New Zealand is home to about 2,500 different kinds of spiders with most of these being harmless to people. However, there are still a few that can hurt us such as the White-tailed spider. White-tails are 1-2cm long with a distinct white patch on the end of their abdomen. The juveniles and males have additional white patches on their bodies as well as their white ‘tails’.
There are two species of White-tailed spiders in New Zealand: Lampona Murina and Lampona Cylindrata, with both species being introduced. They are originally from Australia, and have been in the North Island for over 100 years with them being noticed in the South Island since the 1980’s.
White-tails do not build webs to catch their food, they are classed as hunting spiders. They rely on their stealth to catch their prey (as their eyesight is not the best), which is most commonly other spiders. White-tailed spiders are mostly nocturnal and like to be outdoors, under tree bark, mulch, leaves, rocks, or logs, however, one of their favourite spots is our bedrooms. Unlike other spiders’ White Tails are more likely to be found in our bedrooms than other species of spider as they like the warmth, and the heat produced from our bodies.
There have been some studies done around what side effects people have when bitten, with the results showing that there was nothing more than some pain and a red mark at the site of the bite. However, it was also stated that like any other insect bite/sting each person will reach differently. Another myth about these spiders is that when they eat Daddy-Longlegs spiders, the venom can be transferred to their next victim. However, this is not true at all. White Tail spiders do not eat Daddy-Longlegs and cannot transfer venom from one of their meals to another. It is the other way round, the Daddy-longlegs spider is actually the one that eats the White-tail.
During autumn as the days get shorter and start to cool down spiders start to move indoors looking for a mate as their mating season is around April-May. The males often are smaller with longer legs than the females. As kinds of spiders start to move indoors, this gives White Tails even more reason to come inside your home; their prey is moving in too.
However, you can stop this migration of spiders into your home before it begins, with our Hawkeye Spider & Insect Spray. Our spray can last between 4-6 months if applied correctly. This means you can stop these pesky little guys from coming in all winter. If you have already seen some White Tails and other spiders inside, you can use the Spider & Insect Spray inside as well. However, you do need to be careful when using it inside and read the directions thoroughly.