Our beautiful West Australian landscape and warm weather means that creepy crawlies such as spiders are part of life, though the size, colour and fear-induced scream of panic can differ! We may come across a spider in the corner of a kitchen or bedroom, hiding in a web in our carport or between plants in our backyard, but how do you know which common household spiders are poisonous and which aren’t?
As professionals in spider infestations and spider control, we’ve seen our fair share of eight-legged creepy crawlies! We’ll take you through some of the most common household spiders, where they like to make their homes and what details you can use to identify them.
You won’t find these hairy, long-legged spiders in a web, but you will find them living under flaking tree bark, under rocks or within roof spaces – so be careful if you’re doing some spring cleaning in your attic or cleaning up your backyard!
If these spiders do make their way into your home, they will often perch on walls out of sight. They have also been known to sneak into cars to hide behind sun visors or around the dashboard. Although they are visually confronting, these spiders are quite timid and will move at lightning speed when they are disturbed or frightened.
There are 94 species of the huntsman spider, however they can generally be identified by their long legs, “hairy” appearance, beige or brown colouring and “flattened” body. Huntsman spiders can reach 45mm in diameter and their front legs are always longer than the rear two, which allows them to move sideways like a crab.
The huntsman’s bite is non-toxic to humans; however, it is known to be very painful. You should take extra caution around the huntsman in summer, as the female will be guarding her egg sacs or young and will be territorial.
Most Australian’s would have grown up with warnings about redback spiders and their dangerous bite! These spiders favour dry, dark environments and love cohabiting with humans, so you can generally find them:
As these spiders prey on things such as moths, flies and mosquitoes, they may hang around places with a direct light source to capture their prey.
Redbacks, as the name suggests, have a distinctive red stripe on their back, which is a stark contrast to their small, pea-shaped black bodies.
While the venom of the redback can be dangerous, they will generally only bite when the feel threatened. The female redback is the most dangerous, as she, unlike her male counterpart, has large fangs that can penetrate human skin. The bite itself can cause pain to the victim immediately, however, the venom can work slowly, with symptoms such as a headache, nausea, fever and abdominal pain.
Black house spiders tend to prefer secluded locations such as window frames, gutters, sheds, toilets, rocks and fallen bark. They form large, lacy and messy webs in their chosen habitat, with funnel-like entrances.
As the name suggests, the black house spider is dark in colour, with a charcoal grey abdomen, dark brown to black legs and a (sometimes indistinct) dorsal pattern of white marking.
While the bite of a black house spider can penetrate human skin, the bites are generally not considered to be harmful. The bites can cause localised pain and swelling and may result in symptoms such as nausea, sweating and giddiness.
If you are purchasing or moving into a new house, always ensure you opt for a pre-purchase inspection to ensure any spider infestations are dealt with as a safety precaution for you and your family against bites.
The Pest Guys are available around the clock and employ healthy, non-toxic treatments that are safe for you and your family, so contact our professional team today to find out how we can help you and your family with your pest control needs.