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The Spider Wars
August 9, 2012 4:50 AM   Subscribe

"So I spent the night with a few friends ..." What do you do if you're staying in a room filled with brown recluse spiders? Well, if you're an entomologist you establish a base, erect defenses, and put together a coalition of allies.
posted by Joe in Australia (88 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm disappointed by the total lack of flames. What part of "burn it with fire!" did he not understand?
posted by tommasz at 4:53 AM on August 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


His hosts are REALLY going to appreciate that he unleashed the horrors of Khazad-dûm in the guest bed room.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:56 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Never. Sleeping. Again.
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:00 AM on August 9, 2012


His hosts are REALLY going to appreciate that he unleashed the horrors of Khazad-dûm in the guest bed room.

Harvestmen are known to me as daddy longlegses, and are slightly creepy but I'll take them over recluses. In any event, this is pretty great.
posted by longtime_lurker at 5:00 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


A thousand times no.
posted by Senator at 5:03 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jesus H. Christ! That carpeting!
posted by NoMich at 5:16 AM on August 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


A hollow and dried camel cricket husk. Many such remnants are scattered on the floor.

Gggggggaaaah christ I hate nature.
posted by bokane at 5:17 AM on August 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


Metafilter: the last thing I need more innocent hemolymph on my hands.
posted by infini at 5:21 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


So Daddy Long-Legs will eat other insects including spiders?
posted by shothotbot at 5:33 AM on August 9, 2012


Well, that was about as horrifying as that snake cake thing going around the internet.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:34 AM on August 9, 2012


Upon familiarising myself with the brown recluse spider on Wikipedia, I found the following lovely paper in the sources: An Infestation of 2,055 Brown Recluse Spiders (Araneae: Sicariidae) and No Envenomations in a Kansas Home: Implications for Bite Diagnoses in Nonendemic Areas

Enjoy!
posted by Harald74 at 5:38 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


that snake cake thing going around the internet

Link?
posted by andoatnp at 5:40 AM on August 9, 2012


Uggghh. I know someone who just moved out of their recluse-infested apartment. Apparently recent weather patterns have helped them grow...
posted by limeonaire at 5:48 AM on August 9, 2012


That weird. Harvestmen look nothing like the things we called "daddy longlegs" when I was little. Wikipedia has two more potential hits for that term but neither of those is it either.

Mine had little oval bodies. Like Martian tripods, only with more legs.
posted by DU at 5:50 AM on August 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Nope Nope Nope Nope.

This needs a spider trigger warning.
posted by shortyJBot at 5:52 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's only a week ago I was asked what harvestmen are for, and had no reply. Thanks much!
posted by mumimor at 5:55 AM on August 9, 2012


I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 5:56 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's always strange seeing people talking about daddy longlegses (?) being friendly and helpful. This is what I've always known as a daddy longlegs and as far as I know the only thing those creepy bastards are good for is waking you out of a sound sleep by silently flying into your face in the middle of the night.

That said, this guy's story is awesome. I commend his Just Add More Spiders technique. I once had a wolf spider living in my bathtub that I would frequently pit against lesser spiders in a sort of arachnid cage match. The way the wolf spider would immediately freeze in hunting stance when I dropped its spindly rival onto the tile was absolutely wonderful.
posted by fight or flight at 5:58 AM on August 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Worst hosts ever. "Oh sure, you can stay with us. You can have the spider room. [...] No, no, it's not a kid's room decorated with Spider-man wallpaper, it's actually our guest room that's infested with deadly spiders. You like sleeping with spiders, right?"
posted by Rhomboid at 6:00 AM on August 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


We have a well balanced spider population in our house, as well as a good crop of harvestmen. No black widows or recluses have turned up as of yet. Many small harmless varieties infest our cupboards and any dark corners. I get a little irked at having to clean out the old webs or evict a spider from the tub before a bath or shower, otherwise I consider spiders a protected class here and believe they're generally good to have around.
posted by metagnathous at 6:00 AM on August 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


Harvestmen! I never heard that name before. I like it, it has more gravitas than "Daddy Long Legs", which is a silly name.
posted by thelonius at 6:04 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


fight or flight: in US parlance that is a mosquito hawk, aka Tipulidae. To us a daddy longlegs is a Opiliones.
posted by idiopath at 6:04 AM on August 9, 2012


Huh, it looks like Opiliones can have a basically featureless ovoid body, at least it would appear so from certain angles and a distance.
posted by DU at 6:08 AM on August 9, 2012


I was hoping that the cat would have a greater role, and that we might get some photos of a large bag of kittens being deployed.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:11 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


fight or flight: in US parlance that is a mosquito hawk, aka Tipulidae. To us a daddy longlegs is a Opiliones.

Neat! I know those guys (and Pholcus phalangioides) as harvestmen, or just harvest spiders.
posted by fight or flight at 6:15 AM on August 9, 2012


I'm just sad the spider wasn't radioactive and thus could have led to the creation of Brown Recluse Spider-Man.
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:19 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


What what but daddy longlegs are like these tiny little bodies with extremely thin legs, not THAT monstrosity! In what universe are those just hanging around? Please assure me that it's not this one
posted by Mooseli at 6:28 AM on August 9, 2012


Link?

Snake (FB pic, sorry)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:31 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


A girl in the dorms at the college I attended in central Illinois was bitten by a brown recluse. She had to be rushed to the hospital to treat the venom, which caused her to be unable to breathe. Apparently, these buggers to the Midwest what tarantulas are to the Southwest. Be advised.
posted by deathpanels at 6:35 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, Jesus, deathpanels, now I have to fill my entire house with neurotoxins.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:42 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


That fucker had a poisonous spider problem and he brought MORE SPIDERS (Wikipedia says harvestmen are not actually spiders: sure) INTO THE ROOM. The balls on this guy! I would still be running.
posted by theredpen at 6:48 AM on August 9, 2012


OOH A CREVICE
posted by elizardbits at 6:49 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here's the reddit post he mentions at the start of the gallery.
posted by royalsong at 6:58 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


What do you do if you're staying in a room filled with brown recluse spiders?

Move to another goddamn room.
posted by Shepherd at 7:01 AM on August 9, 2012 [17 favorites]


Gaaaaah!!! I moved into a new, more rural place about a month ago and when looking at the apartment, I totally missed the spiders everywhere inside and out. They're almost exclusively some sort of small orb-weaver, but walking into spiderwebs when leaving the house in the morning or coming home from work is far more traumatic than certain pop songs by No Doubt would have you believe. I frequently walk up/down the outside stairs with a stick or rolled up newspaper sweeping for webs. I know I look like an utter git, but that is far preferable than trying to determine if I have a spider on me somewhere, which will no doubt surface just as I get on the freeway.... tl;dr: SPIDERS = UGH.
posted by smirkette at 7:05 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


In Southern California there's a bit of a brown recluse panic going on, which is bizarre since there are no brown recluse spiders in SoCal. A guy at UCR spends a lot of his time debunking various brown recluse sightings, but the rumors persist.

Pretty much every year a parent at my school tells me to watch out for brown recluses; last year it was an egg sac hanging from the ceiling outside, which 5 minutes on Google images told me was a brown widow sac, unique for its spikes... also venomous, but not as bad.

You can't walk 10 feet without seeing a black widow here, so I'm not sure why people felt the need to find a new spider to be afraid of.

And spiders are awesome, people. My class pet is a very large rose tarantula, and she's the star of the school.
posted by Huck500 at 7:30 AM on August 9, 2012


Yeah shitloads of black widows are one thing I do not miss about the southwest deserty area.
posted by TheRedArmy at 7:35 AM on August 9, 2012


I find "harvestmen" to be an extremely creepy name, like something out of a horror film.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:49 AM on August 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


Move to another goddamn room.

Move to another FUCKING COUNTRY.

I once stayed with a friend who was with the Peace Corps in rural Paraguay. I had to sleep on the floor of his room and thought nothing of it. One week after I'd left he posted pictures on Facebook of the largest, hairiest spider I've ever seen, that he had found, yup you guessed it, on his bedroom floor.

I still get the shivers thinking about, 3 years later.
posted by jontyjago at 7:50 AM on August 9, 2012


Yep, lived in a house like this for the last few years of my college career. After I moved out my former roommates returned from being away for a month or so to find that the house infestation had worsened to a unimaginable point.

Their solution: Call the bug man of course. Problem is he couldn't make it for a week or so. Being the ingenuous (and broke, and hippy-nutty crunchy) people they are they proceed to setup their camping stuff, namely the tent, in the living room. The house was so small that it basically took up the whole living room once they had their lightweight two man hiking tent setup but it served as a decent defense, or so I hear, from the oct-hordes until the bug man showed up and blasted them into oblivion.

Ah, memories.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:55 AM on August 9, 2012


I would have slept in my car.
posted by gagglezoomer at 7:59 AM on August 9, 2012


This is awesome.

I tried to tell me wife about the awesomeness and she's all "No. No. You stop talking now. No."
posted by feckless at 7:59 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


...these buggers to the Midwest what tarantulas are to the Southwest.

Yes, that appears to be true:
While no fatalities have been attributed to tarantula bites, sometimes spider bites are regarded as the probable source of infections. Medical advice regarding prophylaxis may be helpful in that regard.
vs
As suggested by its specific epithet reclusa (recluse), the brown recluse spider is rarely aggressive, and bites from the species are uncommon. . In 2001, more than 2,000 brown recluse spiders were removed from a heavily infested home in Kansas, yet the four residents who had lived there for years were never harmed by the spiders, despite many encounters with them. ... Most bites are minor with no necrosis. However, a small number of brown recluse bites do produce severe dermonecrotic lesions (i.e. necrosis); an even smaller number produce severe cutaneous (skin) or viscerocutaneous (systemic) symptoms.
In other words, it's very unlikely to happen and if it does happen it's very unlikely to be a problem. Seek medical attention if warranted, but there's no need to panic.
posted by DU at 8:04 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"there's no need to panic."

DU, I'm not sure you understand how spiders work.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:12 AM on August 9, 2012 [15 favorites]


We call our container garden area 'The Spider Garden.' The plants in containers have much less insect damage than their plotted counterparts, which I attribute to the containers proximity to our garage, the ground zero of our yard arthropods. As far as I can tell, the most common species we have is the wolf spider. Generally, I am not one to feel oogied out by invertebrates, but when I met a lady wolf spider carrying her egg sac on her rump, well, I figure no good has ever come of threatening a mother and her young, and I stayed the hell out of her way.

So spiders, no problem. The closest I've come to losing it with creepy-crawlies occurred when I was staying along a river in Malawi, and hundreds of thousands of mayflies would emerge for two hours to mate then drop dead. I do not like breathing in fly ejaculate.
posted by palindromic at 8:15 AM on August 9, 2012


This was pretty cool, thanks for posting.

This is what I've always known as a daddy longlegs and as far as I know the only thing those creepy bastards are good for is waking you out of a sound sleep by silently flying into your face in the middle of the night.

I think you linked to a picture of a crane fly (here in the PNW we're just on the shoulder of crane fly season!) and I believe they eat mosquitoes.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:23 AM on August 9, 2012


Harvestmen? Pfft. Why not the big guns like house centipedes? UNLEASH THE TERROR!

(Spider vs. House Centipede.)
posted by jeanmari at 8:25 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Spider:

They eat the other bugs.

This coming from a confirmed arachnophobe as a youngster.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2012


Well, I think we all had a nice run. A couple thousand years. Some war. Some peace. We made sandwiches and also the internet. We did some stuff.

Hopefully you've all received your location orders for the evacuation. I'll see you all once we're in orbit and en route to our new home in the stars.

PS, DO NOT BRING ANY FUCKING SPIDERS.
posted by kbanas at 8:33 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


My mother always made us keep at least one Daddy Longlegs in each room of our old farm house to ward off the spiders and it seemed to work well.
The problem where I live now is turning over rocks while gardening to meet the lovely widow of black. And thebrown recluses love the corner of my closet. I fear not for myself, but small dogs can get mighty nasty bites from either arachnid.
posted by Isadorady at 8:38 AM on August 9, 2012


I find "harvestmen" to be an extremely creepy name, like something out of a horror film.

Yeah, 'The Harvestmen' could be a Stephen King novel.

But wrt to their benificence, the only time I've ever been bitten by a spider (afaik) it was by a daddy longlegs.

I had a nightmare a couple days ago where a house centipede (my absolute bete noir) the size of a ferret was running around on my bed. I was freaking out, but the Japanese family who'd just walked into my bedroom on an unannounced apartment inspection, it didn't bother them at all.
posted by Flashman at 8:41 AM on August 9, 2012


UNLEASH THE TERROR!

I am a homebrewer and made a lovely batch of Belgian Ale a few months ago. Part of the process is to take all the bottles I've collected and sanitize them in our dishwasher. They normally live in the basement, so they get dusty but the dishwasher takes care of them.

Anyway, I have one empty Samuel Smith bottle that I used for this particular batch, and this bottle is unique because it has very steep shoulders rather than the gently sloping ones that all the other large bottles do. I poured out about half into a glass, drank it, and then poured a little bit more out. Something went "sploosh" in the glass. I look down, and there is a leg in my beer.

I look inside the bottle - somehow a house centipede had crawled inside the bottle and gotten trapped because of the steep shoulders. It had died inside the bottle, and the dishwasher didn't flush him out. So basically I drank centipede beer... and probably parts of the centipede as well. I'm retching right now just thinking about it.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:44 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


So basically I drank centipede beer... and probably parts of the centipede as well. I'm retching right now just thinking about it.

You know they grow like seeds. Like how when you eat Watermelon. You're going to start retching up millions of baby centipedes in like, 6 hours, tops.

Good news is they're likely to eat you before the pain gets too bad.
posted by kbanas at 8:47 AM on August 9, 2012 [17 favorites]




DU, I'm not sure you understand how spiders work.

DU has nothing to worry about because the 80,000 bees will save him.
posted by elizardbits at 9:44 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have an Agreement regarding a few spiders in my house. I have given the spiders resident in a few specific locations Nicknamess and Permission, and informed my housemates of it: the brown house spiders in the bathroom window, the living room window, and the kitchen window are Friend Spiders working tirelessly and loyally to prevent invasions from outside insects, and are thu to be left alone; their friends, cousins, offspring, and small relations who attempt to colonize other districts of the house may be smushed as my housemates feel necessary.

I was never fond of spiders; I used to be Unable To Deal With Them, and would emit high-pitched incoherencies while scrambling for a heavy object to throw from across the room because getting close enough to step on or otherwise directly smush the offending arachnid would mean walking toward a spider oh my god; a run-in with a colony of large furry jumping spiders in my father's shed nearly led to an act of arson. Yet now I have my Friend Spiders, and I am growing rather fond of them.

Varys-Boris, who lives in the bathroom window, likes to come out onto the windowframe while I'm showering. I assume he's getting a drink from the drips that splash onto the sill, and it's actually quite endearing to watch him lower himself flat onto the wood in a puddle. Theon Junior, the living room spider, caught himself a moth which is proportionately the size of a city bus last night, and may he eat like a king from it. The kitchen spider, Melisandre, is shyer than the others, but her web is much more orderly and catches the light beautifully while she's spinning her additions on at sunrise.

Of course, if these were some kind of unpredictable and active jumpy walky-aroundy spider, I would not have been able to diplomacize with them at all. But calm, quiet little brown house spiders can make good friends and helpful additions to the home ecosystem. I'd be okay with harvestmen too, but one of my roommates is illogically afraid of them because "their legs are too long." It's taken a good deal of persuasion to make her suffer Varys-Boris to live.
posted by titus n. owl at 10:08 AM on August 9, 2012 [21 favorites]


Man, I love New England. There is so, so, so very much value in a good killing frost.
posted by maryr at 10:22 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


PS: A more convincing picture of the snake cake currently making the rounds. I guess it's a thing?
posted by maryr at 10:31 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I was envisioning something else truly terrible that I will make everyone else google on their own, namely the newly discovered species of brazilian blind snake.
posted by elizardbits at 10:42 AM on August 9, 2012


Thanks for all this. I finally got off my ass and broomed away all the brown widows nests and egg sacs that were festooning my apartment door, and put in a service ticket to have them send out the exterminator to get rid of the main base under our stairs.
posted by mcrandello at 10:43 AM on August 9, 2012


Huh, I would have just eaten them.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:50 AM on August 9, 2012


That snake cake is AWESOME. I want the marzipan head!
posted by nicebookrack at 10:50 AM on August 9, 2012


Weird. To me Pholcus phalangiodes is a daddy longlegs.

Opilones are harvestmen.

And Tipulidae are mosquito eaters, mosquito hawks, or crane flies.

(Pholcus phalangiodes are awesome and are left alone to populate the corners of the room. Opiliones are scary. And Tipulidae are annoying but they make great cat toys.)
posted by elsietheeel at 11:29 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


1) Defending the bed posts is a good start, but remember to drape mosquito netting over the top so that spiders can't drop on your face or into your mouth while sleeping. Also, double check the mattress and box springs to make sure there aren't thousands of spiders nesting deep inside.

2) Remember too that you need to distract yourself from thinking about spiders. I recommend some escapist reading like The Two Towers or Sandkings.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:09 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


3) Also check out that crawl feeling on your back under your shirt that you have right now because there is a small chance it's a thousand tiny baby spiders
posted by shakespeherian at 12:21 PM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Funny, I'd only this week asked the question of the Interwebs "are there brown recluses in California." UC Riverside's Rick Vetter (a self-described highly volatile arachnologist) provided an entertaining answer.

Also: I'm with Elsie's terminology here in Northern California though I've never seen a havestman.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:38 PM on August 9, 2012


Metafilter asks on occasion why anyone would do meth. This is an excellent use case.
posted by Blue Meanie at 12:50 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


We name any spider we see living in a corner of our house. We were very sad when Hecubus died.

But brown recluses? Ugh. I had a friend at Ft. Gordon who got bitten by one while helping clean out some old barracks. The guy was 6'2" and had to get taped at every weigh-in (meaning he was huge for his height), but the bite necrotized, his temperature shot up to 105, his head swelled up and we had to take him to the hospital. It was a drag for him, but the group of us that got detailed to escort him to the doctor got to eat the hospital chow, and that was awesome: desserts were had.

So, the naming of spiders in the house partially comes from looking each one over carefully enough that we might as well be on a first name basis.
posted by mph at 1:06 PM on August 9, 2012


Metafilter: I do not like breathing in fly ejaculate.
posted by kcds at 1:30 PM on August 9, 2012


The snake cakes are beautiful. I want one!

The spiders ... not so much. I appreciate the work they do, and we have a little treaty that allows them nearly free reign of the house, so long as they don't try to share my shower, toilet, or bed, or hang out on the ceiling over my bed. Anywhere else, they get left alone, including the black widows all over the basement.

Centipedes, however, are evil. Anything with more than 10 legs is demonic.
posted by notashroom at 2:06 PM on August 9, 2012


The first house I lived in Lawrence was infested with brown recluses.

I'd find them scrabbling for an escape from the bathtub most often; otherwise they'd stay mostly out of the way. They did have a liking for hiding behind the picture frames on my wall, which did weird me out -- it's not enough to startle me when I try to adjust a crooked picture, now I feel like your judging my taste in artwork, Mr. Spider.

I kinda got used to them after a while, although now I do have a slight divot in the flesh just above my right knee from where I developed a sore that could have been a bite. After the initial draining it healed fairly quickly so I didn't get a doctor's opinion, so it's possible I'm maligning the spiders a bit.

My neighbor said she had them, too, and that she'd called the brown recluse expert at KU to come look her place over.

Me, I just moved across town.

During the move, my mother, who was happy as all get out that I wouldn't be living in the Spider House any longer, was doing a preliminary clean of the new kitchen and discovered a dead spider on the stove. (Not a recluse, just a regular house spider.) She very nearly made me try to pull out of my lease.

Now I'm living outside of the range of the recluses, and if I brought any with me in the moving boxes I'll just hope the wolf spiders I see every so often in the corners of this apartment will take care of 'em.
posted by rewil at 2:11 PM on August 9, 2012


there is a small chance it's a thousand tiny baby spiders

but they are so tiny and cute
posted by elizardbits at 2:34 PM on August 9, 2012


Until they are ON YOUR SKIN EVERYWHERE.
posted by maryr at 2:39 PM on August 9, 2012


A thousand tiny spiders = 8,000 tiny hugs!
posted by elizardbits at 2:47 PM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


we're hugging you inside your ears
posted by shakespeherian at 2:55 PM on August 9, 2012


Oh god, don't remind me. I saw that news story about the kid with the spider in his ear (IIRC, he named it Shakey) and popping my ears hasn't been the same since.
posted by maryr at 3:08 PM on August 9, 2012


Legs of eight, leave the state.

(I was actually looking for an old Cul de Sac comic which contains that phrase, but this will do just fine.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:34 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I once spent a summer in Chicago living on my friend's sun porch. Space naturally being a problem, I just mostly kind of crouched down amongst all my books in a bunch of boxes and laid on a sleeping bag on the floor. Though the porch was enclosed, it was still technically "outside," so I ended up cohabiting with a ton of various arthropods and arachnids (it was also the year for the 7 (21?) year cicada, who left their massive shed exoskeletons everywhere). Seeing as how I was basically homeless, I thought it rather uppity and snobbish to be revulsed by (essentially) my peer-group... and so, They of the External Skeletons soon were just regarded as Additional Tenants.

One time I had a girl over (yes, to the porch. I don't know if this meant I had great game or terrible game), and as we watched a movie on a loaned laptop, a giant house centipede flitted across the back wall, which made my "date" scream bloody murder. In an effort to put her at ease I explained that "that wasn't even the big one" and that "they tend to keep the silverfish population in check, so it's really more of an amenity," besides which "they're not really THAT venomous, anyway." I may have referred to it as "Morty," as in, "Morty and I have an Understanding." None of this seemed to reassure the girl, oddly enough. She definitely did not want to hang out again, and word got around about the bug thing, and so I had no more lady callers that summer.
posted by Tikirific at 4:47 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The English house spider is completely harmless but is both disturbingly large and fast. Certain times of year they year they like to invade houses looking for mating opportunities and will run right across the floor in front of your suddenly paralysed self. Two inches diameter of evil looking alien creature with legs like Usain Bolt sprinting across your carpet. You emit some sort of weird whining keening noise, the best you can do given your sudden terror induced paralysis, and your wife comes and rescues you. Using weaponized tissue paper as an IID (Improvised Implosion Device)

After too many times you sell everything you own, pack your shit up and move back to North America.

True story.
posted by srboisvert at 7:05 PM on August 9, 2012


The English house spider is completely harmless but is both disturbingly large and fast. Certain times of year they year they like to invade houses looking for mating opportunities and will run right across the floor in front of your suddenly paralysed self. Two inches diameter of evil looking alien creature with legs like Usain Bolt sprinting across your carpet. You emit some sort of weird whining keening noise, the best you can do given your sudden terror induced paralysis, and your wife comes and rescues you. Using weaponized tissue paper as an IID (Improvised Implosion Device)

After too many times you sell everything you own, pack your shit up and move back to North America.


I've watched like a season and a half of Downton Abbey and I have yet to see this.
posted by kbanas at 7:13 PM on August 9, 2012


I've watched like a season and a half of Downton Abbey and I have yet to see this.

You probably thought when everyone froze that your video was buffering.
posted by srboisvert at 7:35 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


A few hundred plastic cups later and the spiders were contained....
posted by humanfont at 7:44 PM on August 9, 2012


Which ones kill the ants? We're currently undergoing a first wave invasion of little brown ants, and I'm looking for allies beyond RAID.
posted by herda05 at 8:30 PM on August 9, 2012


The English house spider is completely harmless but is both disturbingly large and fast.

I had one of these in my flat in Oxford - it looked like something that had crawled out of a box of bananas. And it was fast; I ended up chasing him in circles around the living room until, like in one of those wildlife films from the 60s where they're in helicopters chasing down wildebeest across the Serengeti, he just ran out of steam - he kind of looked back at me and shrugged like, 'ok, you got me.' Put him outside in the usual fashion, a glass on top and a piece of card (at least magazine subscription card thickness, for maximum fangproofness) underneath.


herda05 - I know that the loathesome house centipede eats them like crazy, and also that if you are also simultaneously trying to kill the ants with poison the centipede will eat the poisoned ants and also die, and you will find it lifeless on the floor surrounded by a halo of its many legs jettisoned in its death throes, and feel a strange mixture of guilt and glee.
posted by Flashman at 9:20 PM on August 9, 2012


I'm twitcihng ucnontrolalbly now. Should've styaed out of tihs thread.
posted by axiom at 9:23 PM on August 9, 2012


I'm twitcihng ucnontrolalbly now. Should've styaed out of tihs thread.

"That's what they all say," quoth the spider.

;D
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:17 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember reading (a long time ago) of a home-owner in Sydney protecting his house from nasty pests by bringing in natural native insects and lizards to control the pests. He would use Huntsman to keep venomous spiders and cockroaches out. Skinks were also good for keeping down the roach population.
St Andrew's Cross spiders would live in the garden, and he would encourage their webs to keep the mosquitos down.
Oh, and family of slugs that lived in an empty scented-oil burner in the corner of his shower - to eat the mould out of the grout between the tiles. Occasionally stepping on a slug barefoot in the middle of the night was apparently worth clean bathroom.
posted by robotot at 3:47 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I went camping this weekend and a child left the tent door flap open for most of the night. I want to thank this thread for helping me not have a nervous breakdown when I woke up and there were at least FIVE "harvestmen" not-spiders on the tent ceiling over my head. My husband convinced me that they ate all the other bugs that came to visit during the night. It was a close call though.

Also, if you pick up a daddy-long-legs by a leg and fling it toward a tent wall, it can stick: cool!
posted by theredpen at 5:57 AM on August 13, 2012


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