The Project: Spider expert gives Kiwis the biting truth on white tails

Spring is not just about cute lambs and daffodils - it is also the cue for a stowaway menace to start its insidious invasion.

The white tail spider will once again be caught in a web of hysteria as it makes its annual return this season.

Spider expert Dr Leilani Walker joined The Project on Thursday night to give Kiwis the biting truth on white tails. She says New Zealanders "obsession" with the country's eight-legged bad guy stems from a lack of snakes, as unlike our old mate Aussie, Kiwis really don't have much else to worry about.

Australia is actually to blame for the invasion, the white tails deciding to take the trip across the Tasman back in the 1800s.

So how can the house be kept spider-free?

Dr Walker says pesticides are pretty ineffective at keeping white tails out of the home, as they congregate in properties to hunt other spiders.

So, in other words, it's pretty much impossible to have a totally spider-free home forever. They'll be back eventually, whether it be in a few weeks or next summer. 

How can white tail bites be prevented?

Dr Walker recommends not leaving clothes on the ground and shaking out garments before wear. She also says to leave shoes upside-down to prevent white tails from sneaking in there.

"They don't like getting caught in clothes," Dr Walker explained.

"But unless you put pressure on them, they're not really that keen."

How can bites be taken care of?

Dr Walker says bites often become badly infected by bacteria when they're not cleaned - so all bites should be cleaned and looked after to prevent it turning nasty.

The little guys have a bad rep, but compared to Australia's spider selection - they're relatively tame.