Need to nip spider problems promptly

18:28, Jan 12 2014
temuka spider
SPRAY IT: Pest exterminator Dave Curry says there has been a big rise in callouts for spider outbreaks.

If you're in Temuka, you'd better not be scared of white-tail spiders - the town appears to be teeming with them.

Exterminator Dave Curry told the Herald yesterday he had received "daily calls" from homeowners wanting to get rid of the pest last year.

"There seems to have been a real explosion in them over the last year or so. Temuka and Geraldine are particularly bad - it would be my main line of work over the summer," Mr Curry said.

White-tail spiders do bite but will only bite if handled or provoked. In most cases the bite will cause little harm, as there is nothing in the venom that will hurt people.

However, some people can react adversely to the bite and develop large rashes or sores.

Southern Spiders & Pest Control owner operator Barry Keates said he was aware of one person who was recently hospitalised after a white-tail bite.


The South Canterbury District Health Board said it did not keep specific data about spider bites.

Mr Curry was unsure why there appeared to be a jump in white-tail numbers but suspected people moving house, or even boxes around the home, contributed to it.

"They get into anything, and they're crafty. They're a real nuisance. Some people try to trap them individually and then not do anything about it for a few weeks. Yet that's the wrong idea, as numbers tend to explode," Mr Curry said.

"You've got to nip it in the bud. Temuka seems to be a bit of a town for white-tails."

The Timaru Herald