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Huntsman Spider Population Has Exploded Across Australia

Jessica Lynch

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Huntsman Spider Population Has Exploded Across Australia

Featured Image Credit: Creative Commons

In terrifying news that will absolutely ruin your day, hordes of huntsman spiders have begun to emerge throughout Australia as the arachnid's population booms towards the end of summer.

The hairy spider has a tendency to take up residence in our bathrooms, bedrooms and.. well, pretty much anywhere else that's guaranteed to give you a major fright if you're an arachnophobe.

But Macquarie University arachnologist Dr Lizzy Lowe has assured everyone there's no reason to be afraid of our eight-legged friends.

"Huntsmen don't have very good eyesight. They see light and dark and movement and that's about all," Dr Lowe told Weatherzone.

"They will never intentionally run towards you because they're small and not highly venomous. They can bite you, but they won't do any harm.

"Huntsmen are super fast but they get confused, so if a huntsman is running towards you, it's confused.

"They're not aggressive spiders at all and they generally stay high up because that's where they're finding the food they want to eat."

According to the doc, if you happen to spot a clump of baby huntsman spiders in your home, it's probably best to let them be.

"When the babies hatch out, they disperse very quickly over one or two days. They are highly cannibalistic and don't want to be eaten by their nestmates," she said, not quelling our fears whatsoever.

"Also they need to have their own food so it's within their own interests to disperse."

"There's probably only enough food for one huntsman in each house."

Spider expert Dr Robert Raven of Queensland Museum went on to explain that the recent influx of arachnids could be due to recent heatwaves followed by rain.

"Low pressure is one of the triggers for emergence from the egg sac. Low pressure is, of course, associated with high humidity. And that makes a very buffered environment for the young ones," he said.

"Spiders go looking for milder environments in terms of heat and humidity. So inside a house it's usually good. There's usually some water around and they'll gravitate to that.

"We generate these wonderful situations which emulate what they find in the bush - hanging paintings on walls, absolutely fantastic. Great, narrow spaces for them.

"What we call houses, they call caves."

Topics: Spiders, Animals, Australia

Jessica Lynch
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