Arachnophobia

Anome

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#31
Mine is called Rolling Pin, he even has his own song to the tune of The Internationale: "Oh Rolling Pin, Oh Rolling Pin, please go away, you can't come in."
That looks more like it goes to O Tanenbaum (or The Red Flag, if you prefer) than The Internationale.

I prefer the original setting for The Red Flag, myself. To the tune of The White Cockade. Although O Tanenbaum is easier to sing secretly at Christmas Carol services.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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#32
We had a spider that was too big to fit under a pint glass!

It was about ten years ago, in a basement flat in Brighton.
 

eyepod

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#33
Tegenaria Gigantea living up to its name...




The red lines on the left are where the mortar lines in the brickwork are, for easy working out of size.[/img]
 

rynner2

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#36
'It came with my online shopping': Mystery shopper hands in large hairy tarantula to Chessington Zoo
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:15 PM on 17th September 2011

There is always the risk of not knowing exactly what you will get when once you have ordered something online.
But the last thing you would expect to find scuttling around among your goods is a large, hairy tarantula, which is what happened to one mystery shopper. :shock:

Horrified by the fearsome looking creature, the middle-aged woman immediately took it to Chessington Zoo, south-west London, where she handed it over.
'She didn't want to leave any details. She said she'd bought something online, and when it arrived she'd spotted something in the bottom of the box, and she didn't want to keep it,' said Rob Ward, one of the zoo's spider experts, to the Independent.
He said the woman wouldn't say what she ordered or where it came from but several months later staff are still baffled as to what type of species it is. 'It's very fast, it's very aggressive, and it's very big,' he said.
It is thought the creature could be a type of African baboon spider, of which there are at least 49, with around 900 different types of tarantula.

The spiders feed on lizards, small mammals and crickets in the wild but the one being kept at the zoo is being fed on insects.
It spends most of its time hiding away in its enclosure, a large sweet jar in an office where staff work, but sometimes gets a little adventurous and gives workers the run around.
Mr Ward said that it is only handled with gloves, because it might be poisonous, which makes it harder to find out the sex because they are prevented from manipulating it in such a way to find out.

Tests can be performed to find out the exact type and where it is likely to have lived in the past but this can only be done once it has died.
It is only thought to be a couple of years old and currently spends most of its day building a web around some sticks.
Staff have decided not to put it on display, mainly because they are unsure of what it is and wouldn't know how to label it. They also haven't decided on an appropriate name for it.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z1YD8ek6Y2
 

Mythopoeika

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#37
It's most strange that they haven't been able to identify it.

The bit I don't understand is this:

Mr Ward said that it is only handled with gloves, because it might be poisonous, which makes it harder to find out the sex because they are prevented from manipulating it in such a way to find out.

Tests can be performed to find out the exact type and where it is likely to have lived in the past but this can only be done once it has died.
Why does it have to be dead before they can identify its species?
 
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#38
Mythopoeika said:
It's most strange that they haven't been able to identify it.

The bit I don't understand is this:

Mr Ward said that it is only handled with gloves, because it might be poisonous, which makes it harder to find out the sex because they are prevented from manipulating it in such a way to find out.

Tests can be performed to find out the exact type and where it is likely to have lived in the past but this can only be done once it has died.
Why does it have to be dead before they can identify its species?
They probably have to perform a vivisection on it, to find out what bits they have and where they go.

Moved from Chat to The Human Condition.

P_M
 

disgruntledgoth

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#39
because a lot of species look superficially similar, and sometimes the only way to work out species is via the structures inside the legs, the fangs, and even down to the profile of the bristles on them
 

Mal_Adjusted

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#40
seems to be a lot of spiders around indoors atm.

have put 5 out (using jam jar method) in past week or so.

last one was walking over me so he just had to go :)
 

LordRsmacker

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#41
Pietro_Mercurios said:
They probably have to perform a vivisection on it, to find out what bits they have and where they go.
They'd certainly be looking at putting bits of it back together if it crawled out of my shopping, I'd clog it (after shitting my strides).

My parents were in their lounge the other night and said a MASSIVE spider emerged and after every few steps would leap up in the air. WTF? Apparently it was like it was on springs. How big was it? Well, they couldn't actually tell me, they had both left the room at that point, each fighting to be the first out of the door (and both beaten to it by the dog who took one look at the beast and abandoned them to their fate. This being the dog that will kill anything that crawls, slithers, hops or flaps into range. If she was having none of it, it must have been pretty scary...)

I might as well confess to being scared by a fluffy kitten the other week too, whilst camping in the South of France, because I thought it was a spider. Lemme explain:
It was the end of the day, the sun was sinking fast, I was sitting cooking my tea, when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye...SPIDER!!!! Nope, not so, it was a bastard kitten, black as night, but the bloody thing was walking in such a way that it appeared in the corner of my eye, just like a big black hairy spider, it was sort of walking like a newborn foal, all exaggerated steps, each leg brought up high and set down gingerly. Most disturbing, especially as I spilled my tea.

I hate spiders. (And very young black kittens)
 
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#42
How very timely. Just read this story.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-15182118

Venomous spider's nest found in Buckinghamshire garden

BBC online. 5 October 2011

The nest of a biting venomous spider has been found in a Buckinghamshire garden and council officers have warned residents to be on the alert for more.

Milton Keynes pest controllers have dealt with the nest of a false widow spider but believe there may be others.

The nest was found in Bletchley and officers warn the spiders give a bite which is not lethal but is painful.

They are closely related to the black widow, Liam Mooney from Milton Keynes trading standards said.

"They won't kill you but one person's already had to go to hospital with symptoms including chest pain, nausea and vomiting."

The small spiders are related to the black widow and look similar to them but do not have the distinctive red spot.

Specialised insecticides

"Often in nature small things like these spiders carry a powerful punch and people should take precautions if they suffer a bite and go to hospital if they experience severe local pain, chest pains or nausea," Mr Mooney said.

"The nest in Bletchley was behind a wooden panel and that's the kind of environment these spiders like - or where there are old logs, leaves or damp places."

The spiders are believed to have travelled to England on a boat and were first recorded more than 100 years ago in the South West.

"They are making their way eastwards as the weather gets better," Mr Mooney said.

"The large cotton wool structure found at the nest site is full of eggs so there may be a lot of spiders in the vicinity so people should be on the alert especially if they have children or pets."

The pest control team used specialised insecticides not available to the public to deal with the nest.

"The spiders have larger fangs than other species and venom behind them. The bite is worse than a wasp sting and instant," Mr Mooney said.

He said anyone who suspects they may have a nest should contact Milton Keynes trading standards pest control unit.
:shock:
 

rynner2

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#43
False widow spider bites footballer Steve Harris

An amateur footballer from Devon has been sidelined after being bitten by Britain's most venomous spider.
Team-mates of Elmore Football Club player Steve Harris thought he was joking when he pulled out of the squad because of the injury.
But the 22-year-old had been bitten in his sleep by a false widow spider and had to undergo an emergency operation at Torbay Hospital.

The defender now has an open wound where surgeons cut away the poison.
Mr Harris, from Dawlish, who turns out for the Tiverton-based side in the South West Peninsula Premier League, has been told he cannot play football for at least three weeks.

He said: "When I woke up I had a pain in my side - a stinging feeling. I didn't take that much notice until it started swelling and the pain got worse.
"The area around the bite mark just ballooned and grew and grew.
"It was only when the area started to turn black, some four days after I first noticed the bite, that I decided I ought to go to hospital."

Torbay Hospital said Mr Harris was first seen by his GP who diagnosed the spider bite and told him the surgery had seen six similar bites in the previous week.

"They told me the false black widow spider was the culprit," Mr Harris said.
"They operated on me immediately and it took half an hour to cut away the area around the bite to get at the poison. I now have an open wound and have to wait for it to heal over.

"I was in agony. I have never had pain like that before in my life. It's still very painful now. I still can't sleep properly and find it virtually impossible to get in and out of a car."

In his teens he had spells at Plymouth Argyle, Norwich City, Yeovil Town and Salisbury, and joined Elmore two years ago.
His friends still thought he was pulling their leg and it was only when he showed them a photo of his wound that they believed him.

The false widow spider (steatoda nobilis) is the most dangerous of the 12 species of biting spider known in Britain.
It is thought to have arrived in Britain in crates of fruit from the Canary Islands in the late 19th Century, with the first reported sighting in Torquay in 1879.
There have been no reported deaths from its bite in the UK.

The spider, which is about the size of a 50p piece, belongs to the same family as the infamous black widow, although it is nowhere near as toxic.
The severity of symptoms depends on the amount of venom injected but can include severe swelling, chest pains and tingling of fingers.

The Natural History Museum said a succession of mild winters had resulted in a significant increase in the number of reported sightings and bites.
Conservationists believe that changes in climate could be encouraging the spider to make itself at home in new areas.

Buglife entomologist Steven Falk said false widow spiders were "ponderous, very slow moving and not at all aggressive".
However, without "hard evidence" he said it was difficult to know how many bites - including Mr Harris's - they were responsible for and how many could be attributable to other insects, such as mosquitoes.

---------------------------------------------

FALSE WIDOW FACTS

Latin name steatoda nobilis
Arrived in south-west England in the 1870s
Britain's most venomous spider
Distinctive cream markings on bulbous body
Brown with reddish-orangey legs
Eat insects, invertebrates and even other spiders.
Preferred habitat - warm, dark places
Webs normally made off the ground at height
Source: Natural History Museum

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-24470023
 

Iris

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#44
Last week I was looking through the goods at a garage sale. I felt a tap on the shoulder and turned to see the owner pointing to a huntsman on the garage wall.
It was just an average sized one and I told him to get a glass and a piece of paper and take it out to the garden. This mind you is a young six foot chap quaking in his boots.
He declined and it was too high up for me to get so I told him it would go outside and eat the insects.
When I returned the next day because there was a book I thought I might read he had a friend with him and after chatting, the spider reappeared. His friend was of sterner stuff and said he didn't need a glass and picked it up and took it out.
 

Spudrick68

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#45
Living in Australia & being an arachnophobe must be a bloody nightmare. Not only are they big but some of the little 'uns can kill you as well.
 

GNC

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#47
They're more scared of you than you are of them, there's nothing to be afraid of - ooh, I dunno though!
 

rynner2

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#48
False widow spiders on the rise in Dorset - have you spotted one?
5:30am Friday 18th October 2013 in Latest
By Tara Cox, Reporter .

The breed, so called because of its similarity to the deadly black widow spider, is venomous, but not harmful to humans.

False widow spiders have a dark, shiny body with pale markings and a creamy coloured band on their abdomen. Increased sightings of the spider across the county have been recorded by the Dorset Wildlife Trust, who say there is no cause for concern if the creature is spotted.

Fifty-six-year-old Charlie Barnwell from Portland discovered a false widow spider on October 3, hidden behind a light close to his back door.
Mr Barnwell said: “I’ve heard of a few false widow spiders around Dorset. I’m hoping it’s not very dangerous as I have grandchildren who visit a lot.
“I haven’t squashed or moved the spider just yet. It’s content eating all the daddy long legs insects we have around at the moment.
“It’s quite big with the abdomen spanning half an inch across. I’m thinking of leaving it be if it’s not dangerous.”

Julie Richards, 41 from Weymouth also found a false widow spider behind a mirror in her lounge on October 8.
She said: “I called my son over to look and he knew the species and how dangerous it was straight away.
“My husband also caught another one from our kitchen last night; so numbers do seem to be on the rise.
“The spider was about as big as a 10p coin. I do want it out the house simply for peace of mind.”

Sally Welbourn who is the communications officer for the Dorset Wildlife Trust, identified both spiders from photographs as false widows – possibly the ‘nobilis’ form.
She added: “False widow spiders are relatively common in Dorset. They are often found in greenhouses and conservatories, where it is sheltered and warm.

“We have heard of one or two people being bitten but the reaction has been nothing more than a wasp sting.
“Some people have a more severe reaction to them but most don’t, and as long as you don’t provoke the spider, it has no reason to bite you.
As a piece of general advice, it’s a good idea to beware of any spider that is shiny, and is black or dark brown.”

“If you find a false widow spider in your house, it is not something to worry about.
“We advise that you remove it using a glass and some cardboard and put it outside, as you might do for any other spider.”

http://www.thisisdorset.net/news/tidnew ... s/?ref=rss
 

rynner2

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#51
We discovered an infestation of false widows spiders at our new home
5:40am Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News By Will Frampton

A YOUNG couple got a shock when they moved into their new home and discovered an infestation of false widow spiders.

When they first moved in to their Southbourne house two weeks ago John Stack and Hannah Green only noticed a few unidentified spiders clustered around the bottom of the garden.
But later it became clear that there were large numbers of the arachnids in the shed and garage, and the guttering around the back of the house, and they recognised the distinctive markings of the notorious false widow, which has hit the headlines recently after multiple reports of bites.

“It turned out they were pretty much everywhere, although not actually inside the house so far thankfully,” said Mr Stack, a 24-year-old tiler.
“We caught one in a glass and looked it up, and recognised it by its red legs and the skull mark on its back.

“I was a bit worried at first as you read all these stories in the papers and online about people being bitten, I read there was a Poole lady who nearly had her arm amputated after being bitten.
“But it seems they aren’t as bad as I thought, and no one has been bitten here yet.”

Mr Stack said his 21-year-old girlfriend had been struggling to sleep thinking about the spiders, and his friend Ricky Platt was scared to bring his 21-month-old daughter around in case she gets bitten.
Mr Platt said: “I’m 6’4’’ and 15 stone and I hate spiders, and these are horrible looking things.
“Johnny is my daughter’s godfather but I don’t think I will be bringing her round for a while, I don’t want to risk her being bitten as she is so young.”

The couple have sprayed the garden and now have large numbers of dead spiders, but will have to keep applying the spray which doesn’t affect the eggs.

Two species of the so-called false widow spiders, Steatoda nobilis and Steatoda grossa, are believed to have been introduced to south-west England in the nineteenth century, but recent years have seen them spread.
Both can inflict a painful bite but it is rarely harmful, at worst causing local blistering and a mild fever. They have distinctive tangled webs like the deadly true widow spiders

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/1 ... e/?ref=rss
 

rynner2

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#52
And there's more!

False widow spider outbreak shuts Forest of Dean school

A school has been forced to close because of an outbreak of Britain's most venomous spider.
The Dean Academy, in the Forest of Dean, said it "had identified an issue with false widow spiders" in its ICT block and other areas of the site.
A letter from vice principal Craig Burns to parents said the school would be shut on Wednesday to be fumigated.

Conservationists believe a change in the climate could be the cause of an increase in sightings of the species.

In the letter, Mr Burns said the school had taken immediate pest control advice on discovery of the spiders.
Initially the decision was taken to close the ICT block, but further discoveries of the species elsewhere have led to a full school closure.
"This will enable pest control to fumigate every area in the academy and ensure everyone's health and safety," Mr Burns wrote.
"There have been no reports of anyone being bitten by the false widow spiders at the academy but if you have any concerns please seek medical advice."

The school is expected to be open as normal on Thursday.
The false widow (Steatoda nobilis) is about the size of a 50p coin and is the most dangerous of the 12 species of biting spider known in Britain.
There have been no reported deaths from its bite in the UK.
Symptoms can include severe swelling, chest pains and tingling of fingers, with the severity depending on the amount of venom injected.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gl ... e-24623652
 

rynner2

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#53
Calm down, calm down!

Bug charity hits out at press 'hysteria' over 'killer' spiders
6:00am Thursday 24th October 2013 in News

Conservation charity Buglife have hit out at the "hysteria' over false widow spiders to allay "growing fears over the danger of this slow moving arachnid".

Buglife says that the majority of British spiders could not bite you if they tried because their fangs are too small or weak to be able to penetrate human skin. Adding that even if one of the larger spiders does manage to bite you, the symptoms are usually like a pin prick or milder than a wasp or bee sting and do not last long. And that most large spiders are not inclined to bite a human - you can handle hundreds of large house or garden spiders and never get bitten.

Paul Hetherington, director of communications at Buglife, said: "The hysteria growing around false widow spiders has fed underlying public fears of arachnids leading to mass misidentification and the persecution of many common house and garden species.

"The notorious Noble false-widow (Steatoda nobilis) does indeed have a more venomous bite than other British species. It injects a neurotoxin which may cause localised pain, minor swelling, and in extreme cases nausea within a few hours (but not days).

"Symptoms then fade away. There are no proven cases where the Noble false-widow has caused death, coma or permanent injury. Its neurotoxins do not result in ‘necrosis' i.e. the gangrene-like infections described in the media - this results from a bacterial infection which could come from any source including scratching a mosquito bite, scratch or splinter wound with dirty fingers.

"Females of the Noble false-widow spider are notably sluggish, ponderous, solitary and non-aggressive, they will never run or jump at you in an aggressive manner as some people have described.

"While an allergic reaction to a spider bite is theoretically possible, this has never been recorded, even in people who are allergic to bee or wasp stings. There is no proven link between spider bites and bacterial infection and there are still no confirmed cases of serious injury resulting directly from the bite of a native spider in Britain.

For more information check out www.buglife.org.uk.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/10 ... rs/?ref=mr
 

GNC

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#54
A few years ago I heard of someone my mum knows who was out in the garden using a strimmer, which hit a garden spider. The arachnid was whipped up into the air at high speed and hit him in the face, then emptied its venom into him. He had to go to hospital because his face swelled up like a balloon. There were aftereffects too.

And the moral is... maybe be careful around British spiders. But only in extreme circumstances.
 

rynner2

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#55
Dog bitten by false widow spiders after infestation discovered in children’s playroom
8:00am Saturday 26th October 2013

A WORRIED mum-of-two was forced to call in pest control experts after notorious false widow spiders infested her children’s playroom.
When Kelly Moseley attempted to get rid of the spiders herself they ended up biting and seriously injuring her dog.
So she decided to take no more chances and called experts to her home in Hillbourne Road, Poole.

Kelly spotted one or two of the spiders in her conservatory this summer but was unaware of the risks so was not concerned.
But when she recently took down her curtains to wash them she discovered dozens of the tiny spiders hidden in the creases.
Spiders were also found in a rug on the floor.
“I had just seen some stories about the spiders being dangerous so I got a spray and tried to get rid of them” she said.
“A lot of them fell to the floor and my dog was bitten about four times and ended up at the vet.”

The dog, four-year-old husky Mia, had to be sedated but has since made a full recovery.
Kelly said she is just grateful that it wasn’t her children, three-year-old Sonny and Kaiya, one, who were bitten.
“My dog had four puncture wounds on her tummy and was really poorly – that could just have easily been one of the children.
“I had no idea they were dangerous so now I have warned my neighbours to be careful.”

Professor Simon Thomas of the National Poisons Information Service has issued health advice.

He said: “We would recommend that anyone who believes they might have been bitten by a False Widow spider should dial NHS 111 for advice. Severe toxicity from such bites is very rare but there are steps that can be taken to manage the symptoms if you’ve been bitten.

“Gently wash the affected area with soap and water, cold packs and simple oral painkillers may be useful if bites are painful – but if symptoms don't respond to these measures, there is severe swelling or the bite is in or around the eyes, do seek medical attention.”

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/1 ... m/?ref=rss
 

rynner2

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#56
Radio, so no creepy pictures!

This fascinates me, as I was a student in Exeter (many moons ago), and was well familiar with the sight of the Exe Estuary, the route for these invasive critturs in years past:


The Living World - Segestria Florentina

In the first Living World of the autumn run, Chris Sperring travels to Exeter to find a species hidden within the walls of Exeter's magnificent Cathedral. First found at the Cathedral as far back as 1890, the large tube-web spider or Segestria florentina, is the largest European spider from the Segestriidae family and one of the largest spiders found in the UK. Believed to be native to the Mediterranean region, the species was introduced on ships and first recorded in the UK in the mid-19th Century.

Chris Sperring and Peter Smithers, Professor at the School of Biological Sciences at Plymouth University, go on a quest (with a surprising array of props) to find the species concealed amongst the Cathedral's gothic architecture.

Members of the Segestriidae family have six eyes rather than eight and their front six legs point forward in contrast to many arachnids which have only the front four legs pointing forward. They spin tubular webs in cracks of walls and hunt using a series of trip wires which when triggered causes the spider to spring out of the hole using its back two legs and bite their prey with their large green jaws.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... lorentina/

Available until
12:00AM Thu, 1 Jan 2099 [Don't think I'll be around then..]
 

rynner2

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#58
Huntsman spider found in St Leonards freight depot

A spider "the size the palm of a hand" has been found in a shipping container in East Sussex.
The 7in (18cm) huntsman, common in Australia, was found at a freight depot in St Leonards while a box of BMX parts from Taiwan was being unpacked.

At first it was thought to be a plastic spider as it was not moving, staff at BMX Distribution said.
Joe Woodburn, warehouse manager, said: "It started to warm up and was jumping up the side of the box." :shock:

The RSPCA says huntsman spiders can give a nasty bite but are not a big threat to humans.

Mr Woodburn said the spider was "as big as the palm of my hand".
"We managed to get it into a big plastic container where we kept it while we called the RSPCA," he said.

"We get containers like this all the time and we have always joked that one day we'd open one up to find some kind of ferocious animal in there, but I never expected to find a spider as big as this."

The spider was believed to have been in the crate for several weeks.
They can survive for long periods without food and water, the RSPCA said.
Zoe Ballard from the charity was called out to collect the arachnid.
"I must admit I was worried all the way that it would get out and escape in my van," she said.

Tony Woodley from the RSPCA said huntsman spiders were "unlikely to cause too much harm unless you suffer an allergic reaction".
"However, because they are so big and they run around so quickly they are probably an arachnophobe's worst nightmare," he said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-24852494
 

rynner2

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#59
Man sets fire to house trying to kill spider
Seattle man torches own home by trying to use improvised flame-thrower for pest control
By David Millward, US Correspondent
7:14AM BST 17 Jul 2014

Spiders are a nuisance, but perhaps using a lighter and a can of spray paint was going a bit far.

The man, who was renting the property in west Seattle, was determined to kill the spider which he spotted in a laundry room
When the spider started climbing the wall the man, who has not been named, first doused it with spray paint before flicking the lighter.

The results were spectacular as the laundry room was engulfed in flames.
Such was the ferocity of the blaze that firemen worked from a distance, partly in case there was ammunition in the property
It is estimated that the blaze, which reached the attic, caused more than £20,000 damage to the property

"I don't want to encourage people to do this, but that's what he did," Kyle Moore of the Seattle fire department told komonews.com.
"The spider tried to get into the wall. He sprayed flames on the wall, lit the wall on fire, and that extended up to the ceiling.”
"There are safer, more effective ways to kill a spider than using fire," Mr Moore said. "Fire is not the method to use to kill a spider."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... pider.html
 
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