Like bees, spiders aren’t completely a “bad guy” in the insect world. I know many of us, myself included, react upon seeing one, and screech for a shoe or bug spray, but if we didn’t have spiders to keep mosquitoes and other flying insects under control, we would all stay indoors.
There are many types of spiders in Australia. These are split into two categories, ground dwelling and webbing.
The ground dwelling spiders, ie Funnel Web spider, Wolf spider, Mouse spider, Trap Door spider, White Tail spider to name a few, build nest and spend majority of their time above & underground. Ground dwelling spiders tend to be very active during breeding season months and are often found hiding in dark crevices during the day in places like toy boxes, dog kennels, in clothes and basket, garden ornaments, rubbish piles, under houses and in storage sheds. These spiders are usually the most toxic in the world of all spiders and are considered to be pests; their bites are debilitating and painful. If bitten you must seek medical attention immediately.
The webbing spiders produce the elaborate webs in which they live suspended in the air, these are webs that we so often walk into in the morning or evening when many of us have taken the rubbish out, walked the dogs, or gotten the mail. These webs are usually suspended between the trees or bushes in your garden or joined to fences on your property, and are commonly found around fences gutters, eaves, outdoor furniture, clothes lines and bins. Spiders such as Gold Orb Weaver, Net Casting, Daddy Long legs, St George Cross and the common black house spider are in this category. The Red Back Spider is one of the poisonous webbing spiders which causes poisoning and health issues.
The webbing spiders also use webbing to disperse their hatching. The baby spiders hatching are suspended in the fine strands of the web and caught by the wind; this ballooning process is the way immature spiders can be transported long distances. These spiders are considered to be a pest because they produce continual webbing over property, making the building or your home unsightly. These spiders are more active in warmer months of the year.
An environmentally friendly way of removing these spiders is by using an old vacuumn cleaner and vacuuming the webs or sweeping them away on a regular basis. Additional tips include pruning your trees regularly.