Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 August 2015

Are spider repellents just spinning us a line?

By Lindy McDowell

Published 06/10/2011

Have the Sumo Spiders finally gone for another year? You know the boys I mean. Those massive big beasties which launch an annual arachnid invasion of our homes (well, some of them anyway) every autumn.

This is a fairly recent thing. A few years back the Northern Irish spider was a fairly modest production. These new invaders are so big they could qualify for gastric band surgery. If you don't get them, you won't get the distaste/terror they invoke.

One woman I've heard about knew there was one in the room with her because she heard it clattering its way across the wooden floor towards her.

I've a friend who has just spent a serious amount of money on a gadget which claims to rebuff them by attacking their spidery nervous system.

(Although if there's one thing worse than a big spider in your house it's surely a jittery big spider in your house.)

You can buy stuff on the internet that promises "instant knockdown"

(Remember Nato promised something similar about Gaddafi?).

But do you get your money back if these things don't work?

Being vegetarian I have tried carrying them out and releasing them to the wild.

But what's the point? They just come back in.

True, the warmer weather seems to have kept them outdoors of late.

But will they - like an X Factor wild card - be back by the weekend when the weather's set for Baltic?

And - most baffling spider-related question of all - how come they don't appear to spin webs like other spiders?

Cobwebs made by those brutes would be - you'd think - the size of a trawler's fishing net. And I've yet to see one.

Are we sure these things are actually spiders at all?

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