I was referred to this article by Welshpurpletree – someone who shares my dislike (a mild term for what I feel!) for spiders. It concerns the influx of foreign spiders into our country due to the milder weather of recent years. It tells me that it is only a matter of time before black widow spiders become native to Britain, unless the climate suddenly becomes colder or at least more traditionally seasonal than it recently has been.
But the passage in the article which really concerns me and send shivers up and down my spine is as follows;
The tube web spider (Segestria florentina), another non-native biting spider, has also been on the move, spreading from the South Coast much further north.
It is a large spider, measuring between 1.5cm and 2.2cm (0.6-0.9in), with green iridescence on its jaws.
Mr Hine said: “In spider terms, it has to be said that this is an aggressive spider.
“If you approach it, it raises its legs and bares its fangs.
“Most spiders will back away – this one will jump at you and bite.”
Are you kidding me? Are you actually kidding me? It’s only in recent years that I’ve got brave enough to trap a spider in a pint glass rather than sitting and watching it until another adult comes to my rescue. And now they’re telling me that the spider might actually jump at me as I approach it with my large glass? Well, to hell with playing nicely and showing mercy if that’s going to be the case. I’m changing to the zero tolerance policy of a rolled up newspaper. A flat spider is less likely to try to leap at me with it’s teeth (fangs, pincers, whatever) bared than is a live, moving one.
And you can talk to me until you are blue in the face about the benefits of spiders controlling the ecological cycle with the fly-eating and everything. I DON’T CARE! If a shiny, furry, scaly (take your pick) spider is heading towards me or mine with an aggressive look in it’s eyes (or it’s gait as I don’t intend getting close enough to make eye-to-eye contact) then you can bet your life that I will be making mashed spider fairly soon thereafter. Call it survival of the fittest, my contribution towards the ecological cycle or my input as having a higher position in the food chain!