Blogs & Articles

Search Articles

Recent Articles

Insect & Humans
Termites Myths Busted

October 11, 2021

Do Huntsman Spiders Bite?


Australian spiders make world news, recently a photograph of a monstrous 12-inch huntsman spider in a doorway recently went viral. But huntsman spiders, although startling, are not actually that dangerous. Much more worrisome are the dozens of spider species (among thousands) that can inflict extremely painful and/or poisonous bites.

Spider on the wall

In South Queensland and the Brisbane area, we have more than our share of these dangerous pests. At Multipest, a Brisbane based pest control company, we’ve seen and dealt with them all, generally as part of our standardized “5 pest treatment” for residential properties (which eliminates spiders, cockroaches, silverfish, ants, and wasps). We treat the whole property, not just the house, and use only pest control products approved by AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service).

The most nightmarish spiders tend to favor wilder and woodsier settings and are not natural house-dwellers, but they can easily wander onto your property and find parts of it that they like very well indeed, such as backyards, garden sheds, and mailboxes. Suburban settings such as Redland Bay, Victoria Point and Mt Cotton are prone to these parts of visitations.

Why are our spiders so feared?

Well, some of them can kill humans and actually have killed humans. Admittedly, this has never been common, and since the introduction and ready availability of effective antivenoms, fatalities have effectively stopped; there hasn’t been a spider-related death in Australia since 1981. This is also due to the quality pest control services and products in Eastern Australia and Brisbane, directly resulting in less fatalities and incidents in recent years.

But that is not to say that there couldn’t be, since children and in some cases pets are more vulnerable to the danger than adults, naturally we want to do everything we can to protect our dependents. Making our pest control services number one in Brisbane, as we put your family, pets and home first.

Safe house

All spiders can bite. Bites from the bigger and fangier ones can cause intense pain, bites from the smaller and less noticeable might hardly be felt.

Virtually all spiders secrete venom, but biting and envenomation are different. Spiders do not inject venom on every bite, and some species’ venom is so mild it presents no threat to humans in any case.

But certain spider venoms, even from very small species, pack a life-threatening wallop. Some venom is neurotoxic, and can cause aches and pains, nausea and vomiting, lethargy and malaise, pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), and death in the young, old, small, and ill making pest control a necessity of modern living ensuring your family is safe from harm.

Other venom is necrotic and can cause tissue death around the bite site – although fortunately, the one spider in Australia with that sort of venom, the recluse or fiddleback, is only commonly found in the Adelaide and Sydney areas. (White-tailed spiders, common in South Queensland, were once rumored to possess necrotizing venom, but in fact do not).

It makes sense to have every spider bite that you are aware of, and every symptom that could be from a bite you’re not aware of, checked by a doctor.

Huntsman Spider
Funnel Web Spider

The most notorious Australian spiders, the many species of funnel web spiders, deserve their nasty reputation. Once they decide to bite, they are pretty furious about it, and they usually inject their potent venom into the victim. Children bitten by funnel web spiders are automatically in a life-threatening situation, (domestic pets are immune to this particular venom). There are instead reports of funnel web sightings in Brisbane in recent years and our pest control clients have regularly asked us to cover this.

Fortunately, the antivenom introduced in 1981 has been remarkably effective in preventing deaths from funnel web bites. It is not the easiest stuff to produce, since it involves the “milking” of lethal spiders!

The very recognizable redback spider, only slightly less famous than the funnel webs, in fact represents more of a danger. There are several thousand reported bites in the nation each year, and a fair percentage of those require the administration of antivenom (which for redbacks has existed since the 1950s). These are regular visitors to houses especially brick houses and our effective pest control treatments eradicate and future proof against the famous red backs.

Huntsman Spider
Red Back Spider

A key element of the redback’s reputation is that, because it has always found outhouses a welcoming environment, it had an unfortunate tendency to bite people in the privates. Ouch!

Although redback venom has historically been less likely to be fatal than funnel web venom, its effects including vomiting and convulsions are certainly unpleasant enough. Domestic animals are susceptible; especially cats and horses, and cats can succumb to redback bites rather swiftly – although if antivenom can be given to them in time, they recover nicely.

There are a host of other types of spiders that you would rather not encounter, even if they are not quite as fearsome as funnel webs and redbacks.

Cupboard spiders are similar to redbacks; the same antivenom is given. Mouse spiders are large and formidable-looking; funnel web antivenom is effective for their bites. Trap door and white-tailed spiders can also give moderately serious bites.

But no matter what your spider concerns, we here at Multipest are the pest control experts for South Queensland and the Brisbane area, and we can eradicate these insects from your property and your life. Call us now on 07 3390 1353 or email us on for all you spider and pest control needs!!!