The recent wet weather has created a funnel-web spider ‘bonanza’

By Australian Geographic January 23, 2020
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The Australian Reptile Park has issued an official warning.

The Australian Reptile Park has issued a warning that recent wet weather, paired with warm conditions, means the greater Sydney region may experience a funnel-web ‘bonanza’.

“The wet weather over the weekend has seen an increase in the number of spiders wandering about,” the parks statement warned, however, rather than harming the spider, they’re encouraging the public to safely collect them.

Related: Australian spiders: the 10 most dangerous

The reptile park is the sole supplier of funnel-web spider venom, which is then made into a lifesaving antivenom. 

One of the parks reptiles and spider keepers, Jake Meney says to collect the spiders, precautions must be taken. 

“If you are an adult and feel safe to do so, please catch the funnel webs using a big glass jar and keeping your hands away from the spider, coax the spider into the jar using a long stick and bring it to us at the Australian Reptile Park or one of our drop-off points in Sydney, the Central Coast or Newcastle,” Jake advised.

“Funnel webs cannot climb up glass or plastic so once you put the lid on tightly, the funnel web can’t get out. You can help us save Australian lives.”

Related: World’s deadliest spider: the funnel-web

The funnel-web is one of the world’s most deadly spiders, able to kill a human in under 15 minutes.

There are around 35 species, but the most commonly known is the Sydney funnel-web (Atrax robustus), which is found in both suburbia and bushland in an area bound by Newcastle to the north and Illawarra to the south.

According to the reptile park, the Sydney funnel-web prefers sheltered, shady spots, which are always cool and humid. In homes, they prefer cool, damp places like garages, the laundry room and gardens.

Watch this video for a full demonstration on how to collect the spiders safely.