Sydney residents urged to be on high alert of funnel web spiders

Residents in greater Sydney are being urged to exercise “extreme caution” as humid weather conditions trigger an increase in activity among deadly funnel-web spiders.

With peak breeding season underway, the spiders have begun to venture out of their burrows in search of a mate and Sydney residents may spot them appearing in their homes and backyards.

Funnel-web spiders often make their homes in sheltered, shady spots, away from humid conditions. Backyards with dense leaf matter, scrap material, as well as properties that back onto bushland are often the ideal location for funnel-web spiders looking to burrow and breed.

Following the increase in activity, the Australian Reptile Park has called on the public to “safely collect live funnel-web spiders” and hand them in to various drop off locations around the state in an effort to collect their venom for the organisations anti-venom program.

Australian Reptile Park spider keeper, Emma Teni said the public needs to remain vigilant, aware and safe when dealing with the spiders.

“It’s important that Australians are across the correct first aid and know how to SAFELY catch the spiders so that we can continue to extract their venom and save lives. We rely on public donations of funnel-web spiders to build up our milking individuals,” Ms Teni said.

“When found inside homes, Sydney funnel-web spiders prefer cool, damp places like the laundry, garage or in shoes left out on the ground.

“It is best to ensure you are not leaving washing and clothing on the floors, if you leave your shoes outside – make sure you check them first before putting your foot in blindly as shoes can be the perfect little burrow for funnel-web spiders.

“Pool filters should also be checked and cleaned regularly.”

If someone is bitten by a funnel-web spider or any spider they believe could be a funnel-web spider, a pressure immobilisation bandage should immediately be applied and the individual should make their way to a hospital as soon as possible.

The reptile park is the sole supplier of funnel-web spider venom to make into lifesaving anti-venom and said since the inception of the program, no lives have been lost to a funnel-web spider bite.

To find the closest spider drop off location, visit the Australian Reptile Park website.

Read related topics:SydneyWeather

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