Killer spiders are about to unleash
In a nation packed with dangerous creatures, these are among the most feared - and upcoming weather conditions in NSW are set to see them thrive.
Residents in Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast are being warned about a spike in deadly funnel-web spiders as wet weather and warmer temperatures bring them out of hiding.
The Australian Reptile Park said people in those areas should be on the lookout for the deadly spiders as males venture outside their burrows into backyards and even indoors looking for a mate.
They're most likely to be found in cool and damp places around the home, the park's spider keeper Jack Meney said.
"When found inside homes, Sydney funnel-webs prefer cool, damp places like the laundry, garage or in shoes left out on the ground," Mr Meney said.
"It is best to ensure you are not leaving washing and clothing on the floors (and) if you leave your shoes outside, make sure you give them a tap on the ground before putting your foot in blindly, as shoes can be the perfect little burrow for funnel-webs."
Mr Meney also recommended people check and clean their pool filters regularly to avoid any nasty eight-legged surprises.
Funnel-webs are extremely aggressive spiders that are known to defend themselves when threatened.
Anyone bitten by a funnel-web, or any spider that's believed to be venomous, is advised to stay calm, apply a pressure bandage to the affected area, and go to a hospital as quickly as possible.
The Australian Reptile Park is asking adults who are able to safely catch funnel-webs to bring them in so park staff can milk them for their lifesaving anti-venom program.
"It's important that Australians are across the correct first aid and know how to safely catch the spiders so that we can continue to milk them and save lives," Mr Meney said.
"We rely on public donations of funnel-web spiders to build up our milking individuals."
While the park's funnel-web warning is specific to NSW, many parts of Australia are set to cop a drenching as severe thunderstorms bring the heaviest rainfall in months.
A "multistate thunderstorm" is expected to bring strong winds, torrential rain and flash flooding to parts of eastern Australia, with storms expected to peak on Friday and Saturday.
Meteorologist for the Bureau of Meteorology, Jonathan How, said Queensland, NSW and northeast Victoria will likely cop the brunt of the wild weather.
These areas, along with parts of the Northern Territory and South Australia, could see some storms and wet weather today but things are expected to really ramp up tomorrow.
"Friday is still shaping up to be the peak day across eastern Australia and we will see widespread storms, likely severe for some parts," Mr How said.
"It is shaping up to be a stormy and wet weekend for eastern parts of Queensland and NSW, including Brisbane and Sydney.
"Rainfall totals this Sunday will broadly be 30-50mm across parts of eastern Australia but, when we do see those more intense thunderstorms, we could see totals of 100 and even up to 150mm for some parts."
A low pressure system is moving through South Australia, which will link up with moisture to fuel the widespread rain and storms through eastern parts of the country from Friday.
- with Ally Foster.
Originally published as Killer spiders are about to unleash