A Rotorua pest control expert hopes he won't come across any more highly dangerous spiders after the discovery of a female redback in a garden.
Bay Pest Services manager Chris Brunel told the Rotorua Daily Post the redback had been identified by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) after it was found on or about January 27.
"It's the first one I've heard of in my 25 years of pest control in Rotorua," Mr Brunel said.
But it's not the only redback he has encountered - he found one in a caravan recently imported from Australia to Taupo about a month ago.
"They are quite small, but very nasty. But you can easily recognise the web, which is quite messy and untidy.
"They like to hang out at the edge of pot plants, or anywhere under shelter, like under seats."
Mr Brunel said when he was first contacted by the property owner he was sceptical, "but when I'd seen the evidence I was totally sure".
"There have been white-tail spiders here for 100 years, they are not a big deal, but these things are.
"If a kid got to be bitten I don't know what sort of time they may have.
"It begs the question how it got here. They [the property owners] didn't bring it in from Aussie, because they haven't been there lately.
"We may not find another one, but it was a female so she may have had a few more."
If people believe they have found redback spiders, they can call the MPI's Pests and Diseases Hotline on (0800) 80 99 66.