The Spiders That Took Over Holland

Spiders in Holland

I have never been someone who is easily scared by spiders. However, when I saw Arachnophobia as a young teenager in the early 90s I have to admit that I was creeped out for a few days. As a result I felt uncomfortable walking under lamp shades and I could not look at pop-corn the same way again. However, it was only a movie and the chances of a spider attack on that scale really happening seemed highly unlikely… until a few days ago.

Earlier this week I noticed a rather strange amount of spiders in the Dutch town were I live, much more then you would normally expect to see. Most of them were near some form of foliage and if there was no spider in sight there was at least a very big web that looked like it was still in use.Some of the arachnids have managed to spin webs over seemingly impossible distances from one tree to another, possibly with ambitions of catching a human. It is lucky that I do not suffer from Arachnophobia otherwise I might have started running through the streets screaming, never to return. The little eight legged freaks have spun webs every where around town. Maybe this is the start of a combined attempt to cocoon the whole of North Holland. Shelob’s little minions might already be at work in other locations around the country.

Luckily they are only European Garden Spiders (I think) and their bite is harmless unless you happen to be a fly. However, if they form an alliance (or worse, a hybrid) with the mosquitoes we are all doomed. At the very least I will likely get sued by every arachnophobia sufferer for coursing them emotional distress with this post. Sorry for any nightmares I cause with this story.

27 responses to “The Spiders That Took Over Holland”

  1. Helen says:

    UGH! I wouldn’t be able to handle it Stu! I’d definitely be leaving town! ;)

  2. vallyP says:

    I’ve been suffering from an invasion of extremely industrious web spinners in my barge, Stu…maybe they’re related to your lot, cos they seem to want to ttache all the boats in the harbour together. We have festoons of new webs every morning…just as well I’m not scared by the little blighters too as I have plenty enough work evicting them from inside too!

  3. Bonestorm says:

    Living in Australia we have to cope with the creepies and crawlies of the majorly poisonous variety. I know what you’re going through.

    I’ve only been bitten by a snake once, and never by a spider so I guess I’m reasonably lucky.

  4. BlondebutBright says:

    You’re right! I’ve noticed the same thing lately. I’ve unknowingly walked into a few webs and even felt compelled to kill two of them, although it makes me feel guilty. I wonder what’s going on with the sudden population increase.

  5. Freya says:

    I had to kill a huge one recently at a friend’s house, unfortunately I was on the phone to my Japanese manager at the time explaining why I was going to be late for work- and the blighter nearly got away whilst I dredged up the necessary Japanese for “Oh f**K that spider is massive”.

    Hate them.

  6. Invader_Stu says:

    Helen – I’d be amazed with there is anyone with even a small fear of spiders left in the town.

    VallyP – They’re attempting to cocoon the Dutch water ways to cut of escape routes. Maybe they have already started at the airport as well.

    Bonestorm – I don’t think we have many poisonous spiders in Europe. It might just be a stereotypical view of Australia but TV over here has always made it look like poisonous spiders are constantly getting into people’s homes and hiding out in the bathroom or in someone’s shoes. Now that would freak me out.

  7. vallyP says:

    Take heart all northern hemisphere dwellers. I noticed this week that there appears to be the beginning signs of an arachnid retreat. Cooler nights and shorter days are obviously the signal to our eight legged friends to turn their attention to the south! Sorry Aussies, it’s your turn now!

  8. Andrew Tingle says:

    I am ashamed to say that any spider where I can see the eyes scares me senseless – to the point where I have to ask my wife to put them outside. When I was in Australia on holiday a couple of years back I went into the garage and shut the door and there was a spider the size of my hand on the back of the door by the handle. I was in the garage for ages waiting for someone to hear me and let me out, Shiver.

  9. Matt says:

    We are currently under attach from very small flies. There is one currently trying to attach my eyebrow.

  10. bill says:

    oh man. a spider/mosquito hybrid would be crazy. bad enough that mosquitos cary the west nile virus D=

  11. zoe says:

    oh spiders …. we’ve come under an invasion of stripey, fairly small spiders chez nous – i wonder if it’s the vine out at the back that they like – but they’re everywhere.

    and as for carpet spiders – i don’t usually get so many so early on in the year, if at all, but we’ve already been attacked by at least four that we’ve seen.

    i remember when i lived alone many moons ago and returned home to find the biggest tarantula ever waiting for me in the hallway. i asked the downstairs neighbour to save me but even he flinched on seeing it and whacked it with a newspaper.

    best thing to avoid getting carpet spiders ? a cat.

  12. Invader_Stu says:

    BlondebutBright – It must be something to do with the weather change or the invasion has really started.

    Freya – That would have been funny to hear :P

    VallyP – We won! We won! Sorry Bonestorm. We won!

    Andrew Tingle – I have a friend who is the same. I had to remove a spider for him once.

    Matt – All the insects are at it. They must be working together.

    Bill – I wonder if the one’s in Europe have that because the little buggers attacked me in the night again.

  13. Invader_Stu says:

    I’m lucky there. We have a cat and no carpet. We have wooden floors instead :p

  14. nothing really matters says:

    I hate spiders and all creepy things that can walk and fly!

  15. sociolingo says:

    Enjoying your blog immensely.

  16. Latina says:

    Spiders?…na! tiger mosquitoes are the worse!

  17. Invader_Stu says:

    Nothing really matters – I hate mosquitoes with a passion but I don’t mind spiders because they catch mosquitoes.

    Sociolingo – Thank you.

    Latina – Tiger Mosquitoes? They sounds scary.

  18. DRagon lady says:

    I have just gone into the back garden with a pair of scissors to cut the spiders webs that are across the path so I can get to the end of the garden (I don’t like the feel of the web on my skin) The two spidders looked at me. I will be sleeping with the windows shut tonight.
    Apparently they swing on a single thread and use the wind to attatch themselves to another point. So if the wind is fairly strong they can go great distances.

  19. James says:

    I have seen more spiders since I have been in Amsterdam than I have ever seen in my whole life….

  20. MoMo says:

    Hey Stu…arrived here via VallyP. I used to live in a suburb of Rotterdam called Prinsenland and our block of flats was home to a geat number of furry eight legged friends. They would bomb dive from the ceiling if you walked beneath them, mostly they died and would be lying upside down with all eight legs curled up, ulg!. I too saw arachniphobia, but “It” was far worse. Spiders like dry places, is your town having a dry or hot spell??
    I live in South Africa now and our spiders are huge and everwhere, but at least they don’t bomb dive me. Cheerio

  21. Latina says:

    Stu..Tiger mosquitos are a new species of ‘mosquies’ invading Barcelona at the moment-they have large legs and have write to yellowish stripes at the back-the worse thing is NOT REPELLENT in the world stops them from bitting!(hope i’m wrong here!) they fly around all day long and bite any time they feel ‘hungry’…so pls ship a container of spiders to BCN that might help solve the pro- me? still got some of the bites from the summer hols there…huh!

  22. Invader_Stu says:

    Dragon lady – If a tornado ever hits Holland we’re in trouble then. The whole country will be webbed.

    MoMo – We had a few weeks of rain but it has been very hot again. Are the spiders in South Africa poisonous though?

    James – I think I can clam the same

    Latina – We have enough spiders to stop them :)

  23. Invader_Stu says:

    I’ve had to use the vacuum cleaner as a spider weapon as well. The first house I moved into in Holland was covered in spiders. An hour later and a lot of suction and I got them all.

  24. R&R says:

    Love your blog, your insights are funny and spot on! Our first night in our dutch house also brought out the biggest spider we’ve ever seen, and the proliferation in the garden is just plain scary. Our dutch neighbors call them “spinners” and just casually knock away the webs. Working in the garden we feel we have to secretly kill them (the spiders, not the neighbors) lest they (the neighbors, not the spiders) think we’re showing signs of american hostility!
    Keep up the great posts!

  25. Invader_Stu says:

    R&R – Thanks :) I’ve had to ‘take down’ a few spiders with a vacuum cleaner myself.

  26. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  27. Marijke says:

    To be honest, every spider is venomous. Just these are not deadly but they can be painful when they do bite (my own experience) then again these spiders rarely bite anyway

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