Redback spider numbers are rising rapidly on the South Island as the New Zealand climate becomes warmer and drier. Scientists expect the trend to continue, and for the redback to spread as an increasingly large swath of the island becomes inhabitable. “They need decent warm periods in summer and they don’t like high soil moisture,” says spider expert Cor Vink. According to Vink, the spiders would be right at home anywhere in New Zealand where grapes are grown. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported from redback bites since the introduction of an anti-venom in 1956.