As we move into the warmer months of the year one pest that will be commonly found across all areas of Sydney is the Redback Spider. The pictures below were taken at a home in Enfield recently, where our technician counted over 20 females around the home. If left untreated that’s potentially many more spiders in a couple of month’s time.
Redback Spiders are easily identified due to their distinctive body colours and shape. They are usually black with a distinct orange or red stripe on the upper side of their abdomen and on the lower side is usually an orange or red hourglass shaped mark. Some females can be a fawn colour. The size of a female can be 12mm-15mm and larger females can easily span a 50 cent coin. Males differ from the female in both size and colour. Males are much smaller and are rarely seen. They are brown and usually have white markings.
Where are Redbacks found?
They are commonly found living in close proximity to human habitation and tend to favour outdoor areas. They generally construct a strong untidy web close to the ground with the spider usually hiding in a sheltered are at the top or corner of the web and wait for insects or small lizards to stumble into their webs. They favour dry places around buildings, under outdoor furniture, toys that may have been sitting outside for periods of time, stored/cluttered items, pot plants and the like. They can also be commonly found in sheds amongst stored items like boxes and other clutter, and garages. A common belief is that they will always be found at ground level however they can also be found within roof voids. Some of the biggest Redback spiders I have seen have been in guttering of homes. Be aware of this when getting leaves out of gutters. Wear gloves.
How to get rid of Redbacks
Successful treatment for Redback Spiders will rely on a good inspection. As these spiders are very good at exploiting many different areas around your home, identifying areas where they are prior to treatment is essential. Like all webbing spiders our treatment will rely on direct contact with the spider or its web. Seeking out all areas externally and treating accordingly is the first step. Other areas that will need to be treated for this spider are roof spaces and wall cavities. When a good infestation is present externally they will often be found in weep holes and roof voids. A lot of insects enter these areas so it is a great place for Redback Spiders to construct webs. If sub-floors are present at your home they will also be treated. I have seen sub-floors literally full of Redback Spiders. Female only needs to mate once after that can produce eggs for up to 2 years laying new batches of eggs every 3 weeks or so, we need to make sure that all spiders living around the home are treated properly in order to protect you and your home from these spiders.
We will conduct an inspection of the property to identify where these spiders are hiding, this will typically include areas such as:
• External walls.
• Behind gutter down pipes.
• Window and door frames.
• Pergola and carport roofs.
• Garden beds.
• Bin areas.
Other areas that are commonly a danger for small children’s hands and pets will include:
• Children’s toys.
• Swing sets, slides.
• Outdoor furniture.
• Dog kennels.
This type of pest control treatment typically takes around 1.5 hours to complete.
What to do if you are bitten by a Redback
If you or a member of your family suffers a Redback spider bite, follow the DRABCD action plan and perform basic First Aid steps.
If severe pain occurs, call 000 for an ambulance immediately.
• Remove all webs from structures, under eaves and backyard equipment such as swings, trampolines.
• Store children’s toys in one location, preferably off the ground – always take care when handling toys after storage.
• Don’t leave shoes on the ground outside doorways – if you have to, hit them together on against a wall before fitting to your feet.
If you would like more information on how to manage Redback pest problems at your property, call Amalgamated Pest Control Sydney.