Doing battle with a spider

There aren’t really many dangerous spiders in Melbourne. The most common dangerous one is called a whitetail, and if you get a nip from one, you end up getting welty sore type things. Contrast this to the stuff they get up in Sydney like redbacks and funnelwebs, and the whitetail seems pretty tame in comparison.

No, Melbourne’s spiders tend to go for the psychological angle. Take, for example, the huntsman. It may not be very dangerous, but it’s big enough to scare the shit out of me, I can tell you. It gets the adrenaline pumping mightily every time I evict one.

A week or two ago I encountered a huge one in my home office thingy. It was big enough that I’d swear I could see it licking its lips. I’m pretty sure I could see the hairs on its legs. Then when I summoned up the courage to trap it, it escaped from me – it must have seen me coming, about to put a plastic container over it, and it sprinted off along the wall behind a curtain.

Last night I saw it again in the hallway. At least I really hope it was the same one – the thought of two of these bastards roaming the house doesn’t bear thinking about, especially as they’re big enough that they should be paying a share of the rent!

Again, it saw me coming and made a run for it. The plastic container trapped one of its legs, which promptly fell to the ground, but the rest of the spider sped off. I panicked and almost dropped the container, and tried to figure out where the spider had gone. It didn’t seem to be anywhere on the chair I was standing on. It wasn’t on the floor or walls or ceiling, that I could see.

I put the leg, which was lying on the floor, in the bin. Then I spotted the rest of the spider hiding behind one of Isaac’s pictures on the wall. I bet it was pissed off. I know I would have been. I used the picture as cover and got it into the container, and send it on the usual exit route for arachnids from my house – flying out of the container, off the balcony, into the car park.

Problem is I was so nervous that I dropped the container too. It bounced into the car park and rolled away into the bushes on the side. I got a torch and carefully went down there. The spider was there, not moving, and thankfully well away from the container, which I retrieved and washed… ready for next time.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.