White tailed spiders look unique because of their cylindrical body shape and the trademark white or grey spots on their abdomen. They are active hunters and are known to keep other, less desirable spider populations in check. White tailed spiders wander around at night searching for food, typically other spiders, and insects. They are venomous, but the venom is not considered dangerous to humans.
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White-tailed spiders are typically dark red to grey with a distinctive white tip on the end of their abdomen. They range in size from 12-18mm and have banded dark orange-brown legs. The spider’s body is cigar-shaped, and they have two large eyes on the front of its head.
White tailed spiders are found in Australia and New Zealand. They are typically found in dark, moist areas such as under leaves, logs, or crevices of walls and furniture. However, they are also known to enter homes, so you must be aware of their presence and take steps to prevent them from entering.
How Dangerous are White-Tailed Spiders?
White-tailed spiders are not considered to be dangerous. However, their bite can cause a localised reaction, such as swelling, redness, and itching, but severe long-term effects are unlikely. However, it is essential to seek medical attention if you believe a white-tailed spider has bitten you.
White Tailed Spider Bites
White tailed spiders bite when they feel threatened or if they are disturbed, either while they are resting or hunting. They are most active at night, so it is essential to be careful when moving around in the dark. Wear gloves when handling items that may have spiders on them, such as logs and rocks.
A bite by a white-tailed spider may cause a burning sensation, mild swelling and itching. In rare cases, the person bitten by this spider may experience nausea or headaches. Most symptoms subside within 24 hours, but there are chances of a lesion in the spot for up to 12 days.
Reacting to a White-Tailed Spider Bite
If a spider bites you, it is essential to remain calm and try to identify the spider. Take a photograph of the spider and seek medical attention. Before you get to your doctor, apply a cold pack to the affected area. You may take a mild over-the-counter pain reliever if the pain is intense. Next, you must seek medical assistance to relieve pain and discomfort. The doctor may recommend treatment such as antiseptic. In rare cases, a course of antibiotics may be prescribed.
Avoid Being Bitten by White-Tailed Spider
The best way to avoid being bitten by a white-tailed spider is to take precautions when moving around in the dark and handle items that may have spiders on them. For example, if you leave any clothing on the floor overnight, it is best to shake it out before you wear it. Also, it is best to remove spider webs from your property as they may attract this species to your home.
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Frequently Asked Questions
White tailed spiders eat other spider species like redback spiders, curtain-web spiders, daddy-long-legs spiders, and black house spiders. They are often found in homes that have a cosy shelter and many other spiders to eat.
White tailed spiders aren’t considered to be too dangerous. However, they have mild venom that causes minor skin irritation or a mild burning sensation. Hence, if you get bitten by these spiders, it is best to seek medical help immediately.
These spiders constantly search for prey, so they do not build webs. Instead, they move from one place to another, leaving their hiding place at night to find other spiders.
Since these spiders prefer eating other spiders like redbacks and black houses, they are constantly on the go to find their prey. Once they leave a hiding spot, they choose not to return to it. Since these spiders have no webs, their female spiders build a temporary silk retreat to breed and lay their egg sacs.