Big spider found in Wexford more common than you think

Large house spiders leaving their webs pose little threat to humans, says arachnologist

A photograph of a spider reportedly found in Co Wexford this week. Photograph: Clive Lawler/Facebook

A photograph of a spider reportedly found in Co Wexford this week. Photograph: Clive Lawler/Facebook

 

A large spider spotted in a house in Co Wexford is not a tropical species, but a common house spider, according to an Irish spider expert.

Irish man Clive Lawler posted a photo to Facebook of a large spider which he claimed he captured in his house on Monday night.

The photograph was accompanied by a caption which read: “My new friend. . . Come in from the cold”.

“I was lying watching a bit of TV on Monday night when it made its way across the living room floor,” Mr Lawler told The Irish Times, adding that he “took a few quick photographs, picked him up and let him out the front door”.

Mr Lawler estimated the spider measured about 3 inches across.

While the spider may look like an exotic species, arachnologist Myles Nolan told The Irish Times it was likely a member of the Tegenaria species, or common house spider.

He said the size of the one photographed, if it was 3 inches in leg-span, would be “average enough” for a spider of this type and that some could be even bigger with their legs stretched out.

These spiders spend most of the year in their webs, but are “seen frequently in late summer/autumn as this is their mating season and males leave their webs looking for females,” Mr Nolan said.

“The specimen in the photo is a female and they also can be quite active at this time of year, either looking for an optimum retreat in which to set their egg-sac or searching for a more productive feeding ground.”

Despite their large size, house spiders are “completely harmless” unless provoked, according to Mr Nolan.

Even if a person is bitten, “the venom has practically no effect on a human,” he said.