Milking spiders for all they're worth

spidersNext time you reach for a thong to whack a creepy crawly, take a moment.

The Australian Reptile Park needs more funnel web spiders and our pathology labs based at Westmead, Gosford, Wyong and John Hunter hopsitals are key drop-off points.

“Our aim is to milk 3,000 funnel web spiders a year on behalf of CSL Bio, which creates the anti-venom for hospital vaccines,” said Ranger Mick.

“People deliver the spiders to the labs, which hold them in spider safety kits before we collect them for our anti-venom program which saves over 300 lives per year.”

Ranger Mick advises that adults should use a plastic ruler to guide a spider into a glass jar with air holes in the lid.

Acting Quality and Work Health and Safety Manager Jacquie Moore said about 400 spiders are dropped off at the Newcastle-based laboratory every year. 

“The park provided storage equipment and several staff were trained in spider acceptance. This comes in handy, especially when dealing with anxious security staff who may not be confident handing the drop-offs,” Jacquie said. 

Find all Spider First Aid and Drop off Zones here.