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House Spider

Once common in houses but now more likely to be found in out-houses.


  • House Spider: at the drop of a hat

    Post date: Tuesday, 23 September, 2014 - 00:00

    Anyone of a similar age to myself will remember at the drop of a hat the delightful songs of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann. Amongst their collection of amusing offerings was "The Spider in the Bath"! The common house spider (Tegenaria gigantea) was something we all had to face "back then"; they are far less common indooors since the advent of central heating and plastic plumbing. Nowadays they tend to frequent garages and garden sheds and seem far less than intimidating than when finding one in the bath. I can say it no better than Flanders and Swann:

    I have fought a Grizzly Bear, tracked a Cobra to its lair,
    Killed a Crocodile who dared to cross my path,
    But the thing I really dread when I've just got out of bed
    Is to find that there's a Spider in the bath.

    I've no fear of Wasps or Bees, Mosquitoes only tease,
    I rather like a Cricket on the hearth,
    But my blood runs cold to meet in pyjamas and bare feet,
    With a great big hairy spider in the bath.

    I have faced a charging Bull in Barcelona, I have dragged a mountain Lioness from her cubs,
    I've restored a mad Gorilla to it's owner,
    But I don't dare face that tub ... 

    What a frightful looking beast - Half an inch across at least -
    It would frighten even Superman or Garth!
    There's contempt it can't disguise, In the little beady eyes,
    Of the Spider sitting glowering in the bath.

    It ignores my every lunge with the backbrush and the sponge;
    I have bombed it with 'A present from Penarth'.
    It just rolls into a ball, doesn't seem to mind at all,
    And simply goes on squatting in the bath.

    For hours we have been locked in endless struggle,
    I have lured it to the deep end by the drain.
    At last I think I've washed it down the plughole,
    Here it comes a-crawling up the chain!

    Now it's time for me to shave, though my nerves will not behave,
    And there's bound to be a fearful aftermath.
    So before I cut my throat, I shall leave this final note;
    Driven to it - by the Spider in the bath!


Common Name House Spider
Scientific Name Tegenaria domesticus
Species Group Spiders
Interest Level
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Similar Species

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