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Thread: Widows that bite

  1. #1
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Widows that bite

    Like the title? I should have been a red top journo.

    Right, down to business.

    We've had loads of false widow threads but I've scanned them briefly and I don't think we've covered getting tough with them.

    First things first.

    Make yourself a drink. If you're having a cup of tea then do help yourself to a biscuit. You deserve it. If you're having coffee, I hope it's decaff as you should be winding down seeing as it's Sunday evening as I write this. If you're having some white wine or a beer, then I recommend chilling the glass first. If you're having red then let it breathe for a day beforehand.

    Some background. I love spiders. Not the way they look - which let's face it is challenging. But what they do. They dislike flies as much as I do. They're industrious and their silk is like kevlar. So far, so good.

    After reading a few of the false widow threads, I have been managing them in and around my garage. On a few occasions I've brushed one off and I'm not particularly keen to test the theory that the bite is similar to a wasp. I have been squirting them with a vinegar mixture and keeping the place clean. But, I think they're not as worried about me as they used to be.

    I know this as last time I squirted them, the largest stood its ground and sparked up a tiny cigarette. I watched as it eyed me steadily and blew a small amount of smoke in my face. When it then flicked the stub at me, I decided some stronger action was needed.

    I'd like to persuade them to move elsewhere for good. Any thoughts appreciated.

  2. #2

    Widows that bite

    I think this thing has been in my works upstairs window for a few years, I might be wrong as I donít know their lifespan however this guy scares the crap out of me. He seems to get bigger and now Iíd say heís the size of a 50p piece. There is no way Iíd remove him with my hand and I wouldnít like him in the house, Iíd take the big narly hairy b****ards any day of the week

  3. #3
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    ^Yes, that's one for sure.

    I would imagine it has a small over-boosted decat Subaru Impreza that it uses to do tiny doughnuts on your mouse mat when you're not there.

    I'm now beyond coaxing them into the garden.

    Typically, someone will be along to quote Ripley but there must be a stage between gently asking them politely if they wouldn't be so kind as to move on, and nuking the site from orbit.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    ^Yes, that's one for sure.

    I would imagine it has a small over-boosted decat Subaru Impreza that it uses to do tiny doughnuts on your mouse mat when you're not there.

    I'm now beyond coaxing them into the garden.

    Typically, someone will be along to quote Ripley but there must be a stage between gently asking them politely if they wouldn't be so kind as to move on, and nuking the site from orbit.
    🤣🤣

    Over the past few years their webs are becoming increasing more common to the point Iím certain around our parts theyíve taken over from the normal orb weavers, who, in contrast, look cute and cuddly.

  5. #5
    Do you feel you are at the stage where offerings of freshly caught bluebottles/bumblebees/small birds would help matters?

  6. #6
    False widows are the worst.

    You shag them, honestly believing their husbands are dead, then it turns out he's not and things get nasty.

  7. #7
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarchitect View Post
    Do you feel you are at the stage where offerings of freshly caught bluebottles/bumblebees/small birds would help matters?
    Well, I'd be pleased to see a haul of flies.

    Small birds sound ominous. Any arachnid that can catch something like that is probably quite large.

    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    藍藍

    Over the past few years their webs are becoming increasing more common to the point Iím certain around our parts theyíve taken over from the normal orb weavers, who, in contrast, look cute and cuddly.
    I should imagine the relationship is as cordial as that between red and grey squirrels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post
    False widows are the worst.

    You shag them, honestly believing their husbands are dead, then it turns out he's not and things get nasty.
    Can't help thinking there is a story there, Rev.

  8. #8
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    I've been there...



    It took three weeks to recover from it. On the bright side: I went to see my GP for it and I ended up with an (earlier than expected!) appointment for my Covid jab. Not a bad trade.

    Last week (and this weekend) I was busy storing fire logs in my newly-built wood storage. Believe me, nowadays I'm pretty careful when I pick up logs, including wearing heavy gloves. A sting like this HURTS.

    Menno

  9. #9
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    ^God.

    That looks painful.

    I've Googled it and Amazon seem to sell smoke bombs that kill insects but I'm not sure if they're effective or sensible or dangerous. I'm aware that spiders aren't insects.

  10. #10
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    I've been there...


    That's a nipple, not a bite. You can't fool me.




    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    ... and nuking the site from orbit.
    Well it is the only way to be sure...

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    ^God.

    That looks painful.

    I've Googled it and Amazon seem to sell smoke bombs that kill insects but I'm not sure if they're effective or sensible or dangerous. I'm aware that spiders aren't insects.
    My Father used to use such bombs in his greenhouse. Seemed to think they worked ok and we survived. That was many years ago though and what's available nowadays is likely to be safer but less effective.

  12. #12
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Jeremy Clarkson, of all people, pointed out that there are hardly any insects left. Remember how 30 years ago the front of your car used to get covered in bugs? Doesn't happen any more, does it? Remember bug sponges? Bet you haven't seen one for sale for a while.

    Having said that, I'm unsure if 'managing' insect eating spiders is a good thing or not.

  13. #13
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    Jeremy Clarkson, of all people, pointed out that there are hardly any insects left. Remember how 30 years ago the front of your car used to get covered in bugs? Doesn't happen any more, does it? Remember bug sponges? Bet you haven't seen one for sale for a while.

    Having said that, I'm unsure if 'managing' insect eating spiders is a good thing or not.

    Hmmm.

    Test that theory by wearing a yellow t-shirt on a sunny day.

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    I generally dont kill a spiders, most of the time when my wife has spotted one and is standing on the sofa, I will just pick it up and put it outside.
    I wouldn't do it with a false widow. Mainly because of the stories you hear.

    This all changed a couple of years ago. I killed a lot of false widows!
    I took my Kayak out for the first time in ages, I was out in the sea probably half a mile out when I felt something tickle my leg. I opened up the spray deck and there were a lot of false widows all running about in the cockpit. It freaked me out and I was trying to decide if it was better to roll the kayak and go through the ball ache of a recovery or to just kill them as I spotted them.

    I went with the latter and killed a good 50 or so of them.
    When I got home, I filled the whole kayak up from a hose and washed it out.

    I now have a rain cover around the cockpit to prevent this ever happening again.

  15. #15
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    ...what's available nowadays is likely to be safer but less effective.
    That's what I was thinking.

    I can imagine the false widows will watch the smoke bomb go off, clap politely and then return to whatever they were doing.

    Tempted to try it though.

    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    Jeremy Clarkson, of all people, pointed out that there are hardly any insects left. Remember how 30 years ago the front of your car used to get covered in bugs? Doesn't happen any more, does it? Remember bug sponges? Bet you haven't seen one for sale for a while.

    Having said that, I'm unsure if 'managing' insect eating spiders is a good thing or not.
    I'm not sure either. I suppose fewer false widows is likely to mean more flies.

    Quote Originally Posted by andyb28 View Post
    I generally dont kill a spiders, most of the time when my wife has spotted one and is standing on the sofa, I will just pick it up and put it outside.
    I wouldn't do it with a false widow. Mainly because of the stories you hear.

    This all changed a couple of years ago. I killed a lot of false widows!
    I took my Kayak out for the first time in ages, I was out in the sea probably half a mile out when I felt something tickle my leg. I opened up the spray deck and there were a lot of false widows all running about in the cockpit. It freaked me out and I was trying to decide if it was better to roll the kayak and go through the ball ache of a recovery or to just kill them as I spotted them.

    I went with the latter and killed a good 50 or so of them.
    When I got home, I filled the whole kayak up from a hose and washed it out.

    I now have a rain cover around the cockpit to prevent this ever happening again.
    I can safely say that I would have chosen to roll it rather than pilot a mobile nest of venomous spiders back to land.

  16. #16
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    My daughter is pretty phobic on spiders so I shamefully admit to killing the odd one over the years but generally save them with the glass and paper if possible
    Iím not sure Iíve ever seen a false widow so Iím not sure if catching one of those is really practical or not.



    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  17. #17
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    IME experience, they're quicker than the usual garden spiders.

    Yesterday, I opened the garage door and a large one scuttled around the other side of the door.

    I closed the door and it came back around to the other side again.

    So I opened the door more quickly.

    The spider darted inside at the last second.

    Then I gently closed the door half way. The spider popped a few eyes out to check if I was still there. I was.

    It waited until I had gone a few yards away then zipped out to enjoy some sunshine. I nipped back and attempted to catch it with a glass. No chance.

    They don't jump though. Which is just as well.

  18. #18
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    I've been there...



    Menno
    You are Francisco Scaramanga - and I claim my £5.0
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  19. #19
    Master Harry Smith's Avatar
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    If you go near a predatory insect they will detect you, due to whatever we give off like heat or infra red or their spidey sense etc.
    Insect sprays stink the house out and are not nice to breathe in.
    You can buy devices that catch insects humanely but there is nothing like a good wack with an old towel or cloth.
    I've assassinated many insects with charged but unloaded air guns, the blast of compressed air blows them apart and they don't detect your presence.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    Jeremy Clarkson, of all people, pointed out that there are hardly any insects left. Remember how 30 years ago the front of your car used to get covered in bugs? Doesn't happen any more, does it? Remember bug sponges? Bet you haven't seen one for sale for a while.

    Having said that, I'm unsure if 'managing' insect eating spiders is a good thing or not.
    I drive across the Scottish Borders every week and dump my car in the jet wash at the same rate. Absolute carnage bug and bumper/windshield wise.
    I noticed though that this year there are LOADS more than there were in the past couple of years where ive been driving the same route. Quite noticeable.

  21. #21
    Craftsman
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    Definitely not nice if bitten 

    https://apple.news/AEZslmM91R_iAEMR8MxSfYg

  22. #22
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    I've had a bit of a running battle with these b**tard things the last year.

    Moved into a new house late 2019, and discovered one in a trellis at the back of the house, which was unnerving.

    However, further investigation found them all over the back of the house, mainly between the gutters of our single story extension. Queue increasing panic

    We called around for a few pet controllers, but not many treat for spiders. We did find a good guy, who on inspection said ideally he wouldn't spray and we should live with them as they are part of the ecosystem. However, he was fine to do so if we wanted, which we did

    He sprayed using Bayer k- orthrine partix and went top to bottom on the outside of the house and garden.

    You should have seen the buggers. Dozens dropped like fly's. As he left he said we'd done the right thing getting them sprayed

    The advice he gave was good. Recognise and brush away all their webs; keep plants and folage away from doors and windows; keep your house tidy and clean; don't leave boxes and junk lying about.

    I also now buy regularly from Amazon this spider spray and apply regularly to window and door frames, gutters and places where I saw them last year. I'm tempted to buy the Bayer stuff but have been unsure if there are restrictions on purchasing and use by a non professional ( it was a simple mix with water and application with sprayer)

    So far this year, touch wood, it has kept them away bar the odd one from the bushes. The test will be later in the year towards spider season

    Good luck with your battle!
    Last edited by Kidsteruk; 18th July 2021 at 21:37.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Kidsteruk View Post
    I've had a bit of a running battle with these b**tard things the last year.

    Moved into a new house late 2019, and discovered one in a trellis at the back of the house, which was unnerving.

    However, further investigation found them all over the back of the house, mainly between the gutters of our single story extension. Queue increasing panic

    We called around for a few pet controllers, but not many treat for spiders. We did find a good guy, who on inspection said ideally he wouldn't spray and we should live with them as they are part of the ecosystem. However, he was fine to do so if we wanted, which we did

    He sprayed using Bayer k- orthrine partix and went top to bottom on the outside of the house and garden.

    You should have seen the buggers. Dozens dropped like fly's. As he left he said we'd done the right thing getting them sprayed

    The advice he gave was good. Recognise and brush away all their webs; keep plants and folage away from doors and windows; keep your house today and clean; don't leave boxes and junk lying about.

    I also now buy regularly from Amazon this spider spray and apply regularly to window and door frames, gutters and places where I saw them last year. I'm tempted to buy the Bayer stuff but have been unsure if there are restrictions on purchasing and use by a non professional ( it was a simple mix with water and application with sprayer)

    So far this year, touch wood, it has kept them away bar the odd one from the bushes. The test will be later in the year towards spider season

    Good luck with your battle!

    You wouldn't like my shed then. Occasionally the spiders let me in to do some fettling. A massive chunky one scuttled out of my hedge trimmer box yesterday, although I like the vibrating ones best - very amusing.

    I don't kill anything you see. So I leave them alone and they leave me alone. So far anyway.

  24. #24
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    ^Thanks Kidster.

    Very helpful. There are too many and I've tried being nice.

    Alpha, I like spiders in general. Just not so keen on false widows.

  25. #25
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    Iíve found two false widows in different parts of my house in the past couple of days - a bit of a worry with young kids !

  26. #26
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Tried a couple of smoke bombs in the garage.

    Left it for a few hours.

    Went in, with the expectation that I'd see plenty of dead spiders on the floor.

    Nothing.

    There was a large one on the wall which seemed unaffected.

    Time to up the stakes a little.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    Tried a couple of smoke bombs in the garage.

    Left it for a few hours.

    Went in, with the expectation that I'd see plenty of dead spiders on the floor.

    Nothing.

    There was a large one on the wall which seemed unaffected.

    Time to up the stakes a little.
    Napalm ??

  28. #28
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    A-10s doing CAS.

  29. #29
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha4 View Post
    I don't kill anything you see. So I leave them alone and they leave me alone. So far anyway.
    Me too, as a kid I was well into nature collecting and studying insects, newts etc, from that I will not kill anything unless I have too, I'm no lefty tree hugger but I would rather make an effort to let something go and let it live elsewhere than kill it, and yes I do have false widows a plenty!

  30. #30
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Sorry murky, edited to be more accommodating.

    In general I agree with you.
    Last edited by AlphaOmega; 20th July 2021 at 10:56.

  31. #31
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    Holy thread revival. Widows that bite? Tell her to take her false teeth out! :)

  32. #32
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    ^Tix

  33. #33
    Craftsman trott3r's Avatar
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    i remember the stories in newspapers some years ago that false widows taking hold in england.

    At the time it was mentioned they had only got established as far up as Birmingham in england.
    Not heard or seen any in the north west of england as yet.

    Can anyone comment on how far north they have managed to survive?

  34. #34
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Just found a beauty living in our old washing line box..


  35. #35
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    You may wish to check if that's a male or female.

    How you would do this is unclear.

    FWIW, contrary to most website information, it seems the males are more likely to inflict a bite - which is of course venomous.

  36. #36
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    You may wish to check if that's a male or female.

    How you would do this is unclear.

    FWIW, contrary to most website information, it seems the males are more likely to inflict a bite - which is of course venomous.
    While I like to wish life and goodwill to gods creatures I'm not going to pull this false widows pants down to find out its gender, lets just keep it modern and go with They for arachnids!

  37. #37
    Craftsman trott3r's Avatar
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    Murkeywaters: Whereabouts are you in the country?

  38. #38
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trott3r View Post
    Murkeywaters: Whereabouts are you in the country?
    West Country, anywhere past Gloucester is up north for us!

  39. #39
    Craftsman trott3r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    West Country, anywhere past Gloucester is up north for us!
    thanks for that.

    any advance on that members?

  40. #40
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    IIRC, they're originally from the Canaries but don't think slightly colder weather at more northerly latitudes will put them off. They'll just stay in houses more.
    .

  41. #41
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    They're firmly established in my house and garden in North Essex. After the initial alarm at finding the first one, they're no problem at all. I leave them alone, and they leave me alone. Call me odd (you probably already do), but I think they're rather good looking, as spiders go.

    I'm more worried about wasps, though I do check my gardening gloves before I put them on.

  42. #42
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    Call me odd (you probably already do), but I think they're rather good looking, as spiders go.
    Changing the subject, I have a friend who likes muppets.

    She's an arachnid. Great eyesight, own web and almost never inflicts venomous bites.

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