Huntsman spiders: the secret weapon to kill them
IN SOME parts of Queensland they grow as big as a dinner plate, but if you want to get rid of your huntsman spider problem there's only one sure-fire solution.
According to the Queensland Museum's arachnologist Dr Robert Raven most of us have a spider-killing machines in our homes that we're not even aware of.
He said the common Asian house gecko preys on any insect that sits still, meaning the huntsman, despite being Queensland and Australia's biggest spanned spider, was vulnerable.
Even tiny daddy long-legs can prey on a hairy huntsman.
"The geckos are taking a toll (on huntsmans). They get them when they're young and they might corner a big one too," Dr Raven told The Courier-Mail.
"They (geckos) prey on everything and anything that is sedentary on the wall, so spiders that hunt on walls would be getting hit.
"Not many things at all (kill a gecko), the redbacks are amongst them and a big huntsman in a good position could kill and eat geckos, and snakes could, but snakes are getting killed by the (cane) toad."
"None of the spiders are doing really extremely well in the southeast," he said. "There's not enough moisture around to keep the insect population up to provide food for these guys.
"There's a sort of a gradient from Mt Glorious and Mt Coot-tha and The Gap to over the bayside and as you get to the bayside suburbs, spiders are so few and far between over there it's crazy.
"The north is doing really well but not so in the areas which haven't had really good rains."
After the huntsman, the giant golden orb spider is the next biggest-spanned arachnid.
They are usually found anywhere north of Noosa and on occasion in the "forestry" parts of Brisbane.
However, you're most likely to come across a garden orb spider in southeast Queensland but don't panic if you walk into their web.
"A spider will normally run away from you when it's disturbed, up the web and into the trees," Dr Raven said.
"Unless you actually grab the spider and the spider tangles with your face (it will bite you). For people of normal health it's a minor reaction but people who are asthmatic or diabetic will show more reactivity on the face," he said.
The heaviest spiders were tarantulas but Dr Raven said people living in southeast Queensland are highly unlikely to come across one.
"They come down to Rockhampton and Gladstone and go inland. They don't like the southeast corner," he said.