How Dangerous are White-Tailed Spiders?
Compared to the funnel-web spider or the redback spider, the white-tailed spider is not that dangerous. In most cases, a long-lasting, painful, itchy bite is the worst most people will experience. In fact, the itchiness and redness can last for weeks. Moreover, some people may react to a white-tailed spider bite with nausea and vomiting. Most bites occur indoors, at night during the warmer months. However, in rare cases, the bite can become infected, and in even rarer cases, progress to necrosis.
Necrosis is when the skin cells begin to die; gangrene is a form of necrosis. Necrotizing arachnidism is a type of necrosis caused by a spider bite, and the first signs of necrotizing arachnidism are skin inflammation and ulceration. The white-tailed spider has been linked to necrotizing arachnidism. Sometimes, the necrosis is so severe that large areas of skin are lost, and skin grafts are necessary. Unfortunately, necrosis can spread well beyond the bite and it can be fatal . If you are bitten by a white-tailed spider, apply an icepack to reduce the swelling and if it worsens, seek medical help.
The female white-tailed spider lays around 50-100 eggs enclosed in a silken sack. The female spider guards the eggs until the baby spiders hatch. Once hatched, the baby spiders immediately go out into the world to hunt their first meal. Unfortunately, if a female white-tailed spider has laid eggs inside your house, and they hatched, you could have 100 white-tails creeping around inside your home.
White-tailed spiders primarily eat other spiders; their favourite prey is the common black house spider. They also like the brown house spider. However, they could attack and eat any type of insect within their reach.