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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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It is not clear how harmful

It is not clear how harmful the bites of Whitetails are. Most people seem to get just a smal redened swelling. However, some people report a bad reaction including large swelling and symptoms of headaches etc. There are also reports of the bite becoming necrotic (i.e. ulceration) and serious scars or even the loss of fingers, toes etc. Some think this caused by infection of the bite rather than the effect of spider toxin.

My view is that there is no clear evidence one way or the other. I have however spoken to many people that have scars from such ulceration that are adamant that they were bitten by Whitetails.

Perhapos it is bettert o be safe than sorry?

No he has not done a study

No he has not done a study on it. I think it was on discovery channel also are the bites at all harmful ? I read on a site that they did a study in Australia of 133 confirmed white tail bites like got bitten saw the spider do it and caught it and none of the bites were harmful they just left a little red mark.People just get a bite and assume it was a white tail spider. What do you think ?

Hello, There is an argument


There is an argument that Whitetail spiders eat Daddy Long Leg spiders and it is the more toxic venom of these spiders that causes some of the more serious effects reported from Whitetail bites. There is no clear evidence that this is the case. Daddy Long Leg spiders are not able to bite us as there fangs cannot penetrate our skin.

If your mate has carried out the study you mention. I would be very interested in reading the results. Do you have a reference for this work?

Was just wondering do white

Was just wondering do white tails get their venom from other spiders ? like ingesting the other spider can create more harmful white tails . I heard from a mate that the did a study on them and they gave them no poisonous spiders to eat in a contained environment with no bacteria and they were completely harmless. Is this true ?

There are many creatures

There are many creatures that will feed on whitetail spiders including, birds and rodents. Other spiders are unlikely to be predators of whitetails as whitetails are fast and armed with powerful bite and toxin. Indeed Daddy Long Legs spiders are prey to whitetails.

is there a natural predator

is there a natural predator to the white tip? such as the huntsman or "daddy long legs"?