Monday, 7 November 2011

A Brief Encounter

As time has gone on, the flat in Perth has become quite the little haven for bugs of all kinds. We have been having some ant problems, and it doesn't seem to matter what we do, we just can't seem to get rid of the little blighters.

The same can be said for the small number of tiny spiders that live inside the apartment. I'm not saying that they are absolutely everywhere, just a few dotted around. I have tried using the vacuum cleaner to suck them from the ceiling and most of the time this works, but upon returning home from work the next day, they are all back, seemingly laughing at my pitiful attempts to move them on.

The worst affected area, certainly when it comes to the spiders, is the balcony. The apartment, being an over-garage affair, is not particularly well built. This is reflected in the quantity and size of gaps between the brickwork and the wood of the balcony. Perfect hidey holes for spiders.

For the most part, we have let the spiders get on with their lives, but about a month ago, I decided that enough was enough. Spring is here, and it's time for a bit of a clean, the webs had to go. I was going to buy a duster, or some other such implement to get rid of the ones within easy reach of the balcony, and then have a rethink about the rest of them (the balcony covers only about a third of the outside area of the building).  I had first considered the same vacuum treatment that I had given the ones inside the house, but they are a little bigger, and I have been told that spiders can sometimes survive the journey from wall to bag.

Ever the procrastinator, I never actually got around to buying the feather duster. Instead, a few weeks later, I put the mop into service, sweeping away as many of the cobwebs as it's length and sturdiness would allow. Overall, the operation appeared to be a success. Most of the cobwebs and spiders disappeared, leaving only a few stragglers which were slowly being cleared one by one.

One such creature was basking in the sunshine on the window on Saturday afternoon. It was larger than most of the others I have cleared so far, but didn't look particularly menacing. I grabbed the mop, and slowly pointed it toward the spider. It obliged by climbing onto the end of the mop head. I maneuvered the mop over the side of the balcony and shook it vigorously, hoping that it would drop to the ground below. Unfortunately, I had made the elementary mistake of pointing the mop into the wind, which the spider caught expertly and was whisked in my direction, straight onto my arm.

It was only then that I got a good look at it... Oh!!

A female red back. Widely regarded as one of the most dangerous spiders in the world. Brilliant. Or, to enunciate more accurately what I thought at the time, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t sh*t, what do I do, what do I do, what do I do?!?! I hung my arm over the balcony and shook, but she was held on tight. I shook some more, trying not to let the panic set in. Eventually, she came free, dropping to the ground below.

Relief is not the word!

So far as I know, this particular spider has not returned. I have since found a male on the balcony, which was disposed of much more successfully. I'm really hoping not to find any more on our balcony!


  1. Perhaps you should upgrade from a mop to some sort of projectile weapon?

    Maybe we should club together and buy you a nerf gun for Xmas! ;)

  2. lol, Matt, I think that's an awesome idea! I do worry, however, about my aim with a Nerf gun. I was kind of thinking something more along the lines of a BB gun (although ping-back hurts with those things!!)

    Also, I'm not sure, in a country where all of the police are armed that I really want to be seen with a gun on the balcony!


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