Red back spiders are an Australian icon but no-one really wants them inside the home getting into all kinds of worrying places like your slippers! Bites from the red back are very painful. In a healthy adult person they are not life-threatening, but in children, pets and pregnant women they can be so it is important to know how to identify them, and how to get rid of red back spiders.

Identifying red back spiders

The name if you were not aware comes from the very obvious red stripe that is along the back of the black larger female spiders. These are about 1cm long, whereas the males and young females are light brown with white markings and are smaller. You can find these dangerous spiders pretty much anywhere but some common places include:

  • In sheltered, dry and dark places
  • Around their webs which are very distinctive because they look messy
  • In mailboxes, shoes, gloves, helmets
  • In children’s sandpits, toys and toy boxes
  • Under properties, in sheds and garages and around buildings and in the roofs of buildings

How to get rid of red back spiders effectively?

Your initial reaction might be a squeal and then to whack it with something close to hand, but really you do not want to be risking a bite when you are in bare feet, shorts and tank top. Closed shoes, work gloves, jeans and long sleeves are proper red back spider squishing protection. But while that might deal with the one you found it does not deal with many hanging out around the property. So here are some tips for looking for and getting rid of red back spiders.

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  1. Check your outdoor furniture regularly – One of the most common places the spiders hang out is the outdoor furniture in the cracks and such. Make sure you keep the furniture clean and give it a regular shake out.
  2. Take out any webs you see – If you notice messy webs around then get rid of them carefully and safely by using a long stick, push it into the middle and then twist and keep twisting.
  3. Destroy the egg sacs – When you see the egg sacs be sure to destroy those as well or they will just hatch.
  4. Always check toys, gloves, shoes and such before using them – People commonly get bit by insects and spiders on their feet because they do not check their slippers and shoes before putting them on. Also check toys, gloves and such by giving them a shake before using them especially if they have not been used for a bit.
  5. Try to stay junk-free – A good way to get rid of red back spiders is to avoid having places outside that they hang out in like sheds and piles of junk. Clear up the junk and clean out the shed. If you do not even need one get rid of it!
  6. Keep your outside space tidy – As well as taking care of junk piles you should keep the garden clear of piles of wood, branches and leaves too. Children should not leave toys outside, and if they do, the toy needs to be checked before you give it to them again to play with.
  7. Call in a professional pest control service – The best option for how to get rid of red back spiders naturally or regular methods is to call in a pest control service near you. They can inspect all of the places the spiders like to hang out, and are less likely to get bitten or surprised by anything. You could have them and do a regular inspection of your property and that will best prevent it from ever turning into a big problem.


Professionals have the experience, equipment, skills and products to handle getting rid of red back spiders or whatever pest control problems you have. As the weather warms and the numbers of red back spiders increase find a professional service you are happy with and let them take care of it for you!

Some advice in case of a red back spider bite:

  1. Stay calm and take a picture of the spider if you are able or at least get a good look at it
  2. Place an ice pack on the bite or something from the freezer, do not put a bandage on it or put any pressure on it
  3. Seek advice from a medical expert

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