How to Catch a Sydney Funnel-web Spider

Warning: Do not read  this post if you suffer from Arachnophobia.

(The publishing of this post is well overdue as the spider was encountered last December and it is now Autumn here. Hopefully we won’t find these in our new environment.)

The weather in Sydney has been hot and humid with the occasional overnight shower of rain. These are perfect conditions for the Sydney funnel-web spider.

To my horror, I discovered one in the bathtub! It must have come in overnight through the open window.

 Funnel web Spider

This particular spider is very aggressive and its venom is highly toxic. So, what do we do? Do we spray it and risk it becoming aggressive? Do we stamp on it and risk missing it?

We decided the safest method was to try to capture the spider ALIVE! A large jar was quickly found and a recent Christmas card, to cover the opening. The jar was inverted over the spider, very carefully.

spider jar(Sorry about the dirty jar but there was no time to be choosey.)

The Christmas card was placed under the open jar, making sure the spider stays inside the jar. The jar is carefully turned upright.

Tape was then used to secure the card as an escape-proof lid.

sealed jarSo, what can be done with a live funnel web spider?

We took it to the local hospital where the spiders are accepted.

Hornsby HospitalThe spiders are collected by The Australian Reptile Park where they are then ‘milked’ for their venom to make an anti-venom.

Aah, what a relief!

There have been other encounters with stingers in our garden.

Saint Andrew's Cross SpiderThis attractive St Andrew’s Cross spider is very common and unlikely to cause any trouble but can give you a nasty sting.

paper wasp nest Don’t do any gardening near this paper wasp nest.

scorpionThis scorpion could give you a nasty sting so I wouldn’t try to pick it up.

Although these ‘nasties’ may cause you pain or even death, they rarely cause problems. We have managed to live quite happily with them and find no reason to harm them. Avoidance is the secret.

 

 

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