Though for many the warm weather has been a welcome rest from back-to-back months of rain and flooding, it seems we can’t truly catch a break, with rising temperatures and humidity creating the perfect environment for eight-legged creepy crawlies.
In addition to the hot weather, the past few months of rain has seen spiders returning to homes and backyards, much to the dismay of residents, said the Australian Reptile Park Reptiles and Spiders Keeper, Sam Herrmann.
“With all the heavy rain, where they’re living is flooding and they’re moving around a lot, which means that people will encounter them a lot more as they try to seek shelter,” he said.
Mr Herrmann is reminding everyone to stay calm, with a few precautions going a long way in helping everyone avoid them.
“Anything that’s going to be in use that stays outside is always to be checked. If it’s shoes, tap them, or tools, anything like that,” he told the Weekender.
“Keeping stuff clutter-free can always help, nice and tidy around the backyard so there’s not as many places for these animals to hide.”
In the case of most spiders, Mr Herrmann said that they’re very easy to live alongside – as you likely have been already.
“If you haven’t seen it, it’s probably been there anyway for quite a while, and it’s lived peacefully without you even knowing about it,” he said.
But, for more dangerous species’ it’s important to get rid of them in the proper manner – with an increase in funnel web spiders the primary root of warnings.
“Anything like a funnel web, obviously there has to be caution taken, because they can deliver a pretty painful and harmful bite,” he said.
“We do encourage people to catch those funnel webs safely – we have lots of videos on our social media and all of our media that explains how to do this.”
But, if they beat you to it, there are a few steps to take in the event of being bitten.
“If you have been bitten by a spider and you’re not sure what it is, if the spider is right there in front of you, you can always take photos and call any sort of wildlife officer,” he said.
“If you are thinking that it’s a funnel web, or even a redback spider, then the safest thing to do is follow the first aid procedure, which is using a bandage or a compression bandage, and basically wrapping the limb up on which you were bitten – so if you were bitten on the left hand, you would bandage right up your left arm all the way to the shoulder and back down if you can.
“You want to keep that limb as still as possible, stay as calm as you possibly can, and then call 000 and let them know what’s happened, so you can receive assistance once you get to the hospital.”
Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.