- Giant spider on the wall. Are you the horniest of them all?
There’s not a single country in the world that doesn’t have some annual traditions. They’re usually cherished events that give people a chance to get together and celebrate or remember something important.
The British Isles, too, have their fair share of fun-filled annual traditions. And then there’s this one.
Granted, we’re not talking about any kind of an organized event. Just the sex-crazed giant spiders that invade British and Irish homes every year, whether people want it or not.
The arachnid in question is the aptly named giant house spider, or Eratigena atrica for you scientifically minded. They can grow to have a leg span of nearly four inches and are able to go from standstill to running at nearly 40 mph in one second.
So yeah, that’s a spider the size of your palm that can take off as fast as a car in the blink of an eye. And every year between August and September they crawl out of British homes’ woodwork in search of some freaky eight-legged love.
Giant spider orgies. What a wonderful tradition.
Oi Mate, Want to Mate?
Oh, but it gets better. The giant house spiders aren’t alone in creeping into houses and homes on the British Isles.
Dr. Chris Terrell-Nield is a lecturer of ecology at the Nottingham Trent University in Nottingham, England. He told Nottingham Post that there is a total of three arachnids currently making their way inside homes in Britain.
The giant house spider is merely the biggest of them — in fact, they’re one the largest spiders in all of Northern Europe. The other two are the daddy longlegs and the crowned orb weaver, also known as garden spider.
No wonder the giant ones get all the attention.
They usually stay in hiding within garages and attics. But when August hits, the male spiders’ hormones start getting the better of them.
“This time of the year, August and September, the male spiders have the urge to mate and start wandering and looking for females,” Terrell-Nield explained.
In their quest to satiate their spidery lust, they start moving across areas they’d usually avoid. That includes walls, floors, kitchen tables, bathrooms, beds…
Everywhere you don’t want to see a spider the size of your hand.
Although giant house spiders can live up to six years, there’s a silver lining to their invasion. As soon as the males get some, they drop dead.
“When they find [a female], they mate, and she lays eggs and the male usually dies,” said Terrell-Nield.
At least the invaders die off as quickly as they appear. Unless they don’t manage to score, in which case they’ll be around again in 12 months.
You just wait.
So, there are gigantic spiders intruding in practically every British and Irish home. Should the residents be worried?
No, not really. Despite their size, the giant house spiders only hurt your sanity when you notice one crawling on you.
“They are not dangerous but they can give you a nip. They have biting fangs,” Terrell-Nield said. Luckily, they’re reluctant to bite and if they do, the sting is comparable to a bee.
On top of their size, the spiders’ speed contributes to their yuck factor.
“The reason people are frightened of them is because the way they move. They will be still and not do anything and then you look away and they have gone,” said Terrell-Nield.
“They are rather alien and we do not have a connection with them. They look imposing. It is the same reaction when people see a mouse,” he added.
But even if you see an amorous house spider, you shouldn’t kill it.
“We are far more dangerous to them than they are to us,” Terrell-Nield explained. “Spiders do an incredible service for us because they eat vast quantities of flies.”
If you live in Ireland or the UK and see a massive spider crawling down your wall, try and suppress your urge to smash it. The little — or not so little — guy isn’t out for blood, he just wants to get his rocks off with some lovely spider lady.
Who will then lay an egg sac containing up to 60 little babies. And the babies will be out looking to start families of their own within a year.
Enjoy that thought!