What if the worst was yet to come in the throes of a devastating flood for Australians? Officials warned on Wednesday that homes that have survived the rising water may now experience an invasion of flood-escaped tarantules.
Parts of New South Wales, including parts of Sydney, have kept their feet in the water for several days due to torrential rains.
It is therefore a matter of relief that the residents welcomed the return of the blue sky on Wednesday. But he quickly received “immediate” – and dangerous – warnings from authorities: he must prepare for the influx of Atrax Strongus, the tarantula whose venom is the most violent in the world, and which is endemic to the Sydney region.
“The warm temperatures and high humidity make it the perfect cocktail for an explosion in the presence of Atrax Stocks in the coming days,” Australian Reptile Park director Tim Faulkner said in a statement.
“After the incredible floods we experienced in Greater Sydney, they have been evicted from their habitat and will take refuge in the Dryer areas,” he explained.
“This can unfortunately mean that they will enter homes very soon.”
In recent times, pictures of fleeing flood-hit areas have gone viral, showing flocks of spiders and buildings.
Atrax Strongus (Sydney Funnel-Webbs Spider) is feared for its particularly poisonous and very fast acting venom. No less than 13 human deaths from the bite of this tarantula have been officially documented.
However, there have been no fatal attacks since the serum was developed in the early 1980s.
The Australian Reptile Park, which has serum stocks, has urged people “who feel the courage” to capture the tarantula and bring it to the collection areas.