The ultimate huntsman spider experience

A few years ago I ran bee hives on my farm.

A couple of the hives failed during a dry summer, and it was a year or so before I retrieved the empty hives.

I put the hives in the back of my 4WD wagon, where they sat for two or three days before I unloaded them into the shed.

A week later my family decided it was a nice day for a drive to the beach.

There were two things my young daughters hated at the time.

One was my old 4WD, and the other was spiders.

My youngest daughter wanted to take our Corolla, but I insisted on taking the old 4WD so we could carry extra picnic and snorkelling gear.

On the way to beachside bliss, not far from our house, a huge huntsman spider climbed up the windscreen in front of my wife.

My cranky daughter, already moaning about the car, became furious.

“I hate this car! I want to go home!”

We got rid of the spider and I assured everyone that everything would be OK.

Off we went.

Another 2km later and another huge spider crawled up the window on the passenger side.

My youngest daughter was now approaching apoplexy.

I said: “I’ll get rid of it, don’t worry! There will be no more!”

Turns out, about 10 huge huntsman spiders crawled out into the open that day, up the back of seats, up the sides of doors, and even on the ceiling, one by one, a few kilometres apart, as we drove.

And that’s just the spiders we saw.

Might have been more under the seats.

One of our several emergency stops on the rural road was next to a lone residence.

At this stage, both my daughters were almost foaming at the mouth.

My wife had also become animated.

I too was contemplating the likely prospect of a huge huntsman spider running up my leg while I was driving.

There were screams within the car, and I saw a curtain move to one side at the nearby home as I barked orders.

We made it to a service station in Huonville where I bought a tin of insect spray.

I fumigated the car.

“There will be no more spiders,” I said again, but all trust and joy was lost.

We had to return home.

To the people in that residence, I apologise for disturbing your peace that day.

I wasn’t killing my family … honest!

Tasmanian Life