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Spiders don't hunt us, they hunt the insects that pester us! And moving them outside instead of squishing them is not just smarter - it's really easy, and totally safe.

Scary looking - but not dangerous, and really easy to remove safely
Sparassidae Palystes castaneus. In southern Africa the genus Palystes are known as rain spiders or lizard-eating spiders (and commonly confused with baboon spiders). Scary looking - but not dangerous, and really easy to remove safely. (Photo: Jon Richfield, Wikimedia Commons)

Think before you squish it! Save a spider day, celebrated annually on 14 March, was created to encourage people to move the spiders they find inside their houses back outside instead of just killing them.

Spiders are arachnids and love to eat insects, so it's a good thing to have them in your home or garden:

  • They eat the insects off your plants - and not your plants.
  • They eat the kinds of insects that really do pester you inside your home, such as flies, mosquitoes and cockroaches.

An easy way to move that rain spider

And moving them back outside doesn't mean having to handle them! Pick them up using a kitchen utensil, or some paper folded or rolled. They naturally put out some web to hold on with, so it's really not difficult.

And the bigger the spider, the easier it is to remove. Take for example the huntsman spider (or rain spider), which is common in Joburg homes and gardens (and should not be confused with baboon spiders).

To capture a rain spider, take a small-medium Tupperware and place it over the  spider, easily trapping it on the floor, wall or ceiling (only don't fall off the chair you're standing on!). Then simply slide the Tupperware cover (or sheet of cardboard or similar) over the top, while still holding the Tupperware pressed against the surface, and you've got her (or him)!

All you have to do then is take the Tupperware outside and empty its contents into the bush of your choice. (Handy tip: this is the perfect way to get Parktown Prawns out of the house.)

Rain spiders, by the way, are not dangerous to humans, scary as they may look. It's not us they're hunting - it's cockroaches and crickets they're after!

So, save that spider - she (or he) may be doing you a favour. And don't forget, next time you visit Joburg Zoo, to see our spectacular display of arachnids from the Amazon.