Monday, November 09, 2009


Knock, knock ???

Who's there ???

You never know who may show up on your door step!

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. 

We had many run ins with the tarantulas, sometimes my children would keep them for a few days to play around with.

Some of the tribes in Venezuela eat tarantulas. A missionary kid told me that the legs taste like shrimp!

Cocktail sauce anyone?


Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Oh my gosh. I remember those spiders all too well. My favorite was at night when I'd accidentally look up at the thatched roof and see rows of glittering eyes looking at me. I felt like I was in that Harry Potter movie. The biggest one I had to deal with was as big as my hand... but I did see one whose torso was as big as my big toe. I ran away before I could compute the actual size of the creature and then told God that there was no need for him to make anything that big, ever. :0)

Linda said...

I knew there was a reason not to live in a jungle! ewwwwww.........

Kathy said...

SCREAM!!! Yikes! I'd love to have seen your kids doing their homework with the spider! (But I'd have watched from afar!) Once in Africe my mom was bit in the thigh by a spider that crawled up her leg (she didn't notice in time) and left a "mosquito bite" the size of her whole thigh! She was sick for three days with a fever. I'm glad no one in your family was bitten!! Again--SCREAM!


WOW!! IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT!!! My husband could never live there. He is terrified of spiders, big or small. I must admit,I would not like to meet this one either. I guess there is someone somewhere that likes them though. have a good day. connie

CKHB said...

Connie's husband and mine are soul-mates on the spider issue... I'm the designated spider-handler in our house, and I'm so glad they're all smaller than a quarter!

We've had some encounters with Aussie spiders that were terrifying enough, thankyouverymuch.

Glenn B said...

Thanks for the info on how they taste, but I think I will stick with shrimp for now!

Dawn said...

I hate them - we had them in Arkansas - they came in under our really badly hung door in our not so plush parsonage! And then there was the time a scorpion stung my brother's tummy and my mom's arm while she was holding him on the porch. In Arkansas! Yuck.

That is one gigantic tarantula!

Brenda said...

Paul had a pet tarantula for a while, but we had a hard time catching enough insects to feed it.

I never thought of blowing on them. Good idea!

J.H said...

That's really amusing and incredible story at the same time jungle mom! I enjoy playing with spiders too, even though there is nothing as BIG and BEEFY as dinner plate :-)
I will borrow your story to be retold in my blog sometime in the future, hope you don't mind.

MightyMom said...

not too sure I'd get close enough to blow at it honestly....but to be CHASED by a spider....that'd leave me with PTSD FOR SURE.