Deadly spiders are the stuff of nightmares. People all over the world live in fear of discovering a spider in their house or while out and about in public places. These often-furry creepy-crawlies are no picnic to think about, but it pays to know the difference between which spiders are deadly, and which aren’t, especially when you live in Australia. Here, where spiders are common both in urban and regional areas, certain deadly breeds should be avoided. Here are just five:
1. The Redback Spider
Possibly the most well-known of Australia’s spider species (named after the eye-catching red or orange stripe on its abdomen) the redback is also one of the most common causes of spider bites; thousands of Australians report having been bitten by one of these buggers each year.
Pain and swelling in the bitten area is the most common symptom, but this can also be accompanied by nausea or cramps. In the 1950s, an anti-venom was developed, and deaths have been extremely rare ever since. Of course, death can still occur if left untreated, so get yourself to a hospital immediately if bitten.
Click here to see how to identify a redback nest…
2. The Australian Funnel-Web Spider
Everyone knows of the notorious funnel-web, often touted as the most dangerous spider in existence.
Complete with a sharp set of fangs and the ability to “cling” to its victim, biting again and again, they are an arachnophobe’s ultimate fear.
On top of pain, localised swelling and nausea, those bitten can also have seizures and brain swelling and death can occur in as little as 15 minutes. Thankfully, an anti-venom is available and so death rates have dropped dramatically since the 1980s. Check out our post on the funnel web spider for more instructions on what to do if you think you have been bitten…
3. The Australian Tarantula
You’ll be relieved to know that this species is primarily responsible for only localised pain and swelling in its victims, despite their huge (up to 1cm) protruding fangs. Deaths within humans aren’t generally reported, but animals are another story.
The tarantula can kill domestic animals quickly and the scariest thing is, unlike many spiders who have a very short lifespan, these hairy critters can live for up to 12 years.
4. The Mouse Spider
With a meek-sounding name, you could be forgiven for assuming the mouse spider wasn’t dangerous at all. However, this often-large breed looks quite similar to the Australian funnel-web, and – just like its counterpart – can be deadly.
With large fangs, this spider usually only bites when provoked, but can cause serious illness quickly if not treated. Get yourself to the hospital as soon as you can if you think you’ve been targeted by one of these bad boys.
5. The Wolf Spider
Although rarely fatal, this spider’s bite can be both dangerous and incredibly painful. How do you tell it apart from its seemingly similar-looking friends? The wolf spider has a distinct, Union Jack-style imprint on its back. Even if this one’s bites don’t result in death, it’s still important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think you’ve been bitten.
Thankfully in Australia, we’ve developed anti-venom for the few deadly spiders our country has to offer. If you’ve been bitten, and even if you’re sure it was by a non-lethal species, seek immediate medical attention regardless, to give yourself peace of mind.
Have you seen any of these around the Dubbo area? If so let us know in the comments below…