Chemical from female redback spiders could be used to help stop spread of species across NZ

Researchers may have found our best answer to an invasion by the Australian redback spider.

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Scientists are trying to reduce the number of redback spiders in the country. Source: 1 NEWS

Scientists believe they've found the chemical which virgin female redbacks use to attract a mate - the same one which gives vomit and parmesan cheese its smell.

It's yet to be tested in the wild, but it's hoped standard pheromone traps used on other animals can be modified to catch male redbacks.

The species has spread across central Otago and parts of the North Island, threatening the native katipo, skinks and rare insects.

Experts say a proper solution is needed to stop them from spreading around the rest of the country.