Redbacks in the Air Conditioner: How Redback Spiders Gain Access to Your Home through Air Conditioner Vents
When you turn on your central air conditioning, the only thing you expect to come out of the vents is cool air. Sometimes, however, those vents can produce redback spiders. Though redback spiders are known to generally build their webs lower to the ground, it is not unheard of for them to access homes through via the roof. Homes with central air conditioning provide access to spiders via the roof and naturally, they head downwards and towards the light in search of food.
A hospital in Queensland was forced to close temporarily due to a redback infestation. The spiders were living on the ceiling, putting patients at risk.
If you think your home is being invaded by redbacks coming through your air conditioner vents, here is a little more information to help you gauge the threat level.
Young Redback Spiders Travel on Silk Threads
Outdoor areas with large redback populations put nearby homes at risk of infestation. Once a redback female has mated, she can produce up to 10 egg sacs over the next two years. Each egg sac contains an average of 250 eggs and if conditions are right, the female can produce 1 egg sac every 1-3 weeks.
The problem with this is that the redback spiderlings are dispersed by the wind while attached to a single strand of silk. Once they come into contact with a building, they then begin to seek out an area that can provide them with food and shelter.
This is why you should call a pest control professional if you think that the area around your home may be infested with redback spiders.
Your Roof Could Provide them with Access to Your Home
Once redbacks access your home via the roof, they can find their way into your living spaces via downlights, pipes and air conditioner vents. Though they may experience temperature fluctuations and a lack of food during their journey down to your living spaces, this shouldn't pose a problem. Redbacks can withstand temperatures of below freezing up to 40 degrees and can go without food for over 300 days if necessary.
If you think you have spotted a redback that originated from your air conditioner vents or downlights, you should seriously consider calling a pest control service to evaluate the risk to you and your loved ones. Though there hasn't been a fatality from a spider bite in many years in Australia, redback spiders send more people to the hospital each year than any other venomous animal per year. Don't take any chances, especially if you have young children. At the very least, have someone inspect your home and the surrounding area if you suspect a redback infestation.