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Australian Redback Spider.

Almost all spiders have venom because they need it to subdue their prey (normally small insects). 

Australian Redback Spider.
The Australian Redback Spider.

While many spider bites can’t penetrate human skin, those that can are painful and, in rare cases, fatal.  Australia is home to over 10,000 spider species so it’s not surprising that these arachnids are some of the most common pests in our homes. Some of the world’s most dangerous spiders live here – the Sydney funnel-web and the red back spiders – which are both easily identifiable. Funnel-web spiders, which is known to contain in its venom one of the most dangerous toxins in the animal kingdom, can be easily identified by their glossy, blue and black carapace and the finger-like spinnerets at the end of their abdomen. The funnel-web’s fast-acting venom generally only affects primates, so at least your pets are safe from them. The red back spider, on the other hand, can be distinguished by the prominent red stripe that runs through its abdomen. Majority of serious spider bites in Australia are attributed to female redbacks (the male’s short fangs can’t penetrate the human skin). But thanks to the introduction of an anti venom in 1956, no recent human deaths have been reported. If your home is infested by spiders, it is smart to have a pest control professional do a thorough inspection of your property rather than doing a DIY eradication method yourself.