This guy made a video about his war with a venomous spider infestation


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/28/this-guy-made-a-video-about-hi.html


#2

Obligatory:


#3

I cannot stand spiders. Besides two horrific childhood episodes, one of the cargo ships I worked on was infested with brown recluse spiders. 800 feet of nooks and crannies, and it was my problem to solve. I took years. The next ship had thousands of rats, but carried food, so no poison could be used. Once again, it was my problem.


#4

Errr… Literally ALL spiders are venomous.


#5

Yes, but only a few are actually dangerous to humans.

The redback is one of them (although there have been no fatalities since the antivenom was discovered.


#6

I’m quite aware. But using “venomous spider” in a title or tagline is a little silly, along with “wet water”, “hot fire”, and so on =) .


#7

Obligatory reply:


#8


#9

Perhaps I missed something. Am I alone?


#10

We should use CRISPR and gene-drives to eliminate this species.


#11

Why? Redbacks have killed maybe 100 people (I’m extrapolating wildly based on the 14 people that are on record as having been killed by redbacks), and none since 1956.

I think malaria-bearing mosquito species and Lyme-bearing tick species are a much higher priority.


#12

FIRE BAD ]: NYAAAH

I looked it up and it seems a very very small portion of spiders lack venom glands. However not being pedantic, just wanted to share :slight_smile: but definitely saying a spider is venomous seems redundant. Maybe being more specific and saying “highly venomous spider” or saying what kind of spider the guy was dealing with would be more useful.


#13

I don’t have my copy of The Book Of The Spider by Paul Hillyard handy but I distinctly remember that a scientist who decided to study the effects of the related black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) by getting one to bite his finger found it extremely difficult to get bitten in the first place. He had to back one into a corner and poke her with his finger.

Their lack of aggressiveness has probably also helped keep fatalities low since they’re quite common.


#14

Yeah, brown recluses are actually a LOT more dangerous, because they’ll actually go out of their way to bite you. Therefore, brown recluses account for far more casualties, every year, in the US. Furthermore, they also have a wider habitat range than black widows. Centipedes are like that too =p .

I’ve surprised multiple black widows at once (7 or 8 adults and innumerable babies) and they just skittered away when exposed. I’ve literally been chased by brown recluses more than once, ballsy little bastards.


#15

Agreed. While control so they aren’t right in your back yard in vast numbers makes sense, just like any dangerous animal, they still fill a VERY important ecological niche. Do you love mosquitoes, gnats, aphids, ants, and etc…? Even poisonous insects also only relatively rarely acquire true “immunity” to simply being eaten, yet quite often acquire resistance or immunity to pesticides.


#16

Knew it would be an Australian as soon as I read the headline.


#17

I enjoyed when we finally got to the cathartic “nuke them from orbit” sequence.


#18

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