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To my fellow arachnophobes: for this picture, I am truly sorry


This thing is a false widow. Looks a bit like a black widow, has a moderately nasty bite, is a relative newcomer to the UK, and we’re promised a bumper crop of them this Fall.

Here’s the line that has everyone falling about, though: “The generally warm year with few cold snaps and no floods or droughts has meant there are more insects than usual for the poisonous arachnid to feed on…”

It has been fucking freezing this Summer. I’ve never known anything like it. We had the heat on, like, four times in July. We also had drought conditions for most of it, followed by flooding. Winter was relatively wet and mild — I’ll give them that — but the rest is pure Met Office fantasy.

So are we really expecting more false widows than usual? Nobody knows. Our ‘scientists’ are so loathe to contradict the dogma of global warming, we never know when the news is news and when it’s voodoo ritual.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: September 16, 2015, 10:41 pm

May your house be safe from spiders!

Even when the news is news, the news items presented are chosen by means of a voodoo ritual that requires sacrificing live kittens and puppies.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: September 16, 2015, 11:00 pm

I automatically assume everything they say in the ‘news’ is a lie these days.

We had a very long, hot, wet summer…which is still going with 30 C weather this week…lots of bugs…lots of birds to eat them, luckily…haven’t seen any scary spiders like that one! :+)

Comment from tonycc
Time: September 17, 2015, 1:51 am

False widows? That’s nothing.

How about false meteorologists? That scares the bejeezus out of me.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 17, 2015, 2:02 am

Experts: Bah. They’re simply people who know what the Dunning-Kruger effect is.


I were one once. However, I could never take it seriously because of the definition my dad (who was an expert in his field) taught me of the word “Expert”. “It’s simple”, he said, “Just break the word down into its component parts: X equals the unknown, and a spurt is a drip under pressure”.

Now, regarding those giant poison spiders-I can say authoritatively that there’s absolutely no reason to believe that there might be spiders in a house that’s hundreds of years. There! Feel better?

Oh, wait…

Comment from dissent555
Time: September 17, 2015, 3:13 am

hehe. one of my favorites.

My yard is full of grass spiders. I think I may be in the middle of a grass spider resort area or something. May also be due to the 300 per square cm density of crickets and grasshoppers in the neighborhood.

Comment from Tom
Time: September 17, 2015, 9:19 am

First, @ dissent555 – you’re going to a bad place for that pic, a very bad place.

Second, I once took a tour of Parke’s Castle in Leitrim – short review: cool if you’re in the area, don’t go out of your way though. One of the buildings was the smithy and it had a thatch roof. The guide off-handedly mentioned that thatch roofs were wonderful for collecting spiders and that some of the ones they had were quite large. Cue shudder through group followed by the guide saying, “Probably best not to look up then.” I didn’t and sidled my way right into the courtyard.

Comment from Allen
Time: September 18, 2015, 8:02 am

A friend of mine had an infestation of blister beetles in his alfalfa this year. I blame L.A. since they fucked up the Owens Valley. Damn Mulholland.


Bad news when you swat one on your arm… it burrrrnsss us… I suggested he ship that shit to China as payback. Interestingly the Wikipedia article says this is what they used to make Spanish Fly out of.

I like that term “toxic exudate” it has a ring to it. Thankfully I didn’t get my alfalfa from him this year. “Dude are your horses supposed to be like that?”

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