The extended rain period we are currently experiencing has resulted in an increase in creepy crawlies. We have had reports of red back spiders, increased mosquitoes and today in the Sydney Morning Herald they are warning about snakes.
Red Back Spiders
A roving reporter told us that a pest exterminator had advised that there is an increase in Red Back Spiders in Lane cove. The perfect combination of heat and wet means that there is plenty of food for the spiders. The spiders like leafy suburbs (and we are leafy lane cove). Around 300 people are bitten by Red Back Spiders every year in Australia. Make sure you wear gloves when gardening.
According to the Australian Museum Redbacks are common:
in urban habitats such as garden sheds, under steps or logs and around swimming pools or piles of rubbish. They build webs in dry, sheltered sites, often with the upper part of the web hidden from sunlight. The spider hides in a funnel-shaped retreat at the top of the web. The lower part of the web consists of a forest of mostly vertical, sticky catching threads.
The recent rain has also been welcomed by snakes. Snakes like the humid and overcast weather. They will emerge after a storm to catch frogs. An article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald features snake catcher Harley Jones from Snakes in the City. Mr. Jones told the SMH that he recently caught a red belly snake in a Lane Cove office.
“At the moment, we’ve been inundated,” Mr Jones says, just after bagging another juvenile red-belly that had found its way into an office complex at Lane Cove. The wet weather “tends to put them inside houses,” he adds.
March, though, also tends to be the peak season for breeding, with red-bellies typically spawning about 14 offspring at this time of year. While most will be taken by kookaburras, foxes and other predators, juveniles are still capable of inflicting a very nasty bite.
Dr Cameron Webb from Sydney University was recently quoted in a News Local article talking about the rise in Mosquito numbers.
Dr Cameron Webb is a mosquito researcher with NSW Health Pathology. He told News Local that the typical Sydney mosquito season ran from November to April, with December to February traditionally the most active months. However, due to our summer being the second warmest every recorded and the high rainfall this month, mosquito numbers have exploded in March. Dr Webb had the following tips:
Dr Webb’s tips for people in terms of staying sting free include not allowing large amounts of water to sit in buckets, bird baths and pot plants.
He suggests trying to avoid wetland areas at dawn and dusk and wearing a long sleeve shirt when mosquitoes are active and applying mosquito repellent on all exposed areas.
“The most important thing, and people can become a little complacent about it at this time of year, is to wear mosquito repellent,” he said.
“There are a lot of people watching their kids train at dusk as we are at the start of the winter sport season and considering there are a lot sporting grounds close bushland areas it is important to remember the mosquito repellent.”
So be on the lookout for creepy crawlies and take the precautions listed above. We would normally put away our mosquito repellant in March, but not this year.
Have you seen more creepy crawlies this year? Do you have a local pest controller you would recommend?
Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]
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