Press Release Spring 2006 |



PRESS RELEASE for Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness Project 2006


Entomologist/Rotarian Rex Gilroy with District Governor Harley Tarrant [District 9690], examine a copy of Katoomba Rotary’s Spider Awareness booklet, currently being distributed nation-wide.

Photo copyright © Rex Gilroy 2006.

“Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness” Project

Parramatta District

The Parramatta district is currently experiencing an infestation of deadly Funnel Web Spiders, as they begin leaving their burrows at night to enter homes in search of food, cool conditions and a mate. With the onset of the Funnel Web mating season, home-owners must take every precaution against being bitten, by making their homes secure against spider entry.

That is the advice of entomologist Rex Gilroy, co-ordinator of the Rotary Club of Katoomba “Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness”, a life-saving community service project being operated nation-wide.

The Club is targeting the Parramatta district because it is the home of two Funnel Web species, the Sydney Funnel Web, a shiny reddish-brown spider, whose mating season is from November to December; and the shiny black bodied Blue Mountains Funnel Web, which mates between November and March.

The venom of the Blue Mountains species is several times more toxic than that of the Sydney Funnel Web. Adults have died within 12 hours and children with two hours form this spider’s bite.

In an effort to combat this danger, Katoomba Rotary Club is offering a booklet, produced by Rex Gilroy. The booklet contains photos and life-histories of every dangerous and not-so-dangerous spider species found around the home, and how to control them. There is advice for parents of young children on teaching them about spider danger, as well as a step-by-step first-aid procedure for bite victims.

“People can obtain our booklet by sending a donation to cover postage to Rotary Club of Katoomba “Dangerous Spiders Public Awareness”, PO Box 54 Katoomba NSW 2780. All moneys raised from excess postage donations goes to Rotary Clubs International charities within Australia”, he says.

Rotarian Rex Gilroy also operates the Club’s “Dangerous Spiders ‘Hotline’ 02 4782 3441 where anyone with spider problems can phone for advice.

Funel Web Spider Rex Back Spider Eastern Mouse Spider White Tail Spider
Funnel Web Spider
Red Back Spider Eastern Mouse Spider White Tail Spider

“Our project has already saved a number of lives and Katoomba Rotary Club members hopethe residents of the Parramatta district will take full advantage of our project in what is expected to be a very dangerous summer for Funnel Web and other dangerous spider species currently increasing in numbers in this district”, he added.

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