OSAKA, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Fukuoka City in southwestern Japan has wiped out more than 4,600 poisonous red-back spiders since September, local press reported on Wednesday.
Fukuoka City formed a dedicated team in September to rid all its area of the spiders, and the team caught 4,639 red-backs in September and October and killed them by pesticide spraying conducted in three wards of the city, Japan's public broadcaster NHK said.
According to Tomonori Uchino, a spokesperson for the city's Environmental Health Section, the spider's venom can cause a sudden rise in blood pressure and may be lethal to babies or elderly people.
In the city, an 86-year-old woman suffered a red-back bite in September and she was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Uchino said the species, first found in a container berth facility of the Hakata Port of the city in 2007, has been caught in a wide area across the city, including parks, residential squares and even entertainment zones. The spider is believed to arrive from overseas, such as Australia where the type commonly lives.
Since the discovery, the city has issued warnings that red-back spiders may suddenly bite if irritated.