The world’s deadliest spider could be creeping into Australian homes this Christmas, with arachnid mating season now in full swing.
Funnel-web spiders are highly venomous and can kill humans in as little as 15 minutes, making them an unwanted visitor in any bathroom corner.
It is common for the lethal creepy-crawlies to lurk in cool, damp places on Aussie summer evenings – and the hair-raising beasts are expected to head indoors in droves.
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Funnel-web spiders (pictured) are highly venomous and can kill humans in as little as 15 minutes, making them an unwanted visitor in any bathroom corner
Bec Sheedy, from Springwood in Sydney’s west, told the publication she found a 5cm long funnel-web (Pictured) scurrying along in her house.
‘This time of year we find the males in the evenings when it’s cooler, walking around looking for females,’ Paul Hare, Invertebrate Keeper at Taronga Zoo, told news.com.au.
‘The females we tend to only come across if you’ve been doing gardening or you’ve had really heavy rains and they’ve been flooded out of their homes. The girls let the males come to them.’
Several unsuspecting Australians have spotted funnel-webs crawling through their homes this mating season.
Bec Sheedy, from Springwood in Sydney’s west, told the publication she found a 5cm long funnel-web scurrying along in her house.
The eight-legged creatures are attracted to cool, damp areas such as pools, bathrooms or the household laundry and can even survive submerged underwater for days at a time.
The deadly effects of the funnel web’s bite kick in almost immediately, causing nausea, muscle cramps, profuse sweating and numbness around the mouth.
‘If you do get bitten you will feel the effects very quickly, it can make you very, very sick,’ Mr Hare added.
Funnel-webs have fangs which are larger than a brown snake’s and are so powerful they can even pierce through human nails and toenails.
Their venom contains a compound that can attack the human nervous system and shut down organ function and, when coming from a male spider, can kill.
According to Mr Hare, the most dangerous place to be bitten by a funnel-web is the torso area, but there hasn’t been a death since the antivenom was made available 1981.
The arachnid expert recommends wearing gloves while gardening during this time of year and advises against leaving items outdoors which could house an undetected spider.
It is not just the funnel-web spider Australians should be keeping an eye out for.
Head of Spiders at the Australian Reptile Park Kane Christensen said redback spiders were likely looking for dryer conditions inside the home too.
‘Spiders like redbacks, white tails and huntsmen prefer dry conditions over moist,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘They don’t want their burrows or webs to get wet.
‘You’ll find a redback in every house in Australia because of dry conditions.’