Treating spiders with the right attitude

This presenter is having a grand time watching people cope with huntsman spiders. Panic never seems to work, does it?

The one time I was in Australia, I didn’t notice any spiders at all. Clearly I need to go back and correct that omission.


  1. John Morales says

    My technique: a large glass and a cardboard sheet or similar; plonk the glass over the spider (careful not to crush its legs!), slide the cardboard between the lip of the glass and the surface, wonder at the spider’s size, and then evict it into the garden, where they belong.

    May have to wait a few days to find the spider in an accessible position, but no biggie.

  2. nomdeplume says

    Yes PZ, yes you do! Huntsmen (actually mostly Huntswomen in fact) are common visitors in my home. My wife forces me to remove them, using the John Morales technique. They are often so big it is hard to find a suitable jar.

    Plenty more spiders on this farm – come on down PZ, I will introduce you.

  3. says

    Then there are these charming creatures. One of the technicians milking these spiders had one run up the pipette. It bit him so hard that it split its carapace.

  4. jimfoley says

    Well that was an oversight, I’m sure we could have found some huntsmen for you if we’d known you were interested.

  5. chris says

    Those huntsman spiders were adorable. Okay, remember at certain time of the year I find large English house spiders in my house. Just the males looking for love in all the wrong places.

    I much prefer them to cockroaches. As an Army brat we got to live in very interesting places. In Missouri my dad rented an old farm house that was on the edge of town. If I entered the kitchen late at night I would see hundreds of small cockroaches scurrying off the counters after I turned on the light. Then a year later in Venezuela I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night only to find out that on the door just inches from the doorknob was a huge cockroach. Time and being freaked out may exaggerate the numbers but it seemed the body was two/three (“four?” says my inner eleven year old self) inches long and the antennae were a bit long than that, and it did not scurry or move after I turned on the light. Aaargh!

    I’ll take a bug eating spider that large over a cockroach.

  6. gardengnome says

    Never park your car at night under a gum tree with branches that touch the roof – you haven’t lived till you’ve turned your car towards the evening sun and flipped your visor down only to have a Huntsman land in your lap!

  7. madtom1999 says

    #1 In the Caribbean you get some wonderful spiders and they are smart enough to stay high up in the lofty roof beams out of reach of the bucket you would need to put them in. Being trump coloured they are very visible, And you know they got up there so the must be able to get down when you are asleep – which stays away. There is a beautiful wasp they call a Jack Spaniard which has the most amazing blue wings with silver spots that lays its eggs in them. I am allergic to wasp stings and it never ceased to amaze me how fast I car run when one of these things (up to 10″ leg span) drops out of the roof with a Jack Spaniard chasing it!
    They are both utterly glorious close up once the adrenaline has boiled off and my heartbeat drops below 200.

  8. jrkrideau says

    @ 4 rabbitbrush
    I love Ann Jones’ podcast, Off Track. It was neat to see her in a video.
    My thought exactly.

  9. beardymcviking says

    Last weekend I was driving in pouring rain at 80kph when a decent sized male huntsman ran up my leg, along my arm, and up the window to sit next to my head.

    Being somewhat arachnophobic I’m kind of amazed I managed to not panic, find a place to pull over, and let my passenger out the window safely (he seemed just as happy about him leaving as I was). That all could have gone so much worse :-/

  10. chrislawson says

    Huntsman spiders tend to set off arachnophobia because they are large, fast, and move with that jittery motion beloved of horror directors. But they’re not dangerous at all. They will only bite under extreme duress and the bite is not that bad. Usually a cold pack will suffice.

    As John Morales says, the only hard part about moving them out of the house is finding a large enough container. And sometimes when they’re afraid they can move with surprising speed so you have to approach slowly to get the container over them.