' xmlns:b='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/b' xmlns:data='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/data' xmlns:expr='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/expr'> Pest Control Sydney - Proven Pest Control: Spring’s warm start and heavy rain provide perfect trigger for dangerous snakes and spiders to thrive

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Spring’s warm start and heavy rain provide perfect trigger for dangerous snakes and spiders to thrive


Conditions are perfect for an explosion in Funnel Web spider activity. Picture: Rex Gilro
Conditions are perfect for an explosion in Funnel Web spider activity. Picture: Rex Gilroy
BRACE yourself Sydney — some of the world’s most venomous creatures are about to go bananas in your backyard. 


Experts warned yesterday that spring’s warm beginning and recent heavy rain had combined to provide the perfect trigger for dangerous snakes and spiders to thrive.

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Wild Life Sydney Zoo invertebrate keeper Julie Grizia said humans were doubly likely to come into contact with species like the deadly funnel web spider at this time of year because they were heading back outdoors to garden and play.

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While they spend most of their time in underground burrows, male funnel webs roam garden in search of a mate or a new place to set up shop — dark, warm shoes left outdoors being a favourite haunt.
Male funnel web spider in threat display.
Male funnel web spider in threat display.

 
Australian Reptile Park general manager Tim Faulkner said the recent rain had a knock-on effect through the entire suburban ecosystem.

It started with abundant vegetation growth, which led to an increase in insect numbers and consequently on the animals that feed on them.

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That continued through the food chain to venomous spiders, snakes and other predators.

“I reckon if we get some more warm weather and then a few wet days the male funnel webs are going to go bananas,” Mr Faulkner said.

Not that it’s all bad news if they do.
The Australian Reptile Park’s stock of funnel web spiders is low, affecting the amount of
The Australian Reptile Park’s stock of funnel web spiders is low, affecting the amount of antivenom that can be harvested.
 
Mr Faulkner said the Reptile Park’s funnel web collection, used for milking to produce antivenom, had dwindled to fewer than 100 specimens.

As Australia’s sole supplier of funnel web venom, the site needs more than 300 spiders, most caught and donated by members of the public, to keep up with demand.

“We only get an incredibly small amount of venom from any one spider, so it takes a large number of milkings to get just one vial of antivenom,” Mr Faulkner said.

“Our funnel web room is only one-third full so we can’t fill the quota and that for us is a dangerous point.”
An eastern brown snake.
An eastern brown snake.

 
No one has died from a funnel web’s bite since an antivenom was introduced in 1980.
Snakes, too, are expected to emerge due to the warmer weather, with eastern browns, red-bellied blacks and diamond pythons among the species likely to be seen around Sydney.


NSW National Parks and Wildlife said people could discourage snakes from “lingering” by removing pet food that attracted mice, removing items that could provide them shelter and filling gaps in doors and walls to prevent entry into a house.

“If snakes do come into contact with children, adults or pets, give the snake plenty of room to escape,” it said.
A red-bellied black snake.
A red-bellied black snake.
Ranger Ray Harrison with a diamond python named Jub Jub at the Australia Walkabout Wildli
Ranger Ray Harrison with a diamond python named Jub Jub at the Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park.

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