Black House Spider
• The Black House Spider is a dark robust spider, with the female being larger than the male. The upper body and legs are dark brown to black, and the abdomen is charcoal grey with a dorsal pattern of white markings.
• They are commonly found on buildings in window frames, doorways and wall crevices and on rough- barked trees and rock walls in gardens and bush throughout Australia.
• Their webs look like untidy lacy silk sheets and have a ‘funnel-like’ appearance which is sometimes misinterpreted as a Funnel-web Spider web.
• Around the house, they feed upon household pests attracted to the light of windows and lamps.
• The female spider never leaves the web unless forced to and males when ready to mate, go in search of females.
• Their predators are white-tailed spiders, wasps and flies.
• Black house spiders are venomous but are not considered dangerous. They are timid spiders and bites from them are infrequent. The bite may be excruciatingly painful and cause local swelling. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating and giddiness have been recorded. In a few cases, skin lesions have developed after multiple bites.
• Be cautious when working around the house and in the garden.
• Know potential areas where they frequent.
• Know what their webs look like.
• Keep the patient calm and still.
• Apply a wrapped ice-pack or a cold compress and elevate the limb.
• Carefully collect the spider for identification (even if squashed)
• Seek medical advice as soon as possible.