Pest controller Bruce Jackson.
Pest controller Bruce Jackson.

Redbacks love humid February

AS Clarence Valley residents have battled through a hot and humid February, redback spiders have made the most of conditions, breeding in large numbers throughout the area.

Bruce Jackson, the owner and operator of Amalgamated Pest Control in Grafton, said he had noticed increased redback activity in recent weeks, with residents reporting the spiders around their homes.

“Redback treatments are keeping us very busy at the moment, following high temperatures and humidity which aid the spiders in their mating process,” Bruce said.

“Female red-backs are prolific breeders and can produce eggs for up to two years after mating.

“They will lay up to 10 egg sacs in a lifetime, containing approximately 250 eggs, which makes them very difficult to treat in high numbers.”

Easily identifiable by their red stripe, Bruce recommends residents inspect their yard areas for red-backs, paying particular attention to dark, dry spots including the underside of children’s play equipment, garden sheds, letterboxes, shoes and under the lid of wheelie bins.

Redbacks can also be found in areas where electric lights are present, which attract the spiders prey of moths, flies, mosquitoes and other insects.

While redback spiders are not aggressive and rarely leave their webs, Bruce urges homeowners to keep their distance as a redback bite is very poisonous and posed a serious health risk for children and the elderly.

Common symptoms of a red-back bite include pain, sweating, muscular weakness, nausea and vomiting.

Anyone who receives a redback bite should apply an ice pack to the bitten area to relieve pain, and seek medical attention immediately.

“If you find redbacks around your property, consult a professional pest controller who can advise the most effective treatment,” Bruce said.

“Spraying the spider’s egg sacs with fly spray will not kill the hatchlings as the spray does not penetrate the egg casing,” he said.

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