Spider Catcher: Witness Relocation Program for Arachnids

Humane Bug Catcher
Available from PETA

Spiders used to freak me out.  Seriously, I considered sleeping on the couch if I knew a spider lurked above my bed.  I once read that people ingest about six spiders during an average lifetime.  Well.

Over time, I’ve faced those fears.  Though I’m not fond of the over-sized wolf spiders or the dark-legged lurker, I can deal.  Interestingly, unless they are really large, I don’t mind them so much in the garden.  They eat non-beneficial insects and, I recently learned, provide silk for hummingbird nests.

In my early renting days, one of my roommates set up a primitive version of a spider catcher: a plastic cup and a nice strong piece of cardboard.  He knew I couldn’t kill a spider so an at-the-ready bug catcher was the next best think.  Cup and cardboard in hand, unwanted arachnids  were unceremoniously evicted into nearby landscaping.

About a decade ago, I found a super-cool spider catcher at a local wildlife bird center.  It has a long handle (distance is good!) and a clever little chamber to safely cup over the intruder.  Once confined, you gently slide the bottom closed and the spider remains captive as you head for the shrubs in the far, far, far corner of the garden.

Humane Bug Catcher available from PETA’s catalog.

7 thoughts on “Spider Catcher: Witness Relocation Program for Arachnids

  1. LOL! I am going to buy my mother in law one of these for Mother’s day! She uses a cup to catch them and throw them out. She says it’s bad karma to kill them.

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  2. Interesting…. I wonder how many spiders I’ve ingested to date….

    Bravo for facing your fear! Spiders can be quite fascinating. We also relocate to the outdoors any spiders found in our home. On occasion, however, I’ve been known to allow a select few unobtrusive ones to remain in their chosen spot for a while. I figure as long as they’re not in my way, or in danger of being swatted by a cat, or more importantly, at risk of landing in my hair, I can co-exist.

    Those bug-catchers are neat! We’ve still not invested in one yet, instead using the old-fashioned plastic container/cardboard method. Thanks for encouraging your readers to humanely relocate unwanted visitors. Hmmm… Do they make one of those things human-sized? ; )

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    • Human-sized, eh? For that disagreeable guest/pest at the bar that just won’t take a hint? 😉

      Seriously, I love my bug catcher, as we get to study the spider up close before releasing him/her into the garden. Thanks for commenting.

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  3. I used to be just as terrified of spiders, Alsy, until a friend showed me the cup-and-cardboard trick (I use a square container so I can get into corners, and a Neil Young album.) Not only is this method effective, it’s completely changed my reaction to spiders—I am no longer terrified of them. I think it’s the ability to capture them without getting close to them. My big fear used to be that if I took a swat at them, I would miss (I’m pretty clumsy) and the spider would use my swatter as a ramp right up to my arm. The cup-and-cardboard method means you never get very close to the spider (you’re surrounding him not contacting him). This makes it virtually impossible to “miss.” Usually, the spider doesn’t even know he’s caught at first, so he stays cool instead of making a mad dash for freedom, and somehow his calm allows me to stay calm. Of course, he panics as soon as he feels the album touch his little feet, but by that time, he’s safely enclosed and can do me no harm. When I take him outside and set him free, I like to imagine he had been thinking, “I’m doomed! This is it! I’ll never see Gloria and the kids again,” and then, “What? What’s this?? Grass? Where am i? Wait…I can move? I can run? I’m free! I’m free! Wheeeee!”

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  4. Pingback: Itsy Bitsy Spider | gardeningnirvana

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