Spiders swarm on Pakenham house

Janelle with one of the trapdoor spiders from her garden. Pictures: GARY SISSONS 198572_02

By Mitchell Clarke

The prospect of a house infested with spiders is nothing short of a nightmare but for one Pakenham woman, it’s becoming a scary and hairy reality.

Janelle was planting sage in her son’s herb garden about three weeks ago when she noticed something “red and nasty” scavenging around her. The unknown eventually got the better of her and she decided to start digging for answers, literally.

Initially believing the hundreds of holes which litter the front and backyards of her property were home to beetles, her investigations revealed she was sharing her home with hundreds of spiders.

“We first thought it was the Melbourne funnel web but it turns out they’re trapdoor spiders living in the ground,” she said.

“I stopped counting the holes when I got to 100, I mean that alone filled a quarter of my yard.”

While trapdoor spiders aren’t necessarily “toxic” to humans, the non-aggressive creatures do have the potential to leave a grown adult feeling nauseous or with a nasty headache.

“They might not have a fatal bite but they’ll certainly kill me from the anxiety they’re causing,” she laughed.

But Janelle holds serious concerns for the safety of her beloved pets, two of which are pedigree cats, with one spider bite holding the potentially to kill anything less than five kilograms.

“I can’t let my cats out here while all this is going on,” she said.

“My cats come out occasionally under my supervision to eat grass, because it’s part of their digestive system, and because they deserve to bask into the sun.”

Stumped for answers, Janelle is certain her infestation isn’t out of the ordinary, despite the fact her neighbours aren’t overrun with spider holes. Her Facebook post to a Pakenham noticeboard blew up with some people reporting noticing similar holes in their properties.

“From what I’m gathering, this seems to be a common occurrence,” she said.

But no matter how common or rare this is, it’s cold comfort for the Pakenham woman who is desperately searching for a concrete solution to remove the unwanted guests.

“They don’t come inside thank god because I’d be setting the house on fire if they did,” she laughed.

“If I can’t figure out a way to eradicate them, I’ll definitely consider moving.”

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.