Monday, January 16, 2006

The really big freaking spider or Sometimes I wish I wasn't a man.

Big Sucker Posted by Picasa

"John, come and have a look at this", was the call as my girlfriend rushed out of the laundry. At first I thought her Jack Russell terrier had done a whopper on the floor and thought it VERY strange that she request my witnessing of the event.

No such luck, that would have been easy to deal with. There was a very large, hairy spider with orange striped hairy legs, large fangs and lots of beady little eyes above the door frame. When I am saying HUGE I mean huge about 10 inches in length from back legs to front legs and about six inches across. Biggest spider I've seen.

I looked in horror. I, as the male, was expected to do something about this problem. All the struggles of feminism, the suffragettes marches for equality and Germaine Greer's philosophising in the Female Eunuch was out the window. This was one BIG FREAKY SCARY spider and it obviously was a male problem.

A book on spiders was referenced and it was thought to be a badge spider, enough to give a painful bite and make anyone bitten by it quite ill.

I didn't want to kill the spider, besides, I wasn't sure if a can of insect spray was enough to take out this beast.

A broom was out of the question as it could easily scurry behind the clothes drier if I missed.

Picking it up with a large spade was one consideration but the spider looked as if it could have run really fast. could drop off and hide somewhere more difficult to retrieve in the house. Whacking it with a spade would have damaged the wall and killed the spider, again I didn't want to kill the spider.

So a solution was formulated. Get a glass or plastic see through bowl, slide a piece of stiff plastic underneath, transport the thing outside and then, RELEASE THE SPIDER.

I was then reminded by my S.O. that big spiders such as funnel webs can bite through leather boots and cardboard, (this was about twice the size of a funnel web) so a solution was made to slide something bigger underneath, once a piece of plastic was in place.

First a photo was taken as proof of the monster.

Then, I got the glass bowl and looked at the spider...... it was huge. I went to slam the bowl on top of it and chickened out. Paced for a bit across the carpet and had another closer look at the thing.


It would scurry away if I missed and could get splattered on the wall if my aim was not true. My palms were sweating and the glass bowl was getting slippery in my hands. I asked fo a towel and wiped my hands. I gritted my teeth.

I then took aim and GOTCHA!

The spider did not know what hit it. It was now encased in a 1/2 inch thick bowl on the wall, I now had a layer of glass between my hand and a very pissed of spider. I could see its furry legs close up and had a good view of its underside. The fangs were large, about the size of half of one of my pinky fingernails. It was running around in the bowl, very fast, generally freaking out as it's onetime life of freedom was encased by it's new prison of good pyrex saladware.

I then slid a sheet of firm plastic under the bowl, making sure not to lift the bowl too far thus giving the spider an effective means of escape. Then a thicker book was slid under that, finishing off with a hardcover version of "Artists in Australia". The beast had been captured, now it was was to be released away from captivity to its life in the wild.

We went for a walk in the drizzling rain across to a bushy park and put down the bowl, making sure the spider was not clinging upside down on the book surface. I took a BIG jump back.

In the torchlight it appeared to struggle to get out of the bowl and eventually got out onto a long weed of some sort in the rain. It seemed to be a bit disorientated and pissed off, giving up it's relatively dry flat home of the laundry to this wet dark place in the bush. It no longer looked that big struggling on a long strand of stem in the rain.

I almost felt sorry for it.


  • That is one big freaking spider! We don't have them like that here, 'cept maybe in bad dreams...

    Very creative solution you had there, Johnno. I would have probably settled on a 12-gauge shotgun within the first 10 seconds...

    By Anonymous Winston, at 12:10 am  

  • We get what we call Banana spiders around here. More than once we've walked out the front door to find, overnight, a huge golden web has been spun across the front walk and a large (fear magnifies) hairy spider is waiting in the center.

    This is not a good way to start the day.

    Because I completely lose all physical coordination in the face of large hairy spiders (I saw the movie "It" with the giant spider as a very young child -- the trauma lingers) it is Husband's job to remove them. He has about as much love as I do for the beasts. He tends to talk to them. You know, reason with it. Point out the more favorable location of the corner near the orange tree, for instance, to certain death by bug spray and a broom.

    Spiders are not prone to listening to advice.

    You are brave, sir. I hope your SO gave you a cookie and a hug.

    By Blogger Sherri, at 12:52 am  

  • I encountered one of those when I was living in Blaxland. Came face to face with it as I opened the front door. It was a big bugger too. I took it down the back of the garden and it had a go at me when I let it out.

    By Anonymous JtH, at 8:41 am  

  • I put a photo of it up now. Yep it was a beauty.

    I've heard of the banana spider and the notorious "bird eating spiders" which we get here in the tropics. Seems to be..... tropically picture postcard perfect locations are in direct proportion to the size and scariness of the local fauna.

    And don't you hate it when they go you Johnny? I've seen a funnel web jump as I was about to mash it with a spade. This one wasn't that bad when released, although it did do a bit of a song and dance when in the bowl, sort of like that Daryl Hannah character in Blade Runner.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 9:18 am  

  • If I found that thing in my laundry room, there would be a "For Sale" sign hanging out front of the house the next day!

    By Blogger Shar, at 6:14 am  

  • I'm not that scared of spiders, but - shit! That is a big spider, Johnno. Anybody would've been freaked out by that one! Yee-ow!

    By Blogger MaryB, at 6:27 am  

  • Shar, the "For Sale" option was discussed for awhile there.

    "I'll just pack up and sell the place."

    By Blogger Johnno, at 12:07 pm  

  • ACK!

    By Anonymous Angry Sicilian, at 9:50 am  

  • Okay. I've changed my mind. I'm not moving to Australia. Are you kidding me! Ten Inches.

    Are you allowed to hunt spiders in Oz? Are these beasts considered game? vermin?

    I'm with winston. My Fudd-like intincts would have risen to the fore.

    Jesus Christ I won't get to sleep for weeks now! That photo is nuclear. yeyayuuuuuckaghaghak!

    A cookie and a hug? You deserve some sort of medal of honour.

    By Anonymous brian moffatt, at 11:32 pm  

  • Hmmmmm.

    Guns were out of the question as I 1) don't have one and 2)have no idea where to buy one or 3)get a license for one and 4) my large furry spider hunting permit expired some years ago.

    And I haven't even started on the 5 foot black snake that my neighbours saw the cat drag into the house and I never found.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 8:06 am  

  • If you poor spider afflicted people moved to the US, you could have all the guns you want, with a little effort, and you could have your own personalized badges of pride (I'm holding out for the clerical model).

    By Anonymous Rev. Beau, at 10:36 am  

  • I've owned some pretty big spiders, but that story and the picture freaked me out!

    By Blogger BourbonBird, at 11:50 pm  

  • God, I hate spiders. I really hate them.

    I read once that the average human being eats approximately two (or some number larger than zero) spiders in their sleep per year.

    I couldn't sleep for a long time after I read that.

    By Blogger brogonzo, at 4:46 am  

  • Holy man!

    I don't know what i would do faced with that. Feminism also defaults to "this a man's job" when faced with a spider in my household. I also have issues with killing the spiders making it all the more difficult.

    Good on you for pulling that off without harm coming to either of you.

    By Blogger Jesse Russell, at 3:16 am  

  • If only in a figurative sense, you own a pair of fat, softball-sized, schwetty balls, j. You must have 10 inches of your own to deal with that thing so pacifisticly.

    Me, I'd've heaved a console television at it (don't make me scared, j, you wouldn't like me when i'm scared).

    The part I hate most about spiders (the one critter that makes me flip out pretty easy), is the part when they know they've been discovered and stand stock still. The tension in the glare-off, I think that's their first line of defence -- see if the (potential) enemy will faint dead away.


    By Blogger memer, at 8:25 am  

  • I'm glad you didn't kill. And I'm glad that I'm not a man. Wait a minute. Hey, in my household, I have to deal with the nasty the wasps, moths and spiders. I draw the line at cockroaches, though. If there's a cockroach, the hubby has to get it.

    By Anonymous M Sinclair Stevens (Texas), at 11:12 am  

  • I hope you don't mind: I've just hit the "Blog this" link and posted this to my blog, with your photo of the spider. I read your entry yesterday (via Ronni Bennett) and just happened to see all the big spiders at Melbourne Museum today. Couldn't resist.

    By Blogger Val, at 6:49 pm  

  • LOL Johnno - Have you and my partner being talking - he wrote a very similar entry on his blog about our 'visitor' who took up residence in the loo first thing in the morning... Do you know how much anguish that caused??? He did chuckle as he read yours...

    By Blogger Sharon, at 6:56 am  

  • I love spiders. some of my friends say I look like a spider when I'm playing grounders, cause I swing one arm at a time and I jums and land so gracefully. Im almost never caught.
    Spiders are just misunderstood. Give them a break.

    By Blogger the spider dude, at 2:11 am  

  • WOW thats a BIG spider i dont lik them that much i think there just miss understood thats all my friend ask me if ripping off a spiders legs and throughin it in the fire if thats mean and i tell her ya i liked to see her to take thats spiders legs off and through it in a fire

    By Anonymous sarah, at 8:51 am  

  • wow what a spider! did u get bit or r u ok ? that spider looks like it a fack but it real!! ur my hero

    By Anonymous mia thomas, at 9:57 am  

  • That's the same as the monster I had in my house one night in Warrimoo. I can confirm 100% that these things are huge. The one I had would have covered my entire face with its legs. No one believes me until I show them a mpg I took. I normally have no problems relocating huntsmans and have a number of permanent spider residents inside my home but this thing was so big I couldn't stop laughing I was so scared. No male to help me so used the glass bowl method myself. Have never seen another one like it until a friend pointed me to your blog

    By Anonymous J9, at 5:38 pm  

  • I love this post, even though it's 4 years old. I was trying to ID a 'big spider with striped legs' and came upon this. My spider was not nearly as large but I have seen much larger near the barn. I couldn't see it breathing though. I used a similar technique to transport mine outdoors.

    I think that perhaps the old owner of this home used to collect large spider species and for some reason they all escaped so he sold the house. :D Just guessing though.

    I saw one that was about the size of a large huntsman on the shed, but I live in NY, that shouldn't be possible!

    Thanks for the entertaining post! 5/26/2010

    By Blogger Sar, at 2:51 pm  

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