Experts are warning NSW residents to be on the lookout for killer funnel-web spiders, after heavy rain combined with warm weather creates an ideal environment for the creatures to thrive.
Funnel-webs are usually attracted to humid conditions as it is their preferred weather for mating, however officials are warning that due to the recent floods, there may soon be a “boom” of the critters as they search for dry land.
Australian Reptile Park Director Tim Faulkner said he’s already seen increased movements of the spiders in recent days, with “a plague” expected to turn up in the next week.
“The upcoming warm weather and high levels of humidity is the perfect storm for a funnel-web spider boom in coming days,” he said.
“Under normal circumstances, the humidity that is generated from warm weather after a rain event would see an increase in activity amongst funnel-webs.
“This situation is completely different. Not only are we seeing increased movement due to humidity, but we’re already seeing a plague of ground-dwelling spiders searching for higher ground, out of the floodwaters.”
Mr Faulkner has urged residents across the state to stay vigilant, aware and across the correct protocols if they should encounter the deadly creatures.
If it is safe to do, Mr Faulkner said, it is recommended that people catch the spiders and bring them into the Australian Reptile Park so that they can be “milked” for lifesaving anti-venom.
The process has saved an immeasurable amount of Aussie lives since its inception in the early 80s and there has not been a death from a funnel-web spider bite since.