Getting the Most out of a Home and Garden

Spiders Are On The Move: Tips For Cleaning Your Gutters Safely This Summer

So far in 2015 Sydney paramedics have attended to 102 spider bites, and 43 of them involved the nasty funnel-web spider. While you know that it is important to keep your gutters clear to avoid fuelling bushfires, it is important that you keep your own safety in mind while you are cleaning them. Here are the facts you need to know about the funnel-web spider and your gutters.

Why Are Funnel-Web Spiders in Your Gutters?

The funnel-web spider family is large, and not all of these spiders have a nasty bite. However, the Sydney funnel-web spider will cause injury or death if the bite is left untreated. Funnel-web spiders like to make deep burrows that they can hide in to watch out for food, and the organic debris found within your gutters is a perfect spot to set up home.

During the late summer months when it is nice and warm, the male funnel-web spider becomes more active as he looks for a female to mate with. While they are normally nocturnal, they will be more prevalent at daytime during the mating season.

How to Protect Yourself

There are three main steps that you can take to protect yourself while you are cleaning out your gutters this summer:

  1. Make sure you are high enough up the ladder that you can see into the gutters as you are cleaning. You are exposing yourself to all manner of bites by blindly reaching into the gutters without first seeing what is in there.
  2. Wear thick gloves as you empty the gutters. You can purchase these at your home hardware store, and they will stop any insect or snake fangs from penetrating your skin.
  3. Wear a long sleeved shirt so that this skin is not exposed to bites either.

What to Do if Bitten

If you are bitten by a funnel-web spider while you are cleaning out your gutters, it is important that you get immediate medical attention by calling for an ambulance. If possible, try to trap the spider that bit you so that the paramedics can identify the species. 

You must apply a bandage combined with firm pressure to the bite site, and then remain still and calm while you wait for the ambulance to arrive. This will slow the speed at which the poisonous venom moves through your body.

By taking precautions before you clean out your gutters, you can reduce your chances of being bitten by a funnel-web spider this summer. Make it easier on yourself by asking professionals like PLMGN Maintenance Services Gutter Cleaning to assist you.