Are you planning a trip to Australia, but you’re hesitant because of the online images of giant spiders? Does it seem that insects are bigger in Australia? Just how accurate are those photographs and what should a prospective traveller be aware of before venturing into the land down under?
Many Australians employ the services of pest control Shepparton and other towns’ companies offer to keep their homes free of household pests. This includes the many dreaded Australian spider species. Is the concern necessary and what should you know before your visit?
Should You be Concerned About Australian Spiders?
If you’re visiting Australia for the first time, your first instinct could be to panic. Australia, like many other places, has its fair share of dangerous spiders. However, it has a higher volume of non-lethal spiders that you probably won’t encounter on your visit.
Most spider experts claim that spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them. So, in theory, if you don’t go looking for them, and they don’t accidently end up in your shoes, you more than likely won’t see a single one.
Types of Spiders Found in Australia
Spiders are everywhere. Let’s have a look at a few of the most common spider species found in Australia.
- Funnel Web Spider: On average, Australia records 2000 funnel web spider bites every year. These spiders aren’t fans of daylight and spend their time hiding in dark corners or inside shoes. They can become aggressive if disturbed. Fortunately, anti-venom against this deadly poison has been around since 1956.
- Red Back Spider: Commonly related to American and African widow spiders, these black and red or even orange creatures prefer to hide in dark places. Hiding spots include outdoor furniture, ledges, mailboxes and around flowerpots in the garden.
- Huntsman: While the Huntsman spider isn’t dangerous to humans, people are often scared of them because of their size. They are somewhat hairy, grow very big and move very fast. Having a Huntsman in your living space is a good idea because they eat all the other pests in the house and are particularly fond of cockroaches.
- White Tailed: These spiders are rarely seen during the day. They’re only active at night when they’re out searching for food. They also move into homes to avoid rain. They have a white tip on their abdomen, hence the moniker, “white tailed”.
Why Are Spiders Bigger in Australia?
Is there some truth to the theory that spiders are bigger in Australia? It largely has to do with Australia’s climate being so hot. Most insects, including spiders, tend to grow bigger in places with warmer climates. The Australian bushlands also provide a steady source of food supply that assists their growth.
Spider Bite Prevention
Despite all your efforts to keep spiders out of your home or hotel room, there will always be the odd one that sneaks in. Here are some tips a traveller can apply to avoid being bitten by a stray spider:
- Always shake out your shoes before putting them on.
- Avoid leaving towels on the floor.
- Shake out your clothes before putting them on, whether you’re taking it off a hanger or out of your suitcase. Some spiders nestle into your clothes.
- Wear shoes both inside and outside, no matter how hot you are.
- Check your bedding and blankets before going to bed.
- Check the chairs and couches before sitting down.
- Turn cups and glasses upside down when you’ve washed them. You don’t want a spider jumping out at you as you’re about to pour a cocktail!
First Aid for Spider Bites
In the last 20 years, only one death has been reported in Australia as a result of a spider bite. If you or someone with you has been bitten by a spider, follow these steps:
- Keep the patient calm and quiet. Increased jumping and screaming increases blood circulation, which moves poison through your body faster.
- Keep the affected limb down, away from the heart.
- Apply a pressure bandage tightly to the affected limb, starting from the top of the limb to the bottom. This will also help keep the limb still.
- If possible, scoop up the spider in a sealable container, or at least take a photo of it. This will help medical staff identify the type of anti-venom the patient needs.
General Home Remedies Keep Spiders Out
An old Australian remedy that has become quite popular across the world is peppermint oil. Many Australian households make use of a mixture of water and peppermint oil which is then sprayed all over the house and at entry points.
This oil solution not only keeps them from coming inside, but also leaves your home smelling great.
Despite there being over 2000 species of spiders in Australia, only a small number of them are poisonous. By taking basic precautions, you’ll most likely not encounter spiders at all. Don’t let the fear of these eight-legged creatures spoil your holiday!