Torrential rain and widespread flooding across the east coast has promoted more sightings of the funnel web spider in residential areas.
Since heavy rains began earlier this year, the Australian Reptile Park on the NSW Central Coast has seen an increase in reports of funnel-web spider sightings.
More spiders than usual for this time of year, are being dropped off at the reptile park or at the one of the other 14 drop off locations.
Funnel-web spiders live in burrows lined with silk, which gives some protection from wet weather, explained Dr Helen Smith, technical officer in Arachnology at Sydney's Australian Museum.
In extreme weather events such as the recent floods, funnel-web burrows would fill with water and wash spiders out.
Dr Smith explained that spiders have what are called 'book lungs,' a cavity in the body filled with tiny plates which take in and release oxygen and CO2.
Spiders can close their book lungs from the outside and survive a long time underwater.
"Even if a spider has gotten flooded out and gone underwater, it has a reasonable chance of managing to crawl out and reach safety," said Dr Smith.
Although funnel-webs aren't good at climbing smooth surfaces, they do move around on the floor looking for places to hide.
They may hide inside shoes or something left on the floor like a pile of clothes.
Dr Smith advises people in areas where funnel-webs may be active to be aware when picking things up and moving things.
"Give it a shake out and just be aware," she said.
She also advises on finding any holes that the spiders might be using to get into your house, and stopping up that gap.
As flood waters recede, female funnel-web spiders will be looking for a new burrow and male spiders will begin looking for mates.
"They don't want to be inside, they want to be in an environment that's right for them, but it might take them a while to find that," Dr Smith said.
If you have found a funnel-web spider in your home, you can donate it to the Australian Reptile Park.
The park is the only place in Australia where venous spiders are milked for their venom, which can be used in creating anti-venom.
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