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Appearance - This species is a robust spider, 1-1.5cm in body length. Carapace and legs are dark brown to black and the abdomen is charcoal grey. The dorsal pattern of white marking is sometimes indistinct.
The female constructs several white silk eggs sacs, which are secured within the web retreat. The female stays with the eggs until they hatch. The spider lings then disperse. The spiders mature during the summertime and live for about two years.
Black house spider webs form untidy, lacy sheets with funnel like entrances. They are found on tree trunks, logs, rock walls, and buildings (also in window frames and crevices). Commonly also found in urban areas, Black House Spiders also build webs in dark corners of windows, veranda’s, sheds of fences. The female spider never leaves her web unless forced to, but keeps on repairing it – old webs can look grey and woolly from the constant additions of silk.
Danger to humans and First Aid Procedures
Poisonous but no fatalities, Black House Spiders are timid animals and bites from them are infrequent. The bite may be quite painful and cause local swelling. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating and giddiness are occasionally recorded. In a few cases skin lesions have developed after multiple bites. A cold pack may relieve local pain. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.