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Beware of Spiders in the Backyard

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Beware of Spiders in the Backyard

by Megan Macpherson

Australia is the home for one of the world’s most deadliest spiders – the Funnel Web. It also is home to other lovely creatures such as the Red Back spider, Mouse spider, and White Tail spider. Sometimes they make their homes in our backyards, or under our houses, even in metropolitan areas of the country. These spiders are dangerous, and venom from their bites attacks the central nervous system, causing circulatory failure, and even death.

First aid tips for deadly and dangerous spiders can be summed up in pressure bandages, immobilisation, and medical attention. Pressure bandages can be used in the case of funnel web or mouse spider bite to reduce the travel of venom in the blood stream. Immobilising the victim is another way to reduce the circulation of venom. Pressure bandages are not necessary for a red back spider bite, and will increase the pain caused to the victim. Seek medical attention, and if possible, catch the spider for identification.

There are several things you can do to keep yourself safe from spiders in the garden. Wear shoes outside at all times. When you are gardening, wear gloves, closed shoes and long pants. Spiders may find their way into your house, so make sure your doors have seals on the bottom so they don’t crawl through the crack. The Garden Orb-Weaving spider and Saint Andrews Cross spider are often seen in a large web in the garden.

Funnel web spiders may come out of their hole after wet weather, and male funnel webs go searching for females during summer and autumn. Female spiders will tend to stay in their burrow unless provoked by building, gardening or excavation work. That is why home renovators need to be careful. Funnel Web Spiders can also fall into the swimming pool, but are able to trap an air bubble around their abdomen, so may not necessarily be dead. Don’t assume that a spider in a pool is dead; they have been known to last 24 hours under water.

Other than the Funnel Web, Red Back and White Tail spider, no other species needs to be controlled. Huntsman spiders are timid, and may wander indoors. The Mouse and Wolf spider have a poisonous and painful bite but are not deadly. If a spider is continually making its web in a thoroughfare, then it may need to be moved.

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