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Common Spiders of Victoria

There are many types of spiders in Australia, all of which thrive in different conditions. Spider types that are commonly found inside your homes have adapted to the conditions indoors so they can live in a less humid atmosphere and with less food consistently available to them, some can even survive for months without food or water! Spiders that live outdoors prefer a warm and damp surrounding, in which their preferred source of food is insects. Below is just a few of the spiders you would expect to see in and around your home.

Can You Call Pest Control for Spiders?

If you are noticing an increase in the amount of spiders in your home, get in touch with us. Melbourne Pest Solutions can answer any questions you may have about spider pest control in Melbourne or arrange a treatment for you.

At Melbourne Pest Solutions, we provide professional spider removal and spider control in Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, Greater Geelong & Mornington Peninsula.

Red-Back Spider:

Female up to 14mm, Male up to 3mm.

This spider has a pea-shaped abdomen with a characteristic red to orange stripe. Red-Backs build webs in and around your home throughout rubbish, around pot plants, outdoor furniture and logs.

White Tail Spider:

Female up to 20mm, Male up to 12mm.

A dull, dark grey with a characteristic white spot on the end of the abdomen. Usually encountered inside houses sheltering from the weather or introduced on clothing brought in from the clothes line. Bites are very common due to the habits of this spider.

Black House Spider:

Female up to 18mm. Male up to 9mm.

A dark brown to grey/black robust spider with some body markings. They build webs in the cavities of your home or in dark corners of windows, verandas, sheds or fences.

Huntsman Spider:

Female up to 2 cm body, Male up to 1.6 cm Body Leg span: up to 15 cm

The Huntsman is mostly grey to brown with large long legs. They are often found around homes and gardens in search of prey.

Wolf Spider:

Females up to 35mm. Males up to 20mm.

Wolf spiders have a mottled grey and brown body, and harbor under leaf litter in the garden or burrows in the ground around your home.

Melbourne Trapdoor Spider:

Female up to 35mm Male up to 25mm.

Due to its size, colour and large fangs, these spiders are often thought to be Sydney funnel-web spiders. The Melbourne trap-door spider is a common ground-dwelling spider often encountered by the weekend gardener when digging soil or moving rocks. Both males and females dig silk-lined burrows up to 40 cm deep in soft earth. Despite the reference in the common name, the entrance of the spider’s burrow does not have a ‘trap-door’. The spiders feed at night, waiting at the entrance of the burrow to ambush passing insects. Males leave the burrow when mature and roam in search of a mate. This roaming usually occurs in autumn or early winter and may take the spider into odd places such as inside houses, swimming pools, etc.

Orb-weaving Spider:

Female up to 30mm. Male up to 20mm.

A reddish brown to grey spider with a leaf shaped pattern on their abdomen. They build suspended, sticky, wheeled shaped orb webs between trees and shrubs where insects are likely to fly.

Ways to help prevent spiders

It is good practise not to leave clothes on the floor, if you do pick up your clothes of the ground make sure you shake them thoroughly before putting them on. Other ways to avoid unpleasant surprises are to check your bedding before going to bed, vacuum regularly, remove noticeable webs, fill in gaps in walls and under doors to prevent entry and reduce harborage areas around the home by relocating firewood away from the home.

spiders

Spiders

Classification

Scientific name: Araneae

Description

Spiders are not insects and their species vary considerably in size. There are more than 35,000 species of spider, divided into 2 types of species:

    Primitive Spiders = vertical fang orientation

    Modern Spiders = horizontal fang direction

Smaller spiders’ average length is 4-8mm. Males are smaller than females. Unlike insects, spiders only have 2 distinct body sections, the Cephalothorax, which is the head and thorax combined; it features fangs, pedipalps, multiple eyes and legs, and the abdomen which contains the spinnerets at the rear, which are sophisticated glands that spin the silken webs.

There are many spider species present all across Australia.

Most species prefer to live outdoors and feast on insects. Generally, spiders indoors are males hunting for females. Sometimes, spiders come inside for warmth if the temperature drops outside.

Spiders are the most widely distributed venomous creatures in Australia, with an estimated 10,000 species inhabiting a variety of ecosystems. But even though spiders live around us, from our urban centres to the bush, bites are infrequent. In fact, spiders are less life-threatening than snakes or sharks, or even bees.

“There are more deaths from allergic reactions to bees” says Dr Geoff Isbister, a researcher specialised in envenoming at the University of Newcastle. He points out the extent of our irrational fear of spiders: “While we all still happily get in our cars (about 1000 people die each year in car crashes), then we can’t really worry about spiders.”

Antivenom for two of our more dangerous spiders, the funnel-web and the redback has been available since the 1950s and 1981, respectively. It is only administered when the envenomation is really severe, which is rarely the case.

Spider venom contains a cocktail of chemicals, some of which can be harmful to humans – but humans are not really the intended victims. Spider venom is designed for small prey and delivered in small quantities that, while often fatal to tiny creatures, can be handled by bigger organisms. When injected to a horse, for instance, spider venom triggers the animal’s immune system to produce antibodies to fight the effect of the toxin.

Behaviour

Most spiders are harmless and play an important role in controlling the insect population. Spiders emit silk, ejecting a liquid which turns to silk when it meets the air.

Autumn is breeding season. Female spiders plump up to attract a male. The spider’s mating ritual is complex. Males must avoid getting eaten by the female and start by creating a web bed to lay sperm. They pick up the sperm in pedipalps by the mouth and inseminate the female. Some males dazzle the female to stop her reacting aggressively.

Spiders use venom to paralyse their prey and eat at leisure. Some species venom is deadly.

Risks

Spiders are typically a nuisance rather than harmful. They reproduce quickly and create cobwebs in hard to reach areas.

Most species use their venom on invertebrates rather than humans. Unfortunately, some of the world’s most venomous, including the Funnel Web and Redback spiders, reside in Australia and bites can be fatal.

Despite this, most spiders are harmless and the bites cause localised pain, redness and swelling. Humans can have allergic reactions which includes feelings of nausea, dizziness and in extreme cases, necrosis.

Spiders Control

Spider control and extermination can be a major concern for homeowners – particularly for those who live in the southwest. There are about 10,000 species of spiders throughout Australia, with several causing serious harm when accidentally disturbed. This is why it’s particularly important to only hire well-trained pest controllers to eliminate an infestation.

If spiders are infesting your home, contact a Melbourne Pest Solutions professional. Our technicians will be able to inspect your home, confirm the species of spider and recommend a course of proper spider control.

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