Apart from a few poisonous species such as the Red Back, Funnel Web and White Tail Spider, nearly all spiders are harmless and play a very useful role in controlling a number of insect pests.
Web-spinning spiders are unpopular due to their unsightly habit of building webs over eaves, walls and windows of homes. Spiders are mostly nocturnal and seldom venture out in daylight. Their normal diet consists of such creatures as insects, slaters, amphipods and house centipedes.
The venom produced by spiders varies greatly. In comparison to its size the Red Back appears to be more toxic than the Funnel Web. Although the Red Back spider is not aggressive, if bitten the venom of the Red Back is very toxic and the bite extremely painful. Only the female Red Back bites. There is an anti-venom available for the Red Back.
If bitten by any poisonous spider, treatment should be sought immediately. If uncertain phone your nearest poisons information centre (08) 9493 1313.