One of the things I hate about Summer is the sheer amount of Spiders that make their way into the house. Having a large, tree-lined field behind the house doesn’t really help matters.
The story starts at about 5pm yesterday evening. While sitting at my computer I heard rustling behind me, I assumed it was my cat playing with a plastic bag so I thought nothing of it. Five minutes later I heard rustling in the plastic wrapping to a magazine I had recently bought. Again, I thought nothing of it but I was curious as to what it was so I looked. As I looked, I saw something quite large run out from underneath the wrapping and disappear into the shadows beneath my chair. At that point I thought it was a Crane Fly flying close to the floor so after a short search I gave up, thinking that it had flown away while I wasn’t looking.
Fast forward to 9:54pm tonight. I’m sitting at the computer watching an episode of Scrubs with my arm resting on the wall. Out of the corner of my eye I see something large and brown moving across the wall very slowly. I turned my head to look at it and I see a huge spider. It must have been about 3 inches across. It was by far the biggest spider I’ve ever seen. I didn’t know spiders that big existed in Britain, but seems they do.
After seeing it, I froze for a couple seconds and just stared. As I watched the spider I quickly thought of what I could do with it. In a couple seconds I came up with…
- Jump up quickly and squash it with my fist.
- Grab my camera and take a few pictures.
- Down the rest of my drink, put the glass over it and throw the spider outside.
- Spray it with Raid and see what happens.
- Jump onto my bed, quickly grab my pillow and squash it with my pillow. – I didn’t quite think that one through, no one wants spider guts on their pillow.
- Grab it and quickly throw it outside. – I gave up on this idea when I saw how big its fangs were.
I ended up downing the rest of my drink and sticking the glass over the top of it. Surprisingly it didn’t move until I put a piece of card underneath the glass, even then it only moved slightly. It was as if this kind of thing had happened before and it was just going with the flow.
Anyway, it’s now outside and I’m keeping a close eye on the window in-case it decides to come back in.
So, while writing this I looked up what type of spider this is and it turns out it’s a Giant House Spider.
The Giant house spider (Tegenaria duellica; formerly known as T. gigantea) is a member of the genus Tegenaria and is a close relative of both the Domestic house spider and the infamous Hobo spider.
Females can reach 18 mm in length, with males having a slightly smaller body at around 12 mm to 15 mm in length. The female leg span is typically around 45 mm. The leg span of the male is highly variable, with spans between 25 mm to 75 mm being common.
The Giant house spider has the same colouration as the Domestic house spider; Earthy tones of brown and muddy red or yellow. They also have conspicuously hairy legs and abdomen.
Up until 1987, the Giant house spider held the record as the fastest spider in the world.
These seem to be the personification (spidonification?) of everything I hate about spiders. Long hairy legs, large fangs, fast as hell and look like they can jump a fair bit too.
It’s lucky it just sat there really, otherwise I would have gone a little spider crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not scared of spiders. I’m just not too fond of spiders almost as big as my palm.
Click through for the pictures.