Home » Articles » Funnel web spiders at large in Lake Macquarie

Funnel web spiders at large in Lake Macquarie

Some may say that living in Australia is only for the brave. With 21 of the world’s most venomous snakes, blue-ringed octopus, sharks, and spiders, there’s a few creatures you need to keep a lookout for. Our weather at the moment is the perfect condition for funnel web spiders. The Australian Reptile Park has warned the residents of Lake Macquarie and surrounding areas to be aware that funnel web spiders are on the move. Look out Funnel web spiders, Lake Macquarie is now officially on high alert!


Damp conditions perfect for funnel webs

At this time of year, male funnel web spiders are coming out of their burrows to look for a mate. If you’re outside at nighttime, please always wear shoes. They love these damp conditions and may be found in your garden or even inside your home. The Australian Reptile Park encourages you not to leave wet towels or clothing laying on the floor. Check inside your shoes before you put them on. If a funnel web comes inside your home they will most likely be found in the garage or your laundry. Places that are damp. They may even be attracted to your washing hanging on your clothes airer. I remember the story of a man from Newcastle who put on his shirt straight from the clothes airer. The funnel web was inside his shirt and because it was trapped, bit him many times.


Check your swimming pools

If you have a swimming pool, check your pool before the kids jump in. Funnel webs, like most spiders, can survive for quite long periods of time in the water. Don’t assume if you see one laying on the bottom of the pool that it has drowned. When a funnel web falls into a pool it will trap an air bubble against its abdomen. This allows it to breathe and float. Did you know that a funnel web can live for up to 30 hours in this state! You may also find them inside your filter, so be careful when opening and removing it for cleaning.


In the garden

Funnel webs are aggressive. They’ll come out fighting if they’re feeling threatened. Unintentionally, you can threaten a funnel web spider, simply by digging in the garden. Always make sure you’re wearing good quality gardening gloves. They love to live in burrows around the bases of plants, so when you’re gardening, be careful. If you see a kookaburra watching you digging, they’re probably waiting for the funnel web to run out. Kookaburras love a funnel web snack! Did you know, contrary to popular belief, funnel web spiders can not jump!


First aid for a funnel web bite

If you’re unlucky and get bitten by a funnel-web, stay calm. Apply a pressure bandage over the bite. The bandage should be tight enough that you can’t slip a finger underneath it. Use another bandage to immobilise the whole arm or leg. Start at the fingers or toes and apply the bandage upwards to the body. Splint the limb so it can’t be moved. If it’s possible, mark on the bandage where the bite is. Phone an ambulance immediately. A patient and the limb which has been bitten, should not be moved. You’ll just move the venom around your body and this could be fatal.


Australian Reptile Park anti-venom program

The good news is that since anti-venom has been used from 1981, there have been no deaths from funnel web spiders in Australia. Did you know it takes up to 150 spiders to create just one vial of anti-venom? If you can safely catch a funnel web, without any danger to yourself, you are encouraged to put them in a sealed container and drive them to John Hunter Hospital. You can also take them to the Animal Referal & Emergency Centre at Broadmeadow or down to the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast. Here they’ll be milked of their venom and it will be used to make anti-venom and save lives all over Australia.



Australian Museum: Funnel Web Spiders {Accessed 23/10/20}

Health Direct: Spider Bites {Accessed 23/10/20)

Daily Telegraph: The dad who died – then revived – from a spider bite {Accessed 23/10/20}

News.com.au: Weather Australia: NSW warned about funnel-web spiders amid wet weather {Accessed 23/10/20}

Australian Reptile Park: Venom Program {Accessed 23/10/20}

Share this post

REcommended Posts