Spiders: Expert advises on using essential oils as repellents
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An Australian rally driver got an unexpected surprise when he opened the door to his car recently — finding an egg sac out of which was bursting a veritable hoard of spiders. Adelaide resident Craig Baulderstone, 59, took pictures of the grotesque discovery on his Mercedes and shared them online. The eight-legged little babies, he said, were huntsman spiders — some species of which can grow to a leg span up to a horrific 12 inches across. They are venomous, but to humans their bites typically only cause pain and swelling.
Mr Baulderstone said: “The car is actually a rally car that had been sitting since the end of season last year. I opened the door to do some work on it.
“They were near to the door lock mechanism and outside of the rubber dust seal, which would largely prevent them getting inside.”
Although, he conceded, “it is not uncommon for adults to find their way in somehow.
“I guess there must have been at least 100, all up. I didn’t see the adult there, but experts suggest they don’t hang around.”
After sharing photos of the spiders online, Mr Baulderstone set off a fair few cases of arachnophobia.
As one commentator put it, “That’s a lot of huntsmen to suddenly fall out when you lower the sun visor one day!”
Another said: “You should probably go shopping for a new car. They own your car now.”
One upset individual became fixated on one aspect of the distressing find. They said: “So many legs!”
Mr Baulderstone, however — who just so happens to be a retired ecologist — wasn’t squeamish at all. In fact, he was quite pleased with his discovery.
On finding the amassed arachnids, he said: “Excitement would be the best description. I very carefully closed the door again and went and got the wife and kids to see.
“I took photos and carefully closed the door again, and found another job to do so I could leave them in peace to disperse.”
The spiders didn’t stick around for long, it seems. Mr Baulderstone explained: “I checked back in two days, and they were all gone.
“I feel privileged to have caught them in that snapshot in time, but also knowing that this is happening all around me, under bits of bark, etc.”
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According to Mr Baulderstone, cars and houses in Australia aren’t the best habitats for spiders, and so they often find their own way to the outside world.
He added: “I fear spiders — and snakes, for that matter — a lot less than I fear people.
“They never set out to hurt you, and their behaviour is much more predictable. Their aim is to eat and breed.
“There is aunty in everything, even spiders — which also make great bird food if you love birds more. Squashing them is a waste!”
Additional reporting by Michael Havis.
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