Go Study Australia

Australia has an international reputation for having some of the most dangerous animals in the world. And yes its true, we have a lot of spiders and its sad when we hear people say they don’t want to visit Australia because it’s too dangerous. So lets set the record straight. Only 6 people a year die of spider bites. Compare that to 1,137 from car crashes and 15,000 from smoking – you really have NOTHING to worry about. My name is Simon, I am the General Manager of Go Study Australia and I am a native Australian. I grew up in the country side near Melbourne and have had hundreds of encounters with spiders. To be honest, I am scared of some them too – and some are dangerous – but they have never been a problem for me or friends. In fact, I don’t know anyone who has been bitten by a spider and gained injury from it – at worst – a small irritation like a mosquito bite. We were always taught – they are more scared of us, than we are of them.

Most Common: The Huntsman

Despite is scary name, this spider is completely harmless. I likes to live inside houses and eats small insects. It’s the spider you will see most often around Australia. It can grow quite bit and hairy so it looks very scary, but you can pick it up and it will not bite (but we don’t suggest you pick any spider up).

Its very likely you will see a Huntsman in Australia – they sometimes stay still on a wall for days at a time… Its best just to leave them alone as they get rid of annoying insects and mosquitos… But if you do want to remove it, here is the best way

1. Get a cup or jar and place it over the spider

2. Slide a piece of paper under the jar and spiders lets and tilt the jar

3. Walk the spider outside, and let him free in a garden

A strange one – Daddy Long Legs

The daddy long legs is very common across Australia. It has a tiny body and really long lets so it looks very strange. Surprisingly, this spider is venomous (has a poisonous bite) – but its mouth is fangs are so small and fragile is cannot bite a human… They are nothing to be worried about. They are so fragile and tiny and only eat very small bugs.

In the garden – Golden orb and St Johns Cross Spiders

Golden Orb spider
St Johns Cross spider

Golden orb spiders have a big back end (called an abdomen) and an orange body. St Johns Cross spiders weave amazing cross shaped webs and wait in trees to catch flys, bees and other bugs. When it rains or there is dew in the air – the water on the webs forms beautiful patterns. I have had plenty of times where I walk into their webs and get covered in spider web but again – these guys are harmless… they do not bite people and just go about their own business finding food in the garden.

The RedBack

This small black spider with some red on its back can give a nasty bite… they will bite if they feel threatened, so you need to be careful when lifting up rocks, wood etc.. You don’t find these guys in big cities. They are easily avoided by wearing gloves when working

The white tail

This one again likes to live in wood piles, under houses and can give a nasty bite. Gloves again will protect you if you are working or gardening in regional areas.

Funnel Spider

And lastly – lets talk about the funnel web spider. This little guy lives in and around the Sydney region and parts of NSW. Although it builds a tunnel in the ground to catch his prey, he can sometimes be found inside. It is poisonous, and looks scary – like a small tarantula… But again, if left undisturbed – there will be no problems. On the rare occasion you find your inside, you should be cautious and not get close.

Summary

Spiders have an important role to play in the ecosystem. They feed off insects (and the bigger ones of small animals) and keep nature balances. We fear what we don’t understand and the guys looks scary and unpredictable. But the reality is they just wat a quiet place to catch bugs and build a web… If you see one in the wild – leave it alone and you will be fine. If you see one at home – don’t kill it – relocate it to a location away from you so you can both be happy

As a comforter: All hospitals in Australia have anti-venom in case you are bitten but a venomous spider – but this is really uncommon.

If you want to come to Australia and experience our amazing wildlife and natural wonders – contact Go Study for details on how we can help you. You can ask any of our staff about their experience with spiders or any concerns you may have.

See you DownUnder!

Simon Costain

General Manager