In the wake of the onset of the current excessively hot weather, the Blue Mountains is facing one of its most serious Funnel Web Spider infestations in years. This is the warning of naturalist/spider authority, Rex Gilroy, co-ordinator of the Rotary Club of Katoomba’s nation-wide “Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness” life-saving community service project.
He urges residents to support the Club’s Dangerous Spiders Awareness drive by purchasing its “Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness” booklet, which besides containing photos and general life history information on all the dangerous, and not so dangerous species commonly met with around the home, also offers sensible advice on how to control them and prevent their entry into homes, including a fully illustrated first-aid procedure for the treatment of bit victims.
“The Public can obtain the booklet by sending a donation to the Rotary Club of Katoomba “Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness” project, PO Box 54, Katoomba NSW 2780. All moneys raised from excess postage donations goes to Rotary charities within Australia:, says Rotarian Rex Gilroy.
Local residents have been inundating the Club’s “Dangerous Spiders Hotline”, 02 4782 3441, with reports of finding Funnel Web Spiders either in their backyards as well as inside their laundries and other parts of the house, into which they have wandered at night, having been driven out of their burrows by the current hot weather followed by rain.
“As the mating season of the Blue Mountains Funnel Web species in about to commence [November through to March], this will be when they are at their most dangerous. Home owners should take every possible precaution around the home to prevent these spiders establishing themselves there, and parents of young children in particular must educate them about spiders and how to avoid being bitten. One good start is to obtain our booklet, but there are also many Australian Spider books worth consulting”, says Rotarian Rex.
Harley Tarrant, Rotary District Governor [District 9690] recently praised Katoomba Rotary Club’s Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness project. “It is a project that is badly needed in the community. It is doing much to put Rotary before the public and raise its profile in the community”, he said.