There are over 35,000 species of spiders world-wide. Many species of spiders are household pests. Wherever their food is available, spiders are likely to be found. All spiders are predators, feeding mainly on insects and other small arthropods.

New Zealand is home to about 2500 kinds of spiders, most of them harmless to people. Only some spiders are capable of biting humans. There are three species of spiders in New Zealand that should be avoided – the Katipo, the Redback and the White-tailed Spider.

Most spiders are nocturnal or active at night and will scurry away when disturbed unless they are tending egg sacs or young. During the day, they usually remain hidden and inactive in cracks and crevices, their webs, etc. Spider bites usually result only with great provocation such as squeezing or handling.

Bites usually occur when the males are wandering about searching for females or when people clean out neglected places such as basements, attics, or garages, or put on seldom-used clothing. Many spiders cannot penetrate human skin with their fangs and the bite of those that can, usually results in no more than a slight swelling and inflammation.

Always consult a physician if a spider bite is suspected. It is particularly important to capture and take the suspect spider along for identification purposes.



For further information about spider bites and venom contact:
• National Poisons Centre 0800 POISON [0800 764 766] • Local DHB public health unit Ministry of Health
• Healthline 0800 611 116
• For reporting spiders associated with recently imported goods, contact MPI 0800 809 966


Control: (Spider control is a 6-step process)

  1. Inspection.
  2. Identification.
  3. Prevention.
  4. Sanitation.
  5. Mechanical measures.
  6. Pesticide application.


Head Office 800 Te Ngae Rd, Owhata,
Rotorua 3074
Phone: 0800 75 75 78

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