this.

7. There's a range of climates

Want mountains? Beaches? Volcanoes? Rainforests? You'll find all of it (and more) in New Zealand. The country is amazing for the fact that you can drive for 4 or 5 hours and experience so many different landscapes and climates.

There are deserts near snow-covered volcanoes, and glaciers that descend down through temperate rainforests. Crossing from one side of the Southern Alps to the other can mean the difference between 2 meters and 8 meters of rainfall per year.

There's even a spot where redwoods grow!

8. Never far from the coast

Even though New Zealand has a ton of different climates, the country is shaped so that nobody living in the country is ever more than 120 kilometers from the coast.

Granted, that coast (which stretches for more than 9,300 miles!) changes drastically depending on where you are in the country. But you'll never be far from it.

New Zealand even has orange beaches! (This is Katiki Point in Moeraki)

9. Kiwis, kiwis, and kiwis

The word “kiwi” refers to three different things in New Zealand. First, there's the nocturnal flightless bird with the long beak that's one of NZ's most famous native species.

The people of New Zealand have also been nicknamed “Kiwis.

” And then there's the kiwi fruit, which, yes, you'll find all over New Zealand, even though technically the fruit came from China!

10. Bungee jumping was born here

Even though some Vanuatu tribes have been jumping off high structures with vines tied around their ankles for decades, bungee jumping in its current form began in New Zealand in the 1980s. AJ Hackett designed the elastic bungee cord, and began bungee operations off the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Tandem bungee jumping at the Kawarau Bridge

RELATED: Completing the Bungee Jumping Trifecta in Queenstown

11. The government is unicameral

New Zealand is run as a form of parliamentary democracy, and is part of the British Commonwealth, meaning it is technically still tied to the Queen in England.

Un the British government which has two governing houses, however, New Zealand only has one – the House of Representatives. They have a Prime Minister, and also have a truly representative form of government, with all of the country's active political parties being represented in Parliament.

12. Milford Sound is No. 1

Milford Sound – the stunning fjord located in Fiordland National Park on New Zealand's South Island, is renowned the world over for being a must-see spot.

Milford Sound from the air

In 2008, Milford Sound was judged the world's top travel destination in an international TripAdvisor survey, and Rudyard Kipling even once called it the eighth wonder of the world. (Though I can personally argue that Doubtful Sound is just as amazing, if not better.)

This is one New Zealand cruise worth taking.

RELATED: New Zealand Fjord Smackdown: Milford Sound vs. Doubtful Sound

13. No tipping necessary

Going out for dinner in New Zealand? No need to leave a big tip you would in the USA. Either it's not expected, or it will be automatically tacked on to your bill as a service charge. This goes for taxi drivers, too, although none of them will turn down a couple extra dollars if you offer them in thanks. 

And speaking of eating out… it's different from what you're probably used to in the US. Servers won't check on you 17 times, and they usually won't deliver a bill to you at your table. You have to go up to the register to pay, and some smaller cafes won't even keep track of what you ordered; they just trust you to tell them what you ate.

14. Forget the change

New Zealand phased out its 1-cent and 5-cent coins a few yeas ago, which means most prices either end in a 0, or are rounded up. But, this doesn't necessarily cut down on coins in your wallet, since NZ has $1 and $2 coins instead of paper bills.

15. A great place to go for the apocalypse

This is kind of a joke I have with some New Zealand friends, but it really would make a great place to hide out during the apocalypse. NZ is a nuclear-free zone. Nearly 30% of the country is protected as national parks. And Kiwis really are some of the nicest, most laid-back people you'll ever meet.

Essential New Zealand info

For further reading, check out these top NZ posts:

Want to get to know NZ better? Watch these movies:

  • Once Were Warriors
  • Whale Rider
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Have you been to New Zealand? Did any of these New Zealand fun facts surprise you?

Pin it for later:

Source: https://www.dangerous-business.com/15-things-you-might-not-know-about-new-zealand/

Australian Venom Research Unit

Warmer weather brings white-tail spiders out to play

  • Black Mamba Vs Inland Taipan. Who would win?Dr Timothy Jackson discusses what would happen if a Black Mamba and an Inland Taipan went head-to-head.21 Feb 2020 News
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  • IN MEMORIUM: ROYJAN TAYLOR (10 February 1975 – 12 June 2019)Our good friend and colleague Royjan Taylor left us just 7 weeks ago. Please help us raise funds to continue Royjan's legacy to save lives from snakebite in Kenya.04 Aug 2019 News
  • The bizarre way antivenom is madeDr Timothy Jackson from the Australian Venom Research Unit at Melbourne University explains the fascinating process of antivenom production to Grace Williams.03 Jun 2019 News
  • WHO Launches Snakebite StrategyThe World Health Organization has officially launched their Strategy for the prevention and control of snakebite envenoming in Geneva overnight. The strategy was written by a WHO working group of global experts led by AVRU head, Dr David Williams.24 May 2019 News
  • Wellcome Trust investing £80m in snakebite treatment The Wellcome Trust says snakebite is the cause of the world’s biggest hidden health crisis – and it is investing £80m in the hope of solving it. The World Health Organization will this month also launch a snakebite strategy aiming to halve deaths by 2030.16 May 2019 News
  • Snakebite ” having my hand smashed with a hammer”Snakebite “felt having my hand smashed with a hammer.” AVRU Head Dr David Williams on getting bitten and how the World Health Organization, Wellcome Trust and others are primed to tackle snakebite around the world.16 May 2019 News
  • WHO targets 50% reduction in deaths and disabilitiesWHO has today released further details of its strategy to prevent and control snakebite envenoming, a neglected tropical disease that affects 1.8–2.7 million people each year, claiming 81,000–138,000 lives and causing 400 000 cases of permanent disability.09 May 2019 News
  • WHO Snakebite Envenoming Roadmap strategy publishedNew WHO strategy to halve the impact of snakebite by 2030 published in PLOS: Neglected Tropical Diseases. AVRU Head, Dr David Williams played a key role in developing the strategy in his position as Chair of the WHO’s Snakebite Envenoming Working Group.22 Feb 2019 News
  • Dr Andrew Watt talks Venom Extraction pumps on ABC Radio NationalDr Andrew Watt talks to reporter Mario Christodolou about why Venom Extraction Pumps are largely ineffective when it comes to treating snakebite as part of ABC Radio National's Background Briefing.18 Dec 2018 News
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  • International Snakebite Awareness Day LaunchThe Australian Venom Research Unit is a proud launch partner of International Snakebite Awareness Day, September 19th. The day aims to raise awareness of the global scale of snakebite injuries as well as highlight ways that snakebites can be prevented.19 Sep 2018 News
  • Snakebite: The World's Ignored Health Crisis – Melbourne & SydneyThe Australian Venom Research Unit is proud to present the Premier run of:SNAKEBITE: THE WORLD’S IGNORED HEALTH CRISIS | FREE EVENTS IN MELBOURNE & SYDNEYFree events in Melbourne and Sydney will feature a screening of the documentary Minutes to Die followed by a panel discussion featuring leading national and international snakebite experts20 Jul 2018 News
  • Why does a snake go “ssss” with its tongue poking out?Four-year-old Lewis wanted to know why snakes go “ssss” with their tongue out, so our own snake expert Dr. Timothy Jackson joined forces with ABC's Kids Listen to help him find out why.26 Jun 2018 News
  • WHO going on counterattack against snakebitesThe World Health Organisation has passed a resolution making snakebites a global health priority and will now develop a global plan to tackle the issue, including cheaper antidotes and medical training.08 Jun 2018 News
  • Governments step up the snakebite battleThe way forward after the World Health Organization resolution on snakebite will be to boost access to quality antivenoms and prevention efforts.30 May 2018 News
  • Researchers welcome WHO mandate to cut the global snakebite death toll Dr David Williams, Head of AVRU, has long championed the snakebite cause through the Global Snakebite Initiative. Congratulations to David and his colleagues on having this resolution adopted by the WHO.30 May 2018 News
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  • Deadly snake bites and saving livesBackgrounding Dr David Williams who has recently been appointed chair of the World Health Organisation’s specialist Snakebite Group. David is Head of the Australian Venom Research Unit in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.16 Jan 2018 News
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  • alchemists with killer precision, brown snakes make different venoms across their lifetimeIn an article published today by The Conversation, the Australian Venom Research Unit's Dr Timothy Jackson discusses his recent research uncovering age-related changes in brown snake venom.18 Sep 2017 News
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  • The truth about spider bites in Australia – they're unly to eat your fleshDr Ronelle Welton (AVRU) and her colleague Associate Professor Bill Nimorakiotakis (Epworth Hospital) – recent case of necrotising fasciitis unly to have been caused by the bite of a white-tailed spider12 Apr 2017 News
  • Saving, changing and repairing LivesOur congratulations to Daniel Hoyer, Alastair Stewart and David Williams for their paper with Impact16 Mar 2017 News
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  • Australian injury trends from venomous bites and stings over 13 years. Ronelle Welton featured acade…Anaphylaxis found to be responsible for the most morbidity and mortality following envenomation events17 Feb 2017 News
  • Snakes and LatitudesGIS (Geographical Information System) is proving very helpful for identifying bites and stings in Australia at AVRU. See this in the GIS magazine Position by Ronelle Welton.25 Jan 2016 News
  • Are Australian snakes the deadliest in the world? Not even closeDr David William's recent article in The Conversation25 Jan 2016 News
  • Mortal poison: the story of how venom worksDr Ken Winkel's recent article in the Conversation25 Jan 2016 News
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Source: https://biomedicalsciences.unimelb.edu.au/departments/pharmacology/engage/avru

I slept through seven white tail spider bites – but the pain will last forever

Warmer weather brings white-tail spiders out to play

The first two itchy bites on my left arm appeared benign enough – just mosquitoes, I thought. Some very hot Sydney summer nights, no flyscreens on my doors – it was the obvious conclusion.

It took days before the thought of a spider crawling through my bed entered my head.

Three weeks and seven bites later – including two on my face, and an eye that nearly closed over, I finally cracked. I slept on the couch the night before the pest man arrived.

The delay seems stupid in hindsight, but the first two bites progressed slowly. After two days, the redness had spread, the swelling began, and, as I sat at my desk applying more Stingose, my boss caught a glimpse of my arm and asked, horrified, what I had done.

READ MORE:
* Spider expert claims there's nothing to fear in a white tail's venom, but those bitten don't believe it
* Eight-legged neighbours wandering in
* Leah McFall: Don't let the bed bugs bite

The reality of the bites.

“I've been bitten by something that I suppose I'm allergic to,” I said, as I swallowed another antihistamine.

The retail assistant at the chemist jumped backwards when she looked at my swollen arm, and agreed it was probably best I spoke to the pharmacist. He sold me more antihistamines and some steroid cream to help the swelling.

A Google image search for “spider bites” indicated my suspicion might be right. Just what kind of spider was debatable.

most people, I had heard only horrific stories of white tail spider bites: my parents' late neighbour, a retired surgeon, had to have his legs amputated for issues allegedly stemming from a white tail bite, so I assumed my bites couldn't be that, even with Google's results.

Then came the image of the spider crawling across my computer screen on The Sydney Morning Herald 's homepage.

For some it induced reactions of fear, but it was the best timed story on white tails I could have wished for.

The story debunked some myths of the feared arachnid, and pointed out they love to sleep in bedrooms in hot weather. The next day there was a compilation of people's stories of white tail spider bites.

The extensive swelling was the tell-tale sign of another spider bite.

My two now-fading bites were classic reactions. I'd upgraded from a theory of which I was sceptical to certainty that I'd survived two white tail spider bites relatively unscathed.

But any triumphant feelings disappeared when the third bite turned up a week later – again I wrote it off as a mozzie at first. Surely I couldn't be that unlucky?

As that bite also started to grow and swell, I bought an insect bomb from the supermarket and set it off, arguably a week later than most smart people would have done.

Bingo – under my bed I found one dead little white tail spider.

“I got him!!” I proclaimed to all the “are you sure it's not bed bugs?” sceptics (I was certain – I'd shared hostel bunks with bed bugs twice before, so I knew exactly how I reacted to those).

The subsequent sweet dreams turned to nightmares a week later when two bites turned up on my face and another two on my right arm.

Again, I thought mosquitoes, or maybe even a pimple? Denial is comfortable when you are faced with the thought of a spider crawling on your face in your sleep. I bombed the room again – no dead spiders.

As the bites swelled and my eyelid puffed over my eye, I called the real estate agent. Pest control is a tenant's responsibility, they said, but call this guy – he'll give you a good rate, they said.

I was surprised when the pest man was sceptical of my self-diagnosis. “Wouldn't be a white tail,” he said. I became sceptical of his experience as a pest controller.

I showed him the photo of the dead little white tail spider I'd bombed myself. “Is that actually a white tail?” he asked. I pulled up Chloe Booker's explainer, and the scientific diagram in it finally convinced him.

The first two bites, 24 hours later. Not quite mosquito bites, but a lot more swelling to come.

“I need to go home and do some Googling,” he conceded.

With my apartment treated for spiders and cockroaches – as well as bed bugs for good measure – I have just a few small scars left on my arms from the bites, including where the first bite occurred six weeks ago.

Thankfully no mental scars stuck around – I'm sleeping easy again, although I did throw away my pillows after one particular nightmare.

Sydney Morning Herald

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/111660567/i-slept-through-seven-white-tail-spider-bites--but-the-pain-will-last-forever

The spiders that can KILL you in your own home

Warmer weather brings white-tail spiders out to play

Published: 04:52 BST, 2 November 2017 | Updated: 19:06 BST, 2 November 2017

As the weather gets warmer, Australians are more ly to encounter eight-legged visitors. 

Spiders are with us all year round, but as the weather gets warmer, they are entering our houses in higher numbers than usual, looking to get the hot sun or away from heavy rain.

Daily Mail Australia spoke with Kane Christensen, Head of Spiders at the Australian Reptile Park, about which arachnids were worth screaming over and which are easily left alone.

He says of all the spiders Australia might see this summer, only two were very dangerous. But do you know what they are?

Scroll down for video

As the weather gets warmer, spiders are increasingly gravitating inside. Can you pick the spiders that are worth getting frightened about? (Pictured: Daddy Long Legs – very safe)

SYDNEY FUNNEL-WEB 

Of all the spiders in Australia, Mr Christensen says the Sydney funnel-web is the most dangerous. It is aggressive and its venom, especially coming from a male, can be deadly.

The spider lives mostly underground, but comes out to search for a female mate when the weather gets warmer. 

'Funnel-webs warm weather, rainy afternoons – when the humidity is up, they can travel longer distances,' Mr Christensen said.

The Sydney Funnel Web spider is one of the world's most dangerous spiders due to its poisonous venom. There has not been a recorded death since 1981 when the antivenom was produced

The arachnid expert said the spiders were coming out earlier this year because of the unusually warm weather, but their numbers would peak around January.

To keep safe from a nasty bite, Mr Christensen says floors should be cleared and shoes and towels left outside should be shaken before use. 

Another danger area for the Sydney funnel-web is the backyard swimming pool.

The spider can often fall into swimming pools and will become stuck, as it is unable to climb smooth surfaces or jump.

A funnel-web can survive up to 30 hours in the water, so don't assume the arachnid is dead if you come across it.

Funnel-webs can be identified by their glossy and hairless fronts, and males have a large mating spur coming from the middle of their second pair of legs.

To keep safe from a nasty bite, Mr Christensen says floors should be cleared and shoes and towels left outside should be shaken before use

WOLF SPIDER

The wolf spider can grow up to eight centimetres, and is found widely across Australia. 

When it is young, the spider is carried on its mother's back until they are ready to disperse by ballooning away using its web, or on the ground.

Wolf spiders are often found in backyards, and Mr Christensen says a hole in the ground with webbing in it will be the entrance to the burrow of a wolf or trapdoor spider. 

The Wolf spider is often found burrowed underground in a back yard, and is common around Australia

The arachnid will rarely set up a web to catch food, and will instead chase down its prey on the ground. 

Mr Christensen says the bite of a wolf spider will have no major effect on humans, but if the spider is large, it will hurt. 

Wolf spiders can be defined by their drab colouring, with most having multi-coloured patterns on their exterior, in brown and yellow, grey, black and white.

Mr Christensen says the bite of a wolf spider will have no major effect on humans, but if the spider is large, it will hurt

MOUSE SPIDER

The Mouse spider looks similar to the funnel-web and can also be quite dangerous to humans. 

This arachnid is usually slower to move than the others, and can be identified by its red-tinged body, or if it's a female, jaws.

Mouse spiders look similar to funnel-web spiders and their bite can be quite dangerous 

Mouse spider bites can be 'medically significant' to humans, Mr Christensen said, though a fatality has never been recorded.

Victims of the creepy crawly have previously been administered funnel-web anti-venom and it has been effective in treating the bite. 

The mouse spider is most active during the day time, as opposed to many other arachnids which are night-time creatures. 

The spiders are most active during the day – as opposed to many other arachnids which are night-time creatures

RED BACK SPIDER

The redback spider's venomous bite can also be deadly to humans, with 16 recorded deaths. 

Mr Christensen said people are 'more ly to be bitten by a redback than any other Australian animal'.

The female is typically more aggressive than the male and the arachnid prefers to be in dry and dark conditions – making them very fond of houses.

The Redback spider is more ly to bite a human than any other Australian animal

'A redback hangs a line of web down to the ground, so they're often found underneath things,' he said.

'When you pick something up from the ground, that's how you get bitten.'

Female redbacks are black, with a clear red stripe along their upper abdomen.

The male is a light brown colour and has subtle white marks on its upper abdomen. 

Mr Christensen says Redbacks are often under things and the easiest way to get bitten is to grab something off the ground without looking

WHITE TAIL SPIDER

Contrary to popular belief, a white tail spider bite will not result in gaping holes in a person's flesh.

The white tail spider has very powerful fangs, and Mr Christensen explained: 'it's not something you could sleep through'.

He said he knew of 132 confirmed cases of a white tail spider bite, all of which caused pain and swelling, none of which resulted in missing flesh.

Contrary to popular belief, a White Tail spider bite will not result in gaping holes in a person's flesh

'People who had the missing flesh ended up having diabetic ulcers, misdiagnosed skin cancers, or another medical condition,' he said. 

Summer and Autumn are the most ly seasons to find a white tail spider inside, but the arachnid is there to eat other spiders.

The creature can be identified by a distinctive white marking on the tip of the abdomen, and two pairs of dots on the abdomen, which fade as the arachnid ages.

Summer and Autumn are the most ly seasons to find a white tail spider inside, but the arachnid is mostly there to eat other spiders

HUNTSMAN SPIDER

The huntsman spider's size often leaves humans cowering in fear, but Mr Christensen says there is little to worry about.

'The huntsman is a venomous spider, but it's not dangerously venomous,' he said.

'Their venom in us is localised pain and swelling, and it will hurt – but the huntsman is usually reluctant to bite unless it is defending its eggs.'

Huntsmen are often found in cars as well as houses, particularly behind sun visors, as well as hiding in rock walls or behind dead bark.

They are identified by their flattened bodies, designed for living in crevices or behind dead bark.

The huntsman spider may appear intimidating to humans, but its venom is not dangerous 

Huntsmen are often found hiding inside cars, behind the sun visor, but are also a fairly common sight inside houses

Kane Christensen, Head of Spiders at the Australian Reptile Park, says there are some easy ways to reduce the amount of eight-legged visitors you receive this summer.

  • Check before you lift things up off the ground
  • Visually inspect and shake out any shoes left outside
  • Ensure your doors have good draft seals and there aren't large gaps between the floor and the bottom of the door
  • Don't leave loose clothing hanging around on the floor – the first thing spiders look for is somewhere to hide
  • Check the pool – Sydney Funnel-Webs often get caught in water, but are not necessarily dead 

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5041425/The-spiders-KILL-home.html

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