Redback spiders infest Calliope estate
FAMILIES living in the Cloudscape estate at Calliope have got a rather nasty and potentially dangerous problem --- redback spiders.
Sarah* who lives at the estate says she has been exterminating on average 20 female redback spiders a week.
"About six months after we got around to tidying up things we realised it was an issue," the young mum said.
"The population seems to be huge around here…I've seen some pretty huge ones with the size of their abdomens as big as the end of my little finger."
Last week Sarah had her place sprayed by a pest inspector but was sure they would return soon.
"They spread," she said. "The baby ones fly in on webs."
It is a scary reality for her because she has a two-year-old daughter.
"It has effected what I'll let her do outside," she said.
"I always brush down her swing each day and before the guy came and sprayed my house I wouldn't hang my washing outside."
Sarah said the majority of redbacks she found were underneath pot plants, chairs, tables and even inside her barbeque.
25-year veteran pest inspector Clive Stuart said red backs tended to hide out in nooks and crannies around the house.
"You've got to do your maintenance and clear away structures from the house," Mr Stuart said.
"They have a characteristic web which might have three or four strands attached to a leaf.
"It's a good idea to rotate pot plants on a regular basis," he said.
Although Mr Stuart had not dealt with many cases of redbacks so far this year, he said he had come across an increase in snakes and ants.
The redback spider is Australia's third most dangerous spider. Envenomation can cause pain which can last from hours to days and may include nausea, malaise and lethargy.
No deaths have been recorded since redback antivenom became available in the 1950s.
*Sarah did not want to use her real name for the story.