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Aussie Life Challenges

Operation Huntsman

(I came across this post from last year which I hadn’t quite finished writing but really wanted to share with you)

Never tempt fate!  So I did; just passing comment that we hadn’t had a spider in the house for ages which was followed by recounting the time shortly after we had arrived in South Australia when Hubby was at work and the children came across a MASSIVE huntsman spider in the shower.  It was pretty large http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntsman_spider

My son decided to spray it with insect killer but it only had the effect of coating the poor thing in white foam – it didn’t seem to bring it any nearer to death.  I then decided to suck it up the vacuum cleaner nozzle but picture if you will an eight legged critter the size of a modest tea plate resisting the suction of my little domestic appliance – it was like a soft Summer breeze to this little fella.  Before I’d plucked up the courage to try a manual manoeuvre, my son had recovered his cricket bat and smacked the living daylights out of it.

That was my last domestic encounter with the huntsman, back in 2005.  Since then I have learned to respect this spider – but just not in my space http://australianmuseum.net.au/huntsman-spiders

Apparently it’s a good spider to have around the place because it feeds on all the nasty spiders and get this – “the bite of Huntsman spiders is of low risk (non-toxic) to humans.  They are a non-aggressive group of spiders” Well, who would have thought it!  In a country that has more deadly snakes and spiders than any other, this was a great comfort to me!

So fast forward to last Sunday; my daughter comes to find me to tell me there is a huge spider in her shower.  She is armed with two cans of insect killer – like Clint Eastwood standing in the saloon bar doorway.  We both knew this was not a successful tactic from previous experience.  On closer inspection there was indeed a pretty large Huntsman lurking up high.  Spiders freak her out more than me “Mum they are all phalanges!”

We hatched a plan to test the boyfriend’s machismo – he was due to pop by in a short while so we just waited and watched.  Following said boyfriend’s arrival “thank god you’re here!”  we brainstormed the best solution to remove Charlotte without killing her – yes that’s right give your spider a name – it helps enormously and before you know it, your spider will no longer appear to be so aggressive and threatening.

By coaxing Charlotte down the inside of the shower, I was ready and waiting with a large plastic container to pop over her.  Then I was to slide a firm piece of cardboard under to trap her in a makeshift box, carry her out and let her go gently on her way into some native shrubbery.  I’m delighted to say that our plan worked and Charlotte even made it easy for us; she was clearly angry after I slammed the upturned container over her (without cutting her legs off); she jumped from the floor of the shower onto the underside of the container, allowing me to easily slide the cardboard under.  I ran from the house screaming and threw the whole lot into the flower bed but at least we didn’t kill her and she lived to tell the tale of what nutters us humans are.

This female Huntsman is protecting her eggs inside our bin – what a wonder!

Huntsman&Eggs

 

4 replies on “Operation Huntsman”

Well I never heard before that spiders were all ‘fingers and toes’ – I shall have to check one out next time I find one big enough to dissect!

Great blog – well done!

Dad xx

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