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Recommended Way To Get Rid Of White Tail Spiders

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White Tail Spiders are reported to be biting Kiwis

There have been reports in the national press of incidents around the country and specifically in Palmerston North of people ending up in hospital after being bitten by White Tail Spiders. TV3's Campbell Live of 17th November featured some 'facts' on Whitetails but made little effort to advise on how to get rid of them and keep them away.

White Tail biology and habits

The White Tail Spider is native of Australia. (Why are so many of our pests Aussies?) They probably arrived here first about 100 years ago and found the conditions to their liking. Whitetails are predators of other spiders, particularly the Grey House Spider which is also Australian. They don't weave a web to catch prey, they actively seek out other spiders and stalk them down. They do however, produce silk in a tangle as a nest. this is often found in warm dark places around the house.

Whitetails produce a venom that they use to paralyse their prey by injecting it via their fangs. These fangs are such that the spider can bite humans. That they do bite humans is not in dispute. However, the seriousness of the bite is still controversial. It is accepted that the bite is as painful as a bee sting but there are many people that report more serious reactions including stiffness, headaches and swelling. There also many reports of ulceration and necrosis possibly caused by infection of the bite either directly from the spider fangs or subsequently from scratching of the wound.

White Tail spiders do not seek to bite us but will defend themselves if they feel under threat. They hunt mostly during the night and hide in dark nooks and crannies during the day. They are often found amongst the folds of clothing, curtains, bed linen, in shoes and other places where we may innocently place our hands or feet. The spiders natural reaction to this invasion of 'their' space is to bite. And we suffer the consequences.

Get rid of White tail Spiders

With a little effort it is possible to eradicate White Tail Spiders and other spiders from your home and keep them at bay.

Your roof void is a likely place for these spiders to nest and hide during the day. A Bug Bomb like the Kiwicare NO Bugs released in the roof void will permeate through the area and kill the spiders and their prey.

Then treat the interior of the house with a residual surface spray containing deltamethrin or permethrin such as NO Bugs Super or NO Spiders. These are safe synthetic pyrethroid insecticides and kill insects and spiders that cross the treated surfaces. Spray the nooks and crannies around the house. Pay attention to the instructions on the product. Spray skirtings, back of wardrobes, under beds, around windows etc. Also treat areas where other spiders are seen. If you can remove other spiders there will be no food for Whitetails and no reason for them to come into your home.

Finally it may be worth while spraying around the outside of the house. Concentrate on the eaves and bases of walls and places where there are dark crevices to hide such as wood piles.

Do these things and you can stay free of the fear of spiders and their bites.


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I would like to tell you a

I would like to tell you a way to keep the White Tail Spider down in the home, and that is to allow the little harmless "Jumping Spider" more freedom around the home, and even in the home. I have found over the past five to six years of doing this there are very little of the White Tails. The only drawback to the little Jumping spiders is that they nest in the tucks of drapes, and curtains. I have seen a jumper track a white tail on the outside of our home wall, and with curiosity I kept my distance to watch this event, when the time was right the jumper pounced on it from above it was a sight to amaze me. I handle the Jumping Spiders, and play with them, and so do our children. We do not kill the jumpers when we see them about the home, and subsiquently have very little of the White tail's. The White Tails also hibernate in roofing iron, and will also be found in woodsheds, often under the bark of the wood. We spray the wood if we are to bring it into our home for heating. Yes I have been bitten by the white tail which was in my jersey sleeve about seven years back. Cheers Don

Hi last week my 14 yr old

Hi last week my 14 yr old son was bitten by a whitetail spider we presume. He awoke last Tuesday morning feeling sore sick and couldnt walk properly. When he looked at his leg it was a red mark the size of a flat tennis. The next morning he felt even more sick and sore and it had swollen and there were two puncture marks. So we went to the doctors. The american Dr (living here in nz) prescribed prednisone and ibuprofen. By Friday, it turned into a huge half a red inflamed ball, he had gone to a friends house for the night. I think if he had stayed home and took care of it properly it would have healed better and faster. This wk we returned to the Doctor as it was spreading and getting bigger. By now the dr prescribed more ibuprofen to help reduce swelling and inflamation. And antibiotics for the infection. I reckon she should have given it in the first place. Today as the infection was not going down but actually getting bigger,. The doctor cut it to spueeze out all the gooy yucky stinky light brownish mixed with blood puss from the abcess. She then dug a tweezer thingy into the whole to find something(i 4get) to break the line or something i just got a bit put off by then. After that the nurse cleaned up the mess around the abcess then got a gauze strip dipped in some kinda anti septic fluid and shoved it in the hole as carefully as she culd but the anesthetic wasnt enuf and it was painful even to watch. She had to get right in. 2moro he is going back to the Dr to have a look at the results, redress and catch u l8r with the rest of the story.. But i tell u wot even tho i am genuinely concerned for his wellbeing i am thankful that it wasnt my 2 yr old or my 4 year old because they would have really suffered. And now i have first hand experience with this.

Yes daddy long legs can bite

Yes daddy long legs can bite humans and also their venom isn't harmful to humans, it just gives a mild burning feeling to the bit area. All that crap about them being the most venomous spider in the world and that they cannot penetrate your skin is a load of shit.

I have heard that

I have heard that Daddy-long-legs are the only spider that can kill white tailed spiders, and I have in fact seen this happen. It was amazing just how fast the Daddy-long-legs moved and struck. Daddy-long-legs are one of the mst venamous (sp) spiders but fortunately their fangs cannot penetrate human skin so they are harmless to us. I have been bitten three times by white tails and each time the bites started like a large blister then ulcerated and I still have the scars. I have killed two in the house in the last two days so today I am off to find the stuff to either kill them or keep them outside where they belong.

I've been bitten 3 separate

I've been bitten 3 separate times by whiletail spiders - I assume it was them because I had seen whiletails in my room several times previously and later found a web with spider in it behind the bed...ahh! Each time was at night while I slept. Each time the bite on my arm swole into a blister, which looked like a small burn blister (it wasn't a burn), which lasted several days and was fairly painful. Then it subsided and took a couple of months to disappear completely. No treatment needed and no infection. We've been seeing them in the house again recently so are getting the house sprayed soon - that usually keeps them at bay for a couple of years.

Very informative article.

Very informative article.

Hello in Perth, I don't know

Hello in Perth,

I don't know what the charges are for a spider proofing treatment are in Perth. Call three or four of the registered pest control operators you will find in your local directory. They should be able to give you a quote over the phone.

You can do it yourself. Although Kiwicare products are not available in Australia yet you should be able to find products in your local hardware store that will sufice. Look for spray products containin permethrin or deltamethrin and a flea bomb or equivalent would be effective in hard to reach areas like the roof void.

Check out the Kiwicare website spiders section for useful tips and advice they are as relevent to Australia as to New Zealand.

Perth, Western Australia.

Perth, Western Australia. Found 4 in my house last night in different rooms, male and females, it seems that all of a sudden they are back again, had found a few last summer but they back again. Do you recommend getting my house fumigated? Is it expensive and how long does it last?

Daddy Long Legs spiders are

Daddy Long Legs spiders are not harmful except that they may 'freak' some people out and they have the annoying habit of constructing webbing around the house, particularly in the corners of ceilings.

It is true that White Tail spiders hunt and eat other spiders including Daddy Long Legs. So if you treat your house by spraying with NO Bugs Super or NO Spiders you will get rid of the unsightly webs and remove the food that might attract White Tails.

Check out the Spider Advice page.

i have daddy long legs in my

i have daddy long legs in my room should i have the room sprayed? i hate whitetail spiders only ones i put up with are daddy long legs. but if they can attaract white tail i should kill all right? i had some small spider crawl on my foot today and i put it in a glass and thru it out side.

I have been bitten on the

I have been bitten on the hip.I did not take much notice at first,but with in a day or two it had swollen right up and was burning like hell.I went to doctors ,they tell me no it is a boil,i say are you sure,they say yes.Four days later there is a puss filled hole in my hip.Its gone dark red to black around the hole,its no boil i am not happy with doctor.Its a bloody whitetail spiderbite not a boil.Ill be back to doctors tomorrow because this puss filled hole is getting bigger by the day.

I had one recently crawl

I had one recently crawl into my ear while i was sleeping!

Hey guys i have slept in one

Hey guys i have slept in one room in my house on the other side cuz the bed is nice. im sure i have been biten buy a spider its gone all red and swollen and look like to fang marks are there . its realy sore and got hard lump under the skin. it like massive spot but on the inside. im sure it was in the bed sheets. the next day i get bittin again cuz i was in same room on the waist left SIDE OF THE leg AREA. its sowllen bad on the inside and is sore azz. PLZ TELL EM THEY DIDDENT LAY EGGS IN ME I THINK IT MITE BE THE CASE.

Wow i didn't really know

Wow i didn't really know that it was this complicated...... Couldn't we just use a slipper or a book to kill it ? lol i'm just kidding. Thanks for the article. Keep up!

hi there i have found 3in

hi there i have found 3in the past 2days two in my bedroom an one on our halway wall..the big one i found under my washing in the bedroom i think was preg cos when we got it in a cup an drown it in fly spray it started to weep the stuff from its white spot? would this have been her eggs? an if so would she had layed any in my bedroom..i have a nine month old an would hate for her to get bitten!! i also got told that if she got bitten it would look good is this true? going today to buy all the sprays to get these lilttle buggers outta my house! GRRRR

Do some more research. I

Do some more research. I get your point about Kiwicare but some people have severe allergic reactions as some people do with bees etc. Its important to know how to get help medically and for these people eradication is paramount in their homes.

diffrent people have

diffrent people have diffrent reactions you knob some people are naturaly immune and others are highly alergic i suggest you check your facts. while they may be selling there product there is a good cause behind it.

I had a family friend who

I had a family friend who was bitten on the leg by a white tail. Her leg got infected and two weeks later she was dead. They didnt say the bite caused the infection but i believe it did.

I got bitten in Jan this

I got bitten in Jan this year on my foot, ended up in hospital for 2 weeks and had to have emergency surgery. My foot is still swolen and tender 12 months on. Whitetails can harm humans....maybe youve just been lucky or they are not whitetails biting you

ive been bitten twice by

ive been bitten twice by whitetails and reacted very badly! Necrosis certainly did set in and I couldnt use my hand for a week! It was NOT pretty.

Hi, I think you have not


I think you have not read the original article above. You are correct that in most people and according to few simple studies there is doubt about what causes the ulceration and skin necrosis that is blamed on white tail bites.

You are lucky that you do not react to spider bites. In the same way that some people react badly to bee or wasp stings some can react badly to spider venom. This would not explain necrosis reported by many people, but the fact that in studies of reported spider bites admitted to hospital there has been no 'proof' that spiders were responsible, does not mean that they were not.

In the past I have studied a group of organisms called mycobacteria that include the causative agents of tuberculosis and leprosy. One of this group, Mycobacterium ulcerans can cause ulceration. This organism is extremely difficult to isolate and it would not surprise me that it would cause necrosis if it infected spider bites and could not be detected. I have no evidence that this is the case but it suggests to me that infection, by some unidentified organism, due to spider bites could well be responsible.

It seems to me that prevention is better than cure.


I am sorry but this page is

I am sorry but this page is ridiculous! White tailed spiders are not harmful to humans. Anthough there bite can cause pain and redness for a few hours following they do not cause anything as severe as skin necrosis! There poison has no effect on humans other then the pain and redness. Dont believe me? i have been bitten 11 times (i don't like killing them out of my house) and have never experienced anything like that. So why are you being told this? because this site is a site for kiwicare. they are telling you they are dangerous to get you to go out and buy their products but it is simply not true please do not believe these rumours!

I just saw one gliding from

I just saw one gliding from its silk down from my curtains. 12.30 at night watching a horror movie did not help matters. Jumped up and raced to my kitchen to fetch i don't know what? Man is it huge!!! I have alot of respect for spiders and dont fear them but this did jump the scare in me. I grabbed the jug of the blender,when i returned it was sitting right where it was when i leapt, on my couch.Theyre pretty cool customers.I placed it on top of it,slid the jug along the couch causing it to fall in the bottom. I quickly placed the lid on and selotaped the small hole in the lid. Straight away went online to research my recent house guest. As I see this little fella preserve as much air he can in his tiny lungs. I cant help but feel a little sorry for the poor guy. Anyway death is apart of life and tomorrow i am off to purchase some preventative action. Bring on Kiwicare!

Hi, There is some small risk


There is some small risk that squishing an adult female will release eggs but the chances are very small. I think if you carefully dispose of it there is no risk. However, there is a strong liklihood that she will have a nest (tangled mat of silk), somewhere like the roof void, which may indeed contain eggs. Now is a very good time to be pro-active and carryout a preventative treatment for spiders. See here for advice.

Good luck


hey i just found 2

hey i just found 2 whitetails in my home 1 in my room and another under cloths, me bein a scardy cat wanna get rid of these immediatly. and because i saw 1 in my room im fearing more will come in my room and also i read that som1 said if you squish females the eggs will go everywhere but what i did was spray it first then squash it a bit with a tishue then put in toilet but will the eggs of come out and gone everywhere? thanks.

Hi, White Tail spiders are


White Tail spiders are not aggressive to humans but this story demonstrates how people do get bitten. The spiders lurk in dark places such as wardrobes and linen cupboards and when we put our hands in to pick something up or put our feet in a pair of shoes a white tail will bite to 'defend' itself.

For your own peace of mind follow the treatment instruction found above or here

Good luck.


Hi have just found a white

Hi have just found a white tail spider on a plastic beaker. I was picking the beaker out of a dark cupboard and the spider was on it. I am new to NZ and therefore anything creepy and nasty. I was warned by a friend but did not expect to see one. My heart stopped a beat when I saw it so I flicked it down the waste disposal. I am now worried about going back into the cupboard. I feel I should be getting some spray to put in there just in case. Any comments?

Check out a new whitetail

Check out a new whitetail spider page on the Kiwicare site.

Hi my boyfriend got bit by a

Hi my boyfriend got bit by a white tail twice in one month his foot was swelled for about 3 or 4 months, and we found and killed in total about 4 or 5 of them. Sprayed a solution of pyrethrem (a dandelion extract) found in most hardware stores and havent seen any since, even other spiders.

Hi Carla, Whitetails will

Hi Carla,

Whitetails will live anywhere there are other spiders around to hunt. So I guess they could be found on a beach but I have never seen one there. The native Katipo spider a close relative of the Australian Redback is associated with the beach, see:

There are other insects that are found on the beach that might cause bite marks similar to that of a spider. Whatever, it was I am glad to hear your partner did not have a severe reaction.



hi, my partner got bitten by

hi, my partner got bitten by a white tail about 8 months ago we were at port waikato just on the grass, he clearly had two fang marks on his leg near his ankle he felt the bite but never saw the spider but he had no reaction to it at all but we can still see the fang marks now, is it true the white tail spider also live in the sand like at beaches ect


You do not want one of your

You do not want one of your children bitten trust me my daughter has been bitten twice fist incident was under her left breast the spider bit her in her sleep and then systematically all the way out under her arm a full total of 6 bites they ulcerated became quite deep and took 4- 6 weeks to heal second incident just 3 days ago only as to when we are not sure but she has been bitten under the toe and the skin necrosis is very real and advancing she has to go to the doctor .

i am also led to believe that the victim can suffer anniversary symptoms on the anniversary of the bite for some years to follow ..

treat these spiders with no kindness evict them from your home.

another useful site

i hope to have been of some assistance

We live in Melbourne

We live in Melbourne Australia and we have just killed our 6th white tail in 3 weeks. One was found in our (13mths) daughters toys. I hate to think what could have happened. We will be getting some bug bombs this weekend to put in the roof and under the house for sure. Good luck all!

Since my last post I have

Since my last post I have found more spiders including one on my daughters bedroom floor at 11pm. I accidentally stood on it! Lucky I had slippers on. I have had the outside of the house treated by a professional spider guy and the attic space. I also sprayed the inside of the house around all door frames, and window frames. I hate the idea of killing all spiders but it's what they are after. The thing the spider guy said was that if you squash the females they will squirt their eggs everywhere, No Spiders Spray works well to kill them, not fly spray. Since I sprayed I have found 3 more dead ones so I guess the spray is working. The spider guy also says that they will eat and not hunt again for 2 weeks, so we may be living with them for a while longer, Yuk! I hope we are on the right path.

Hi, Seeing four whitetails


Seeing four whitetails suggests that there are likely to be more. You may be correct about the nests (tangle of webbing) possibly being in the roof voids or some other out of the way warm dark spcae.

Whitetails are active throughout the year but like insects spiders are generally more active in the warmer months.

Best of luck with your treatment of the house.


Is seeing 4 white tails in 2

Is seeing 4 white tails in 2 months(and killing them) a lot of white tails? They have all been inside mostly in the bathrooms, and all quite big. Another question I have is are they all year round spiders or just summer problems? I have been wondering if I should treat the house and have come to the conclusion that I will do it tomorrow. My husband thinks I am over reacting. After reading all the useful info I have determined that they are probably coming from the attic space beside our main bathroom. I mostly find them while I am cleaning in the corners of rooms. One was in the kids bathroom just crawling around, my daughter found it when she got up to go to the bathroom in the morning. My problem is I hate to think about where they have been before we find them. My husband found one on his towel hanging up on the towel rail. Spooky, I don't want to wait to find out what a bite might do to one of us.

Hi, Female Whitetails are


Female Whitetails are generally larger and therefore more able to bite but both males and females possess toxins.

I am sorry to hear about your son. It appears that some people are more susceptible to the venom.

The chemicals in NO Bugs Super and NO Spiders are safe synthetic pyrethroids. I.e. they are similar in action to natural pyrethrum obtained from chrysanthemums. However the synthetic versions are stabilised so that they have a longer lasting action. This means that you don't have to spray with them as often. In normal circumstances they will continue to protect from spiders and insects for 3 months or more.

Follow the instructions and keep people and pets out of the house carrying out the treatment and until it has dried as a precaution.

You can find detailed information at:,15,0,0,html/Spiders


Hi we have alot of female


we have alot of female white tip spiders in our house. I assume that they are female because they are very large in size. I heard that the female spiders are the ones that have the posion is this ture. My 3 year old was bitten while he was in bed. Didn't take long for him to be very sick and end up at the A & E. Are the Chemicals that you have suggested safe to use with kids in the house?

Thank You

Hi, I have never used


I have never used Chemspray and I am not familiar with it. However, if it is a residual surafce treatment it is almost certainly synthetic pyrethroid similar to NO Spiders and NO Bugs Super (which you will also find in Bunnings, Mitre10 and all good hardware stores) and it should do the job for you.

Don't forget the roof void and ceiling spaces! These high dark spaces are often the seat of the problem.

Let us know how you get on.

Hi I am doing some research


I am doing some research on these spiders as we have recently moved into a home and have seen them moreso than at our other house. I have four children and would hate them to be bitten.

I found through another website that Bunnings sell a product called " Chemspray home pest control for ants, spiders and roaches. Apparently spraying this around outside of home and inside can eliminate them.

It comes in 100ml and once added to water makes around 4 litres. For little as $11.

I am for sure going out tomorrow to visit our local Bunnings Store.

Sorry I live in South

Sorry I live in South Auckland (rural)

I was bitten on my elbow

I was bitten on my elbow while sleeping by a white tail (I think it was a white tail because of the symptoms) I woke up suddenly with a pain full feeling, and I knew I was bitten by something, I surged but I couldn't find anything. My elbow became swollen that day, the next day it was full fluid from my elbow down to my fingers when I went to see the doctor, he gave my antibiotics and pain killers. Around my elbow was a big round blister, like badly sun burned and new tissue came trough after 3 weeks I couldn't sleep on that elbow for 2 months and Its still sensitive after 3 months.

I once visited Auckland was

I once visited Auckland was was really scared of thos.

Hello. I live in Auckland

Hello. I live in Auckland and have found heaps of whits tail spiders.. Thay also freak me out.

Hey guys. Im from Australia

Hey guys. Im from Australia and i found your post while searching on google about white tails. I was bitten by one a couple of days ago on my leg and now my leg has a numbing feeling as well as a red lump with fang marks! I have been bitten before, it was a couple of months ago on my back which was very painful and has left me a nice scar. The bite i had on my back looks exactly like the one i have on my leg now. Whithin a few days it will get bigger and turn into a pus filled blister. Well i cant say for sure that it was a white tail but they are the only spiders i have seen in my home other than huntsman spiders and it happened when i was asleep. So i was wondering how poisionus they are? everywhere iv searched online i can not find a direct answer. All i can find is that they affect different people in different ways. Be weary of them. I will be off to the docs tomorrow.

Hi, Whitetails often nest in


Whitetails often nest in roof voids. You may find nests of tangled spider silk in the roof. I would always recommend treating the roof void when dealing with Whitetails. You can spray with a general insectide such as NO Bugs Super but this is often difficult ina roof. Here I would suggest NO Bugs Bug Bomb or NO Bugs Borafume as a convenient method of control in the roof. however you will need to spray around the rest of the house as well.

I have found lots of spiders

I have found lots of spiders around the house that have been fairly small and not resembled the pictures online of whitetails, then I saw a picture of a juvenile whitetail and realised thats what I have lots of. They seem to be coming through the light sockets all around my home. Do whitetails nest? Could they be living a nice comfortable rent free life in my ceiling voids? I have tried stuff like insect bombs and Ripcord but they are still hanging around, what will kill them if anything?

I have been involved in

I have been involved in urban pest management over thirty years in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand. I have also worked researching mycobacteria which include Mycobacterium ulcerans, one of the possible causes of the ulceration sometimes associated with spider bites.

I currently work for New Zealand's premier pest control product manufacturer involved in product development.

Thank you for your article.

Thank you for your article. It is my understanding also that the whitetail of itself is not venomous but should it bite following ingestion of, e.g. the daddy long legs, then the venom from the prey is passed on via the fangs of the whitetail. I have been bitten by one. It was not nice! I would like to ask you with all due respect, however, what your credentials are with regard to spiders etc or where you got your information especially with reference to freeing homes of the beasties! thanks

haha good choice man. Some

haha good choice man. Some one should do a proper study on them. Becaus ehtey are an on going pest i suppose the only up side is if you lots of spiders in your house white tails will kill them all !