WET weather and flooding, followed by a hot spell, has created perfect conditions for an infestation of the deadly funnel-web spider.
The Australian Reptile Park has issued a warningto residents in the Hunter and greater Sydney to be on the lookout for funnel-web spiders.
All ground-dwelling spiders will be on the move across the state to escape floodwaters and wet conditions.
"We're already seeing increased movements from funnel-web spiders," park director Tim Faulkner said.
"The upcoming warm weather and high levels of humidity is the perfect storm for a funnel-web spider boom in coming days.
"Usually, funnel-webs are found in damp, wooded areas, generally near a water source. With the incredible flooding that we've experienced they have been forced out of their habitat and are seeking refuge in dryer areas.
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"Unfortunately, this could mean that they'll be finding their way into residential homes very shortly."
Mr Faulkner is urging residents to be alert.
Residents who feel safe enough to do so, are encouraged to catch wandering funnel-web spiders safely and drop them at the reptile park to join the antivenom program.
Details about drop off locations and how to catch a funnel-web can be found at www.reptilepark.com.au.
Anyone bitten by a funnel-web spider should stay as calm as possible, apply the correct first aid - a pressure immobilisation bandage - and get to hospital as fast as possible.
NSW SES has also warned residents to keep an eye out for snakes and spiders around their properties after the heavy rains.
Whilst cleaning equipment on Tuesday night, Port Stephens SES members found a stowaway red-bellied black snake hiding in one of their boats.
Members also found a wolf spider with hundreds of babies on its back near a lockers in the unit's headquarters.
Pest management experts came in and safely removed the creatures so that volunteers could get back to work.
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