Encountering a huntsman spider in your home can be a surprising experience, prompting questions about their behaviour, removal, and what may attract them in the first place.
In this exploration, we’ll delve into practical and easy-to-follow advice on what to do when you see a huntsman spider, how to remove them safely, and the factors that might be drawing them into your living space.
What is a huntsman spider?
A huntsman spider is a type of large and fast arachnid belonging to the family Sparassidae. These spiders are known for their impressive size, ranging from approximately 2.5 to 13 cm in leg span, depending on the species. They are commonly found in warm regions around the world, including Australia, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Huntsman spiders are easily recognizable by their flattened bodies, long legs, and distinctive arrangement of eyes in a circular pattern. Unlike some other spider species, huntsman spiders do not build webs to catch their prey. Instead, they are agile hunters that actively pursue and capture insects, small invertebrates, and even small vertebrates.
One notable characteristic of huntsman spiders is their excellent eyesight, which aids them in hunting. Despite their formidable appearance, huntsman spiders are generally not considered dangerous to humans. While they do possess venom to subdue their prey, their venom is not harmful to humans, and they are not known to be aggressive.
What to do if you see a huntsman spider?
Encountering a huntsman spider can be a surprising experience, as these large arachnids are known for their impressive size and speed. However, it’s important to remember that huntsman spiders are generally harmless to humans and play a crucial role in controlling insect populations. If you happen to come across one, here are some simple and easy-to-follow steps to deal with the situation calmly.
Firstly, stay calm. It’s completely normal to feel a bit startled when you spot a huntsman spider, but remember that they are not venomous or aggressive towards humans. Take a deep breath and avoid panicking. Maintaining a calm demeanour will make it easier to handle the situation.
Observe its behaviour and decide what’s the best approach
Next, assess the situation from a safe distance. Observing the spider from afar allows you to better understand its behaviour and determine if it poses any immediate threat. Huntsman spiders are skilled hunters and are often found in homes because they help keep other pests, like flies and mosquitoes, in check.
If the spider is in an inconvenient location, such as inside your home, consider gently encouraging it to leave. You can use a soft broom or a piece of cardboard to guide the spider towards an open door or window. Remember, the goal is to relocate the spider without causing harm.
Alternatively, if the huntsman spider is outside and not causing any issues, it’s often best to leave it alone. These spiders are beneficial for the environment, as they contribute to natural pest control. Appreciating their role in maintaining a balance in the ecosystem can help foster a coexistence mindset.
Avoid unnecessary killing
It’s crucial to avoid harming the spider. While it’s tempting to use insecticides or other means to eliminate the spider, these actions are unnecessary and can be harmful to both the spider and the environment. Instead, focus on non-lethal methods to address the situation peacefully.
In the rare event that the spider is in a location where it cannot be easily relocated, consider seeking assistance from a professional pest control service. They are experienced in handling various types of pests and can safely remove the spider without causing harm to you or the spider.
What attracts huntsman spiders to my house?
Understanding what attracts huntsman spiders to your house can help you take proactive steps to minimize their presence. Huntsman spiders, though generally harmless, may find certain conditions appealing.
Shelter and Hiding Spots
Huntsman spiders are drawn to places that provide shelter and hiding spots. Cluttered and undisturbed areas, such as stacks of boxes, piles of clothes, or neglected corners, offer ideal hiding places. Keeping your living spaces well-organized and regularly cleaning and decluttering can help reduce the attractiveness of your home to these spiders.
Warm and Cosy Spaces
Huntsman spiders are known to seek warmth, especially in cooler weather. They may enter homes in search of a cosy environment. Ensure proper insulation and seal any gaps or cracks in windows, doors, and walls to minimize the entry points for spiders. This not only deters huntsman spiders but also helps with energy efficiency.
Presence of Insects
Huntsman spiders are natural predators of insects, and if your home has a thriving insect population, it could attract these spiders. Regularly clean up food crumbs, fix leaky faucets, and secure food storage to reduce the availability of prey for the spiders. This not only addresses the spider issue but also contributes to overall hygiene.
Huntsman spiders are nocturnal hunters, and outdoor lighting can attract insects, which, in turn, attracts spiders. Consider using yellow or sodium vapour lights outdoors, as they are less attractive to insects. This simple adjustment can help reduce the spider’s food source and, consequently, their presence around your house.
Vegetation and Gardens
If your home has abundant vegetation close to the structure, it can create an attractive environment for huntsman spiders. Trim back overgrown plants and trees, especially those in direct contact with the house. This minimizes the pathways for spiders to enter and reduces their preferred habitats.
Moisture and Humidity
Huntsman spiders are adaptable to various environments, but they generally prefer areas with moderate humidity. Address any water leaks promptly, ensure proper ventilation, and use dehumidifiers if necessary to maintain a dry indoor environment. This not only deters spiders but also helps prevent other household issues related to excess moisture.
Open Windows and Doors
Leaving windows and doors open without screens can invite huntsman spiders and other insects into your home. Install screens on windows and doors to enjoy fresh air while keeping spiders outside. Regularly check and repair any damaged screens to maintain their effectiveness.
Pet Food and Water Bowls
Spilled pet food and standing water can attract a variety of pests, including insects that are prey for huntsman spiders. Keep pet feeding areas clean and promptly clean up any spills. Regularly wash and refill water bowls to minimize potential attractants for spiders.
How to remove huntsman spiders safely?
If you find yourself needing to remove a huntsman spider from your living space, rest assured that it’s a straightforward process that doesn’t require any extreme measures. Huntsman spiders are generally harmless to humans, so it’s best to handle their removal with care and compassion. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to safely remove a huntsman spider.
- Gather Necessary Tools: Before you begin, gather some essential tools that will help you handle the situation without causing harm to the spider. Items such as a soft broom, a piece of cardboard, and a container like a glass or a plastic tub with a lid will come in handy.
- Stay Calm: Take a deep breath and stay calm. Remember that huntsman spiders are not aggressive, and their venom is not harmful to humans. Keeping a composed mindset will make the removal process smoother for both you and the spider.
- Assess the Spider’s Location: Observe the spider from a safe distance to understand its behaviour and determine the best approach for removal. If the spider is in a place where it’s not bothering anyone, consider leaving it be. Huntsman spiders are excellent at controlling insect populations, making them beneficial allies in your home.
- Use a Soft Broom or Cardboard: If the spider is in an inconvenient location, like inside your home, use a soft broom or a piece of cardboard to gently guide it toward an exit. Slow and steady movements are key to avoid startling the spider. The goal is to encourage it to move outside without causing stress.
- Create an Exit Path: Open a door or window near the spider to provide an easy exit route. By guiding the spider toward the open space, you allow it to leave on its own terms. Avoid trapping or cornering the spider, as this can make it feel threatened.
- Use a Container: If the spider is on a vertical surface or in a hard-to-reach area, use a container to carefully scoop it up. Place the container over the spider and gently slide a piece of cardboard underneath, creating a makeshift lid. This method allows you to relocate the spider without direct contact.
- Release the Spider: Once the spider is safely contained, take it outside and release it in a suitable area, away from direct sunlight. Huntsman spiders are adapted to outdoor environments, and releasing them in a shaded area with ample hiding spots ensures their well-being.
- Avoid Harmful Methods: It’s crucial to refrain from using harmful methods such as insecticides or physical harm to remove huntsman spiders. These methods are unnecessary and can be detrimental to both the spider and the environment.
- Seek Professional Help if Necessary: If you’re uncomfortable handling the removal on your own, or if the spider is in a challenging location, consider seeking assistance from a professional pest control service. They have the expertise to handle various pests safely and can relocate the spiders without causing harm.
Following these steps you can safely remove a huntsman spider from your living space, fostering a peaceful coexistence with these beneficial arachnids. Remember, a humane approach not only ensures your well-being but also contributes to maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
Huntsman spiders, with their distinctive appearance and natural prowess as insect hunters, offer a unique coexistence opportunity. Navigating encounters with these arachnids becomes a simple and humane process when armed with the knowledge of staying composed, assessing situations calmly, and using non-lethal methods for removal.
As we appreciate their role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem through natural pest control, it’s akin to finding our own harmony in the intricate web of nature. Just as we carefully guide huntsman spiders to safety, it’s a reminder that we, too, can contribute to this delicate balance, like a subtle but essential stump grinding to maintain the equilibrium between our living spaces and the diverse creatures with which we share the world