On Oct 12, 2006, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:
This spider has a bad reputation for its bite, because of reports of ulceration that is very hard to get rid of.
Quoting from the Australian Museum web site:
"Because of their liking for urban areas, bites are moderately common. Symptoms are usually mild with initial pain followed by the development of an itchy lump at the wound site. Much less commonly, swelling and skin discolouration of the bitten area may occur, occasionally leading to local ulceration. However, cases of ulceration involving a verified White-tailed Spider bite are rare; most cases of ulceratiom may involve causes unrelated to spider bite. An investigation of over 100 verified bites did not find a single case of ulceration. If bitten, catch the spider for identification and seek medical advice if symptoms persist."
We frequently find them in our house, usually on the ceiling and we take care to eliminate them quickly, not wanting to take any chance on that bite.
On Jan 9, 2008, Fangionz from Woodville New Zealand wrote:
Whitetail spiders have been in New Zealand for many years, catching a ride on or in something from Australia. There is a feeling that the resulting potentially serious infection after a bite is due to the fact that they eat Daddy Long Leg spiders and this somehow does the infecting. There have been quite a few recorded cases of the effect of bites in recent years, some quite severe so we do act quickly when whitetail's are discovered.
On Sep 19, 2012, RosinaBloom from Waihi New Zealand wrote:
This Australian spider was first recorded in New Zealand in 1886 in Auckland, and is now well established in the North Island.
Dark grey with a distinguished white patch at the end of the abdomen, they are nocturnal feeders on other spiders. They prefer dark places under bark etc but do come into houses and hide from the light.
If they are disturbed a bite is initially painful, and causes little harm because there is nothing in their venom that will affect us. However, people can react in different ways.