One of the world’s most venomous spiders has been found invading homes and somebody is offering chicken nuggets as payment to remove one from their room.
Bec Sheedy was at home when her mum spotted a ‘black creature with fangs’ lurking on a wall in her house in New South Wales, Australia, and said she quickly recognised it as a funnel-web.
Funnel-web spiders are known to be so venomous, their bite can kill a human in just 15 minutes.
A friend of mine sent this reminder of what I'm missing back home: A gigantic funnel web spider which she found in her house. One bite from these beasts and you'll be dead in 15 minutes. Straya! pic.twitter.com/stTv1vl63J
— Matt Young (@MattYoung) December 9, 2017
Ms Sheedy told news.com.au:
It was probably about five centimetres in diameter, so smaller than an open palm.
We’ve seen more redbacks this year than in the past but I haven’t seen a funnel-web since I was a kid.
Funnel-webs are extremely common around households on Australia’s east coast but they are ‘rarely seen’.
They can be found from Queensland to New South Wales, but earlier this year a new species was discovered as far south as northern Tasmania.
Paul Hare, Invertebrate Keeper at Taronga Zoo said a human would ‘know pretty quickly’ if they were bitten by a funnel-web spider and said anybody bitten must go to hospital ‘immediately’.
If you do get bitten you will feel the effects very quickly, it can make you very, very sick.
Chances are you’ll know you’ve been bitten, they’ve got big fangs and you’ll feel the bite.
Trent mowed the lawns and found funnel web spiders outside of our home ???? (very very venomous spider can kill you) ughhhhhhhhhhhh
— Orca ?? (@sarahwuff) December 9, 2017
Mr Hare told the local media it ‘wasn’t a surprise’ funnel-webs have been spotted at this time of year because, he said, it’s mating season and the males are likely to be out on the hunt for females.
This time of year we find the males in the evenings when it’s cooler, walking around looking for females.
The females we tend to only come across if you’ve been doing gardening or you’ve had really heavy rains and they’ve been flooded out of their homes.
The girls let the males come to them.
— jason Leathers (@eye4msu) November 28, 2017
Mr Hare said the ‘misrepresented’ funnel-web is more of a ‘defensive’ creature, rather than aggressive.
At the end of the day we are too big to be a food item for them. The only reason you’re bitten is if a spider feels threatened.
Admittedly you might come across one that’s having a bad day but in my experience they’re not what they’re made out to be.
The keeper said it was ‘unlikely’ for somebody to die these days and said there hadn’t been a fatality since an antivenom was invented back in 1981.
Funnel web spider. (Atrax robustus), ridiculous neurotoxin. This scares me more than free fluid on a FAST. pic.twitter.com/cf3HcDFlW8
— Peter Chai (@PeterRchai) November 3, 2017
His advice is:
The reality is they’re just not as bad. These days if you were to die from one, there’s something else going on.
I still wouldn’t pick one up with your hand.
If you’re living in an area where they are known to be found, a little bit of caution goes a long way. Don’t go leaving things outside that they can crawl into, if you’re cleaning out a pool filter don’t go putting your hand in and if you’re gardening, wear gloves.
There's this giant funnel spider in my basement that I've let live for a while cause he just chills in his web and kills any flies. But now he's disappeared and I'm debating just burning down the house
— William (@WilliamBerdusco) November 27, 2017
Attention I’m now taking applications for people to remove the giant funnel web spider in my room. You will be paid in chicken nuggets. Thank you for your time.
— I’m chels I’m 19 & I never fkn learnt how to read (@chelsey_laird) December 10, 2017
No, no, and no again.