Heavy rains forcing killer funnel web spiders into homes

We’re being warned of a possible funnel web spider “bonanza” as recent rainfall makes for perfect conditions for the deadly arachnids.

The Australian Reptile Park issued a warning on Wednesday that recent wet weather over the weekend has seen an increase in funnel web spider activity.

Reptiles and spider keeper Jake Meney said the weekend rain brought humid conditions in which the spiders “thrive”.

The park’s Dan Rumsey added male funnel web spiders in particular will “start to move around”.

A funnel web spider is pictured.
There's a warning more of these little guys could be roaming around. Yikes. Source: Australian Reptile Park

Mr Meney told Nine News “this little bit of rain and heat has created the perfect formula to start moving around more than usual”.

"Females don't move around too much, they mostly wait for the males to come and find them but that's bad news because it's the males that are super dangerous," he told the network.

Funnel web spiders enjoy sheltered, shady spots which are cool and humid, however they also like well-vegetated gardens and the indoors.

When inside the house, they can be found in the laundry, garage or possibly inside shoes.

What do I do if I come across a funnel web spider?

Mr Meney said it’s important people are across the correct first aid and know how to safely catch them as the park uses funnel web spider donations to develop anti-venom.

“If you are an adult and feel safe to do so, please catch the funnel webs using a big glass jar and keeping your hands away from the spider, coax the spider into the jar using a long stick and bring it to us at the Australian Reptile Park or one of our drop-off points in Sydney, the Central Coast or Newcastle,” he said in a statement.

“Funnel webs cannot climb up glass or plastic so once you put the lid on tightly, the funnel web can’t get out. You can help us save Australian lives.”

A funnel web spider next to a shoe.
Funnel web spiders sometimes enjoy the insides of shoes. Source: Australian Reptile Park

The park recommends if anyone’s bitten by a funnel web they should “stay as calm as possible”.

“Apply the correct first aid, which is a pressure immobilisation bandage and get to hospital as fast as you possibly can,” the park says.

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