Eliminating spiders from an area for a long period of time is almost impossible. Spiders do not congregate in a single large nest, so the population cannot be destroyed by targeting one site. New spiders will quickly recolonise an area if the inhabitants are killed off. In many species, young spiders (or "spiderlings") disperse by "ballooning". They spin silk strands that are taken by the wind, carrying the spiders over potentially long distances. Although keeping an area free of spiders is difficult, there are many precautions that can be taken to avoid bites.
Avoid walking outside with bare feet, especially at night. When gardening, wear shoes, long trousers and thick gloves to guard against any spiders, scorpions, centipedes or stinging insects.
Wandering spiders can enter houses at ground level, often under a door. Fitting weather strips or using draft excluders can block this entry route. Fitting fly-screens to windows and wall ventilators will prevent any climbing spiders from obtaining access. A cleared area around the house will discourage burrowing spiders from making burrows there.
It is a good idea to educate children to "look but don't touch" when they find any spiders, and for adults to obey the same rule. It is sensible to be respectful of spiders, rather than frightened of them.
Funnel-web burrows are distinguished from other holes in the ground by the presence of a series of irregular silk "trip-lines" radiating out from the entrance. Holes are normally found in moist, shaded areas like rockeries, dense shrubs, logs and leaf litter. A small, neat hole lined with a collar of silk which does not extend more than a centimetre from the rim could belong to a trapdoor spider (the common Brown Trapdoor Spider does not build a "door" for its burrow). Other possible hole owners include mouse spiders, wolf spiders or insects (most commonly cicadas or ants).
Female Funnel-web Spider :
The female Funnel-web does not normally leave her burrow, but may be unearthed by excavations, rubbish removal or gardening, or be driven out by heavy rain. Male Funnel-webs leave their burrows to search for females in summer and autumn, and are normally active at night. Wandering spiders are frequently encountered after a period of wet weather.
Insecticide spraying is not recommended for ground-dwelling spiders. Such sprays may affect other animals. The target spiders often are not killed by the spray. Instead, the chemical may actually make them more active (and therefore more likely to enter homes). Sprays are also unlikely to give any lasting protection against Funnel-web Spiders. Funnel-webs in burrows close to houses can be attacked individually, by pouring boiling water down the burrows. It is sensible to wear gloves and shoes while doing this, as spiders not killed may quickly run out of the burrow.
In areas known to have Funnel-web populations, there are a number of precautions that can be taken to reduce the risk of bites. Wandering spiders can enter houses at ground level, often under a door. Fitting weather strips or using draft excluders can block this entry route. A cleared area around the house will discourage Funnel-webs from making burrows there.
Inside a house, Funnel-web spiders will seek shelter to avoid drying out. Consequently it's important to check clothing, shoes or bedding close to, or on the floor, for spiders. The same goes for any shoes or clothing left outdoors or around camp-sites in Funnel-web areas.
Funnel-web Spiders often fall into swimming pools. Spiders can trap a small bubble of air in hairs around the abdomen which aids both breathing and floating, so it should not be assumed that a spider on a pool bottom has drowned. Funnel-webs have been known to survive 24-30 hours under water.
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