Sunday, April 15, 2007

A NOT so itsy bitsy spider!


One thing you see a lot of in the jungle are spiders. At first, they catch you off guard and give you a fright. But after awhile, you start to expect them and don't get too excited when you do see one.

There are several poisonous spiders and they are not all big. Some are quite small. Of course, many are Very large. The tarantula is by far the largest. But even tarantulas vary in size. The average tarantula has only about a 6 inches leg span. However, things in the jungle are rarely average!

We had several encounters with spiders. The scariest spider is not as large as the tarantula, but is very fast. This is the Monkey Spider. It has only about a 4 inches leg span but can jump several feet in one single HOP! It is also poisonous. Once my son was chased by one of these monkey spiders!

But the tarantula is huge! My husband knocked one out of our palm roof which was so heavy, I heard the THUNK as it hit the floor even though I was in another room!

Tarantulas however are stupid and slow, and it is a good thing they are!If you ever run across a tarantula, remember this...don't poke at it, it will rear up into a striking pose and reveal it's fangs! Don't hit it, it's exoskeleton is too hard! Don't dare touch it, its hair will cause severe itching! So what to do?

My husband learned this the hard way, but all you have to do to get rid of a tarantula is...BLOW on it! Really, bend down and puff at it! It will run away! Every time...well, most of the time anyway. My husband was camping out on a river trip once and a tarantula was nearby. He bent over to get a closer look, and a cruel jungle MK (missionary kid) blew on it! The thing nearly climbed Clint's leg! You got to watch out for those MK's! They are by far the most dangerous creature in the jungle!

My kids would often catch tarantulas to play with during school. Like I said, Mk's are ...different. The game went like this. Place the tarantula in the middle of the table where all 4 kids are studying. As the tarantulas crawls toward them, the child will PUFF on it and redirect it towards their sibling, who will in turn, PUFF it towards another. This can go on for hours! I know, my kids are strange,but...HEY! They had no X Box!(or even nintendo!)

But one day, we saw the MOTHER OF ALL TARANTULAS!!!

My son had the daily chore of taking out our garbage. We had dug a big garbage pit about 50 meters or so away from the house and each day the trash was dumped there and burned.Josh left with the trash one morning and quickly came running back to the house. He ran into his room, grabbed his pellet gun and ran back out the door. I yelled after him, " What are you doing?" He answered over his shoulder, "I am going to shoot THAT spider!"

Now, we all heard this and decided to run after him. We wanted to see this spider he planned to shoot!He had complained for days that there was a big, BEEFY,spider living in the garbage pit. He was right!

We arrived at the pit right as he took aim. This tarantula was HUGE! It was the size of a dinner plate! This was no spider to swat at with a magazine! No, Josh was right. The only way to get rid of this baby, was to shoot it.

Which he did.

20 comments:

jennifer said...

When we lived in Nevada we lived in an area where Tarantulas were. Every year they migrated up the mountain in the spring, and down the mountain in the fall. They were the size of my husbands hand. They were not as big as a plate. Every spring many a kid would have a new pet.
My husband has taught the kids a mantra...a good spider is a dead spider and they take their jobs very seriously!
btw, I have posted my gardening episode on my home school blog!

Jungle Mom said...

I agree with your husband! I'll be over to check out the post!

Pam said...

I remember you also video taped this spider! and brought the video to the states to show us all. It was indeed BEEFY!

Karen said...

Okay, so I won't be visiting the jungle anytime soon.

{{{{{shudder}}}}}

American Crusader said...

Have you ever seen these before? They look like spiders and they JUMP at you! But fortunately, they are just crickets (camel back cricket).
Pretty tame compared to what you must find in the jungle...but they scared the sh** out of me.

Jungle Mom said...

American Crusader: I don't remember seeing that. We did have some HUGE Praying Mantis' that were creepy, and a few things I am sure are "undiscovered " species!

Harry said...

. . . on the other hand, if you're a science teacher . . .

Just Theresa said...

My father had a pet tarantula, a long with his pet scorpion, and pet python. We sold the spider and snake before we moved to Texas, but the scorpion had died and my father put something on it to keep it in tacked. My friends all got a big kick out of it.

The spider I think is real cool though is the Wolf Spider. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_spider

Becky said...

Oh, those MKs!! You know why they are so naughty don't you??? Because they hang out so much with the PKs. :)

Jungle Mom said...

Harry, good to see you back online. How are you all doing?

Becky, being a PK myself...I claim the fifth!!!

luvvom said...

I can't remember what I wrote... you require too much from me! The shock of seeing your pet sent me into denial of ever being on your site! :o)

Pat said...

Love it!! Tarantulas are fun pets (they actually buy/sell them in the U.S.!!

You must vary fun/games in the jungle....use natural resources!LOL

I am sure MK's have proven to be a wealth of interesting history for the jungle storytellers!

Jungle Mom said...

Just teresa, we had some friends, MK's< who had a pet boa named...Julius Squeezer!!!!

Shane Vander Hart said...

Hmmm.... I am hoping that God doesn't call me to minister in the Jungle, LOL.

I lived in Florida for a year and remember the Palmetto spiders there (a variety of wolf spider) - they were as large as my hand which is considerably smaller than what your son encountered.

One evening I was watching TV and one was crawling on the ceiling. I knocked it down with a can of Raid, and then got my baseball bat. Yuck.

Debbie said...

I saw your response on Life Ala Kina and just stopped by... I wonder sometimes how I can get through my home schooling day.. if I had big nasty spiders to deal with... Gross!! Bless you for your work.

Beach Girl said...

We love spiders in this house. :-)

Vanessa

The Preacher's Wife said...

oh that freaks me out..makes me think of chelob in Lord of the Rings..:)

Mountain Mama said...

I can't begin to imagine a spider so big!
You are so brave to live among such frightening things.

Happymama said...

OK, strange game with your kids...but hey, I'm sure THEY had fun. Me?......NO WAY!!!!

Reading about that spider in the pit gave me the heebie geebies. LOL

~Kristi

luvvom said...

A dime-sized spider attacked me yesterday in my shower! Literally while hyperventilating and seeing white from fear, I thought of you! I let water flow over it and had to push it down the drain with my toe! I thought I would have a heart attack!