Arachnophobics unite!

I am arachnophobic. So imagine my reaction the other day when my OH yelled, kicked out her leg and a large spider 'flew' past my eyes. It landed on the ground near me. It was splatted by my right foot. That is an act of absolute heroism on my part. Anyway, OH was bitten. It hurt instantly, so a venom pump was put to work immediately.

Spider was scraped up and put in a box. Next morning the pharmacy recognised it as a mediterranean black widow (latrodectus tredecimguttatus), not unknown in SW France but not totally uncommon in some areas. It has hurt for three days, no real swelling but internally. Burning, itching and pins and needs around the area, just decreasing now. They gave her some anti-allergy type cream and lavender oil which is apparently good for that type or tick bites.

So, to my added horror as I was laying the table outside yesterday evening a fairly sizeable spider appeared as I was about to put down a plate. It was knocked off the table and splatted. My daughter who is the family scientist had a good look, got out her laptop and identified it as a yellow sac spider (cheiracanthium punctorium) of perhaps 18mm body length. It has, it would seem, also a fairly nasty venom. Gulp, gulp!

Erring on the side of caution today we had a good look round the garden, the grape vines especially. We found several wasp or tiger spiders (argiope bruennichi). They were probably around 18mm body length too. Again, they will bite humans and the venom is fairly nasty. We have been eliminating their papery cocoons this afternoon.

Looking in greater depth it seems that in the south of France there are three spiders with quite nasty bites. That is to say that they are as bad as wasp stings but for people who happen to be allergic they can be very serious.

I am not the happiest bunny right now, but then I've spent as long as I can remember choosing to work where there are big, scary spiders, scorpions, huge ticks and other members of the arachnid family, none of them pleasing to have around. I'm just going to have to be careful. To all others out there with a shared disdain for spiders, keep an eye open...

How about this friendly little critter that I met out on my walk today :-)![](upload://3xMADEgrypx67eQkOoLUCFh6fqM.jpg)

I've known since just after we moved here that there were spiders that bite and it didn't bother me. I just didn't know which spiders they were. You might have the same in Brittany, you never know!

CT not now awake!

The pharmacist says all spiders bite, even the little mite sized ones, but most are little more than the feel of a pinprick and nothing to follow. He gave the example of a wasp, if we crush one under foot how it feels hard and cracks. The spiders need to be able to get their jaws into what is effectively armour plating to inject the venom to paralyse their prey. So yes, a wasp spider does occasionally, nothing to worry about and all that.

But I am still arachnophobic and stay well away from them... Ugh!

Had to take my car for the CD this morning at 8.15....climbed into the car half asleep straight into a spiders web! panic mode....drove down the road in a panic waiting for the bite!

I tried to find out on the internet if the Wasp spiders could bite and were venomous but couldn't find any reference to it. Thank you for letting us know.

Arachnophobics unite! firework makers ignite!

Seriously you lot who live in the tropics aka Sud de France have only yourselves to blame if a nasty gets you. Here in the far north aka Brittany the biggest problem I have is the bl**by moles who try to decimate my hard fought for lawn! Do they bite? Dunno, never seen one!

O My Goodness Carol.I think a pet shop is pretty cool.and as long as He's happy.who knows he might just make a lot of money.Will hold thumbs.

In Ridigues Island, near Mauritius.there is a large spider that makes its nest across the roads, and catches birds to eat!

Hi Heidi. My son stupidly didn't seperate the 2 he bought, despite knowing they were a he & she! Result: lots of eggs! However, he now has grand designs of making a fortune from them which I feel may come to naught, as well as buying exotic guinea pigs to breed... We always said he'd be a shopkeeper, just never thought it would be a pet shop!!! And will be interested to hear how you get on.....

Hi Carol,they do a fantastic job,have a beautiful wasp spider in my garden and very often it has a grasshopper for lunch.Our Grandson of 3years wanted a snake as a pet after visiting us here in France.but think he will end up with a bearded dragon as well.will keep you up to date on that one.

I remember camping forty years or so ago on a site somewhere in France, we were directed to the perimiter of a football pitch as the site was full, we trampled down the long grass pitched the tent and later noticed largeish spiders crawing about, we dispatched them with a stone and kept our eye out for more. Some time later I found a photo of them in a book and realised to my horror they were black widows.

Does anybody think Walter Scott was thinking about arachnophobes when he wrote "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to device." in Marmion?

That does surprise me, but good.

I'm glad I live in the North of France. I don't see many except the usual house spiders. My mother told me it was unlucky to kill spiders but she never had to deal with poisonous ones. My only dealings with large spiders came from buying a small armchair from a car boot sale in my village for re-upholstering. I started to strip off the material and was removing the rotting foam seat when I discovered an enormous black spider with thick hairy legs, completely squashed. It looked, to my inexpert eyes, like a tarantula and I yelled accordingly. No-one was around to hear me and I managed to throw it in the bin (I wish I had taken a photo first). It was bigger than my hand. I think the previous owners of the chair must have lost their pet and are probably still looking for it. The chair is now covered and in our sitting room.

One of the plus points of Dubai.....never saw one insect....I liked that.

Now "THATS" a thought Carol, if so, I will come back as one who lives far away from anyone and anything that can eat, spray or bash me.

Do you think we come back as spiders if we have spent our lives whacking them?

By the way, if you whack a large spider and you here it shout "OUCH" be afraid ........... very afraid ! LOL.