The Huntsman Spider: Is His Bite Dangerous to Humans?

Once a year, around this time each year, we have our house sprayed for pest control. It costs around $250 and I wrote about the last time we had it done in my post called Good News for Those Scared of Australian Spiders and Creepy Crawlies.

Time, I think, that we have it redone.

But before I move on to today’s post though, I want to reiterate that I do see far fewer spiders in my home here in Australia than I ever did back in England. Maybe that is down to the treatment, either way, spiders here are really not that big an issue. That said…..

An Encounter with a Six Legged Spider.

It all started when I went into the laundry room, not to do laundry, of course, but it’s where the beer fridge is. Just as I was about to open the fridge door, I saw something large and ugly out of the corner of my eye.

huntsman spiderYes, it’s a Huntsman spider.

Now, in my early days after arriving here in Australia I think I would have cruelly and painfully ended this arachnid’s life by spraying him with Raid, the insect equivalent of sulphuric acid. But today, as I always used to do in England, I went to grab my glass and piece of card to capture him humanely. The only difference between here and England is my glass is bigger.

He wasn’t easy to catch, as I stood on the stall and stretched towards him, he dropped to the floor. He landed just to the left of my beer fridge and if he’d had any sense, he would have crawled right under it. But no! As I have found with most spiders, if you stare at them they stand still.

So I stared at him, and he stared at me. We stared at each other. With his eyes fixed on mine and with the speed of a Wild West gunslinger (sort of) I swiftly placed the glass over his head.

Gotcha! huntsman spder in a glassI then took him into the garage and dropped him into the no longer used salad drawer, ironically from the beer fridge under which he could have escaped me, so I could get a better picture of him. I’d heard the Huntsman has rather large fangs and wanted to take a look. Huntsman spider fangsI’m no arachnologist, but I’m thinking those big things I’ve circled in red are his fangs. My, they are big aren’t they? Update: as several commenters have mentioned below, these are not the spider’s fangs, they are its palps. That’s comforting, isn’t it? And I can only count six legs, has this guy been in a fight? With the photo shoot over, I released my Huntsman back into the wild. Well, my front garden. Huntsman spider releasedSo he is now freely roaming Australia again, but it isn’t just Australia that gets the Huntsman spider. Virtually every country south of the equator, and a few more besides, also has the Huntsman.

Is the Huntsman spider dangerous?

Yes, if you are an insect or maybe even a small lizard or gecko. They sometimes even eat cockroaches; in my book that makes him a good guy! But harmful to humans? No. A bite from a Huntsman spider on a human may cause some local swelling and a little bit of pain, but it would be gone within a day or two. But the Huntsman is very timid and way too scared of humans.

Expect him to run away, and fast!

Update: In the comments below, Drew . a on November 26, 2017 pointed out that he had been bitten by a Huntsman and that his experience was much worse than I have suggested it would be here. From everything I’ve read, a painful reaction and certainly one that has effects lasting longer than a couple of days is very rare.

In particular, my ‘Wildlife of Greater Brisbane’ book, which is produced by the Queensland Museum describes the bite of a Brown Huntsman Spider as ‘Mild local pain; sometimes redness, itchiness and minor swelling.’

You can read more about the bite of the Huntsman in my response to Drew . a where you will find a link to a medical study PDF. There are some references on some websites claiming that the bite from a particular species of Huntsman can be dangerous to humans, but this same medical report appears to refute those suggestions.

In view of the experience of the commentor though, it is probably best to exercise caution with the Huntsman, and although I have seen many people pick this spider up to remove it from their homes, it is not something I would suggest is a good idea to do. Some people will continue to do that though, as you’ll see in the video at the foot of this article.

I still recommend removing the spider safely though, rather than killing it, as these spiders are good guys.

On with the rest of the article…

So in reality, they look far more frightening than they are. And that, in many ways, is the problem. Beware! These spiders can grow larger than the size of adult human hand, with hairy legs too, so yes, they look scary. And they like hiding in little small spaces.

Imagine driving a car when one falls down on your lap. Nobody can really know for sure how many car drivers have driven into walls, other cars, trees or buildings because of one of these otherwise harmless spiders. So under those kinds of circumstances, yes, the Huntsman can kill (indirectly) a human.

I know it’s not easy, but the trick is not to panic. Like this guy……

Although I think that was a little bit staged, don’t you?

So how do you cope if you’re driving a car and a Huntsman unexpectedly drops in?

Unfortunately, the video I did have here which demonstrated both the right way and the wrong way to deal with a spider in your car has now been taken down by YouTube.

So I’ve replaced it with another video, clearly not shot in Australia, which shows how you should definitely not react to a spider showing up whilst driving in your car…

Harry the Huntsman

Finally, those of you who have read all the comments will know that Rick Boutcher allows Huntsman Spiders to live in his house to take care of pest control. Of course, those of you who haven’t read all the comments won’t know that.

Well, here’s your chance to:

How to safely remove a Huntsman spider from your house

No need to use your boot or a bug spray, just follow these simple instructions…

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{ 203 comments… add one }
  • Roger Williams February 25, 2015, 3:28 am | Link

    OK. We come over in 3 weeks for a look see and then maybe emigrate later this year. I am going to need hypnosis or some form of ‘fear eradication’ having red through your full guidance on spiders. The ‘dropping on your lap as you drive’ example is particularly enthralling for me. I will be driving around Sydney in Early March and then around Brisbane and the Gold coast in late March. You might all want to make alternate travel plans for these weeks because if one of these suckers drops off my driving visor I am leaving the car – and note I did not mention stopping it first.
    Frankly I am not bothered by the ‘pain’ or ‘venom factors’. the sight of a spider can put me in a sweat. Sound a bit girly for a ‘brave’ man – but I have never been able to cope. Just posting this has got me worried!. What can idiots like me do to combat this fear. From what I have read, encounters are inevitable…. so I am gonna need to establish some form of coping mechanism right?

    • BobinOz February 26, 2015, 12:06 am | Link

      Ha ha, great comment Roger, made me laugh, but I don’t have time to explain how you cope with spiders here, I’m busy telling all my relatives and friends to stay off the roads in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast around the dates you’ve mentioned.

      If it’s any comfort to you, I’ve been driving around these parts for over seven years, never had a spider drop on my lap yet. But, I suspect, that’s not any comfort to you, you’ll be worried about it all the time.

      But of course, I can’t leave it like that, so I’ve devised a plan of action for you.

      1 – spider falls on lap
      2 – check rear view mirror
      3 – indicate to pull over
      4 – park sensibly
      5 – exit the car taking due care and attention of the environment around you
      6 – allow said spider to fall to the floor as you stand up
      7 – THEN PANIC!

      But don’t run into the road or do anything silly like that. Hope that helps, cheers, Bob

  • rhyss January 11, 2015, 10:14 pm | Link

    haha., ur funny 😀

  • val witecat November 27, 2014, 3:13 pm | Link

    Hey Bob, I think what you are confusing with her fangs are actually her “Palps” and they are her front legs modified! They use these to push food into their mouths! Usually the fangs are kept hidden unless being used and god help us if they were that big

    • BobinOz November 27, 2014, 7:03 pm | Link

      Hi Val

      Yes, a few people have now pointed that out to me in these comments, and whilst fangs were more exciting, palps are certainly more comforting for us humans 🙂

      Thanks for pointing out though, I think I’ll make a small amendment to the above post to explain it.

      Cheers, Bob

  • lisa November 14, 2014, 10:44 pm | Link

    I had a lovely encounter with a young female huntsman earlier today found her in the kitchen while I was cooking so I picked her up and took her out the front and put her across the road ( I live across the road from the local wetlands) but I do remember when I was about 5 I was playing on the trampoline with my sister and a hunstman happened to crawl on the trampoline and with out thinking I picked it up and placed it in the garden with my sister screaming at me to put it down

    • BobinOz November 15, 2014, 2:52 pm | Link

      Good on ya Lisa, and I have to tell you, you are braver than I am. I still have not been able to bring myself to actually pick up a huntsman spider, even though I know it is probably okay to do so. I think my problem is I’m concerned about my own clumsiness, and if I were to hurt the spider in any way, not only would that not be good, but I suppose potentially the spider could bite me.

      I know they are not venomous, but I’m pretty sure it would still hurt.

      So I still use the glass with a postcard slid underneath it to capture these things, but maybe one day, just one day, I’ll find the courage to pick one up as you have done. I’ve seen other people do it without problems, so why not me?

      One day.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Bailey Lougheed November 7, 2014, 1:08 pm | Link

    What you circled in red are the pedipalps those lumps on the end are what let you know it is a male as hthose are his reproductive organs

    • BobinOz November 9, 2014, 8:08 pm | Link

      Yes, a few people have pointed that out in earlier comments, but thanks for bringing it to my attention again. It’s a shame, fangs was much more fun 🙂 but I do accept that they are not fangs.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Samantha Robinson October 29, 2014, 6:33 pm | Link

    It does not seem to have put all my comment

    • BobinOz October 29, 2014, 10:41 pm | Link

      That’s weird and that’s weird Samantha. The first weird is that you’ve found a Huntsman in England and the second weird is that some of your comment went missing. I don’t know what happened to it, but is not here. If you get the chance to tell us more about your Huntsman, we would love to hear about it.

      Hope to hear from you soon, Bob

  • Samantha Robinson October 29, 2014, 6:31 pm | Link

    Hi BobinOz i live in England and guess what i have found a Huntsman

  • phillip September 22, 2014, 3:44 pm | Link

    OK didn’t give it a chance don’t laugh but coming across this gives ease to me I now strongly believe the spider I come across was a Huntsman but due to arachnophobia I didn’t give it a chance I went to the bathroom and went to sit as it ran over my foot and into the tub I honestly screamed for my wife to either come kill it or have my daughter do it and my wife laughed (no dought due to the high pitch scream) till she saw it I am sorry to those who love spiders but I just can’t give a chance to them I almost lost my leg when I was 11 due to a brown recluse and since never thought twice bout it my wife on the other hand loves them and still didn’t want it around they are scary enough to make my wife freak but knowing now I kinda wish I would have Given it a chance my house is full of mosquitoes due to a old pond thanks for the info though

  • Rick Boutcher May 15, 2014, 11:39 pm | Link

    Hi Bob and Erin. . .
    Ahhh yes! Another convert who is coming to understand that this monster of a Spider, the Huntsman, is not all as nasty as what a visual picture tends to conjure in ones mind.

    Erin, Bob had put together an amazing blog here and his use of Harry sure has presented the Huntsman Spider in a very positive light.

    I am really sorry that you had a severe reaction to a spider bite and almost died. I do not pretend to be an expert, but living with Harry and his family, I have found that the monstrously large Huntsman Spider is actually a good friend.


  • Erin May 15, 2014, 6:50 am | Link

    Hi All! I went looking for info about the Huntsman because of a set of pictures circulating on Facebook and came across this site! I am so glad that I did! I am terrified of spiders in general due to a severe reaction to a spider bite- I almost died…so the pictures really alarmed me. But it is so great to know that I don’t have to fear these guys!! I also like to keep others informed. I hate when inaccurate information circulates. Thanks!! I hope Harry’s family is well and thriving!!

    • BobinOz May 15, 2014, 4:26 pm | Link

      Hi Erin

      Brilliant! Another convert. I’m glad you found this site as well and that Harry and his family have made you rethink about the Huntsman. Not so fearsome now, are they?

      Maybe I need to post a Huntsman spider reply on Facebook, if only I could work out how 🙂

  • Rick Boutcher May 5, 2014, 6:53 pm | Link

    Hi there to BobinOz and all the participants on this blog. . . . It is I, Rick!
    I think that one of the things that really freaks out people is a spider web. I can not tell you how many times, in my life, I have walked into a room or along a sidewalk or even along a path in the woods and my face has walked into a, virtually, invisible thread that feels so alien as it wrapped around my face. Turns many people into this flapping, wriggling and flaring armed beast trying to rub this invisible strand of silk from the face. (I have to laugh thinking about that mental picture.)

    Most spiders are associated with a web. In a house, to see a web hanging from the ceiling sort of suggests a unclean house. (Actually, a web hanging from the ceiling represents a well protected house!) So, in the name of cleanliness, spider webs and their occupants are sucked up into a vacuum cleaner. Ahhh, clean house.

    Another thing I see mentioned here about the Huntsman Spider is that, besides it very size, the speed that it moves is unnerving. It is here that I would like to come to the defense of the Huntsman Spider, of which I have become very attached to. Unlike most other Spiders, the Huntsman Spider does not capture it food in a web trap. Their very name suggests their method of capture. They physically hunt their pray down and it is with their incredible speed and agility and capability to move in any direction, at full speed, that allows them to capture their food.

    It is, however, not uncommon for a Huntsman Spider to trail a single strand of silk behind them when they are traversing a wall or a ceiling. This single strand of silk acts as a safety line in case they lose their grip. The Huntsman Spider also uses his or her silk to bind up its captured pray.

    I have come to actually love having the Huntsman Spiders working around my house, Two Winds. My entire family (all 11 or us) and our housemaid staff have all been educated, by me, about the beneficial effect Harry, and now his family, has had in keeping Two Winds basically bug and insect free.

    By the way BobinOz, this is one of my favorite places to read and write on. Once again I can not express to you my happiness of you show casing Harry and using him to help educate people around this world to the absolute beneficial reaction, it is, to have a Huntsman Spider working in your home. Think about that a moment, you do not have to pay them! You do not have to feed them! You do not have to give them a special place to sleep! All you have to do is to give them your respect and in return, they will respect you and keep your house free of unwanted bugs and insects.

    Hope everyone has an exceptionally wonderful day. . .

    Rick and “Harry”

    • BobinOz May 6, 2014, 9:34 pm | Link

      Ha ha, yes, it’s happened to me many times. Walking through the garden, my garden or anybody’s garden, between a couple of trees and all of a sudden like you Rick I turn into some mad arm waving face slapping idiot brushing invisible spiders off of every part of my body.

      It is a little unnerving when you walk through a web, you really don’t know what might happen next. Fortunately although I have walked through many spiderwebs, what happened next has always been nothing.

      These webs can appear so fast as well. My driveway is about 4 metres wide and I remember my wife taking our dog out for a walk a few years ago and 20 minutes later when she came back, well, tried to come back, she got stuck. My mobile phone rang and it was my wife “I’m at the bottom of the drive, it now has a spider’s web right across it with a big spider in the middle. Can you come and sort it out so I can get back in?”

      That one great thing about the Huntsman spider, they don’t make webs.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Mandy May 2, 2014, 7:35 pm | Link

    We are considering a move to oz. And reading all these comments on the huntsman NOT being poisonous doesn’t really help matters!! The house spiders here, some teeny tiny and some massive (still teeny tiny compared to that monster) are not dangerous to humans in any way, I’m fact their tiddley little fangs can’t even penetrate the skin. BUT…..this doesn’t make them any less terrifying!! I would never hurt one and will always try and capture it but my heart is pounding out my chest and most of them are only the size of a child’s little finger nail!! Although I will happily hold a terrantula (a well handled one!!)
    Maybe it’s just the spindly legs and speeding about, it gives me the willies! Tarantula’s are chunky and slow. A huntsman is big, spindley and fast! AAAGGHHHHH………my WORST nightmare!

    • BobinOz May 5, 2014, 5:37 pm | Link

      Hi Mandy

      Well, you are one up on me, not sure I would want to hold of tarantula. Huntsman are fast, that’s for sure, but I’ve never seen one chasing a human down the street.

      Does that help at all?


  • Rick Boutcher April 4, 2014, 9:53 pm | Link

    Dustin. . . .
    As strange as this may sound, having grown up in New York City, I never had a encounter with a spider that was much bigger than one half inch. Little guys that used to give me the willies. It was not till I retired and moved to the Philippines that I came face to face with a spider that looked to be as big as I was! At first, when I walked into the bathroom and saw this monster of spider, my legs felt like they were turning to jello. Never in my life had I seen such a huge spider. And, it just stood its ground and looked right at me. I slowly backed out of the bathroom and got my camera. Took a picture of this guy and then went to the computer and goggled spiders of the Philippines. Came up with a picture that matched mine and my education of the Huntsman Spider began.

    Part of my education was bumping into BobinOz’s blog about the Huntsman. Well having been educated to the Huntsman and then, several days later, catching my Cat, Kato, with this huge Huntsman in her paws, I could not let what was going to happen happen. Without thinking, I reached down and picked the Huntsman Spider up from under Kato’s paws and scooted the cat away. I took the Huntsman to the kitchen table and put him down. Found that Kato had take off the Huntsman Spiders right rear leg but it did not seem to really bother the Spider and the spider did not try to run. That is when I got to have an incredible up close and in your face photo shoot with the Huntsman Spider who came to be known as, “Harry.”

    It is BobinOz who picked up my story and ran with it. He is the one to make Harry famous and with the help of Harry, BobinOz’s blog has opened the eyes of several people who have posted their developed understanding of Spiders.

    I am just the guy who gave Harry the job in our house to take care of the bugs and insects that were not as welcome as he. Funny, BobinOz, when I first posted my story here said, “What is going to happen if a Harriett shows up?” Well it would seem that Harriett did show up and now it is Harry’s family that works at Two Winds.

    I am forever grateful to BobinOz for making Harry so famous and in by doing so, enlightened the understanding of, spiders in general, but Huntsman Spiders in particular, which grow to a very intimidating size, by showcasing Harry.

    Bravo to BobinOz. . . .
    Rick and Harry

    • Dustin April 7, 2014, 10:48 pm | Link

      I truly love this story! 😉

      I can relate to that. I’ve met tarantulas twice in Utah and California just crossing the trails right in front of me. I wasn’t really scared, but had a lot of respect for those huge spiders….of course bigger than anything I’ve seen in Germany.
      If you’re interested, I filmed the “meeting” in California:

      But seeing a spider that big in the free nature is of course pretty different from finding one in your own house.


  • Dustin April 2, 2014, 9:46 pm | Link

    I have to say, that Rick’s story about Harry deeply touched me and is absolutely inspiring.

    I live in Germany and I came here just doing research on spiders in Australia out of pure interest, although I’m not particularly interested in meeting one of those “little” guys face to face 😉
    But I really like Rick’s approach, as the hostility against spiders in our society is so over-the-top and without any reason as most of them don’t even bother us and rather help us keeping our houses clean. I’ve found myself numerous times being scared standing in front of spiders (although the German versions are tiny compared to the Huntsman ;)) but recalling how helpful and generally peaceful they are against humans might help to control the irrational fear and prevent some unnecessary spider deaths in the vacuum cleaner..

    Keep the good work up, Rick….and Bob as well…really interesting page, although I’m more of a US Westcoast-Guy 😉

    • BobinOz April 4, 2014, 9:28 pm | Link

      I have to say, Rick story inspired me as well Dustin. I have always been very respectful of spiders throughout my life, never scared and I never want to harm them. But the big fellas have always been a little intimidating to me. I’ve still not plucked up the courage to pick one up.

      Maybe I will one day, and if I do, I’ll be thanking Rick.

      Cheers, Bob

  • BobinOz March 31, 2014, 1:29 pm | Link

    Hi Kelsey

    That’s fantastic news, sounds like we have at least converted one person 🙂 I’m really glad that the information you have read on this page, along with all the help that Rick has given as well, has helped you to realise that the Huntsman spider isn’t such a bad guy after all.

    Thanks for letting us know, it made my day.

    Cheers, Bob

  • Rick Boutcher March 28, 2014, 11:23 pm | Link

    Hey Kelsey. . .
    We all owe a debt of gratitude to Bob for starting this Blog. I happened to bump into this blog when I went researching about the Huntsman Spider (The size of my hand) that came to my house, here in the Philippines, looking for a job. Have had Harry’s (We named the Huntsman Harry) family of Huntsman Spiders roaming around our house and keeping it pest free.

    The fact that Bob’s interest has spawned this amazingly informative, funny and educational atmosphere; helping people all over the world come to grips with the understanding that Spiders are actually our friends, I feel is wonderful.

    Very happy to read that you have sort of gained a bit of less fear through understanding. Nature is really and truly amazing.

    Have a great day. . . . .
    Rick and Harry (You can see pictures of Harry Bob posted. Harry is amazing!)

  • Rick Boutcher March 27, 2014, 3:43 pm | Link

    Hello Bob and all the readers of this incredibly wonderful and insightful blog Bob has created. . . .

    It now being the year 2014, and being that it was 2012 when I first met Harry, Harry having been a full adult at the time, I feel that he has moved on to to next step after living on this earth. But, I also feel that his spirit will forever live within Two Winds with the little ones that I have seen roaming around the house.

    The picture of the little baby Bob has posted; well this little tiny thing was scared to death of this giant finger that was chasing it. I wanted to get him/her (Hard to tell at this point) to come onto my hand so I could get some pictures to share. Finally the little baby felt comfortable enough to step onto my finger and pose for me. Looking at the pictures I have taken of the baby and then looking at the pictures I have taken of Harry, I find it amazing that this tiny baby will grow to be that size (as big as my hand) in just about a year. Goes to give testament as to the amount of bugs and insects these creatures eat during their live time.

    I have to give great credit to Bob for creating this Blog of his. The information about the incredible Huntsman Spider is for sure educational. Not condoning everyone run out to find a Huntsman Spider to pick up, but for sure concreting the understanding that, while these Huntsman Spiders sure appear to be monsters, they are one of the very best friends you can have in your house.

    When I saw this baby in the bathtub I actually thought that there were two of them. When I presented my finger to one it did not run but the other took off in fright. I took a picture of the one that did not run (Shooting in Macro) and after I finally got the running baby to sit on my hand for a photo shoot I down loaded the pictures. It was at that time, when I saw the pictures on my computer screen, that I came to the understanding that the one that did not run was not a baby Huntsman Spider. It was a Mosquito that the baby Huntsman Spider had caught and had it tied up in silk. Here is the Philippines, Mosquito bites are associated with Dengy and Malaria. Seeing this Mosquito tied up in the silk of the baby Huntsman, well I had to bring the entire family and housemaid staff to see the picture to re-enforce their understanding that these Huntsman Spiders I have given free run of the house to, are for sure helping to protect us while doing their job. For sure the Huntsman Spider will not bite us, but that Mosquito sure would have!

    Once again to Bob, congratulations to you and your amazing work here to enlighten the wonderfulness of the incredible Huntsman Spider.

    Your Friends. . . . . Rick and Harry

    • BobinOz March 28, 2014, 2:10 pm | Link

      Well, I only started the conversation Rick, it’s contributions from people like yourself that go even further to help people, including me, understand how gentle and useful these big and scary looking spiders are.

      If we have saved just one Huntsman spider from getting unnecessarily squished or painfully sprayed, then our work is worthwhile 🙂 Hopefully we have saved a lot more though.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Kelsey March 28, 2014, 10:12 pm | Link

        Hello All,

        I just wanted to say after reading all the comments, thank you!

        I have been terribly scared of spiders for many years, as long as I can remember. It took some courage reading this with photos attached, as even the thought of a spider got me in a twirl.

        But after reading all the stories about the Huntsman, I am actually starting to warm up to the not-so little guys! Now, I live in England, so I don’t think I will ever meet one here.. but it really has opened my eyes with respect for all spiders (the other harmless ones that you will find in the UK, anyway). I used to kill them, and feel awfully guilty for doing so for hours afterwards, but I really felt I had no choice. Now, I’m wondering what all the fuss was about, and I like to think that in future, I will be able to leave them be.

        Thanks everyone!

  • BobinOz March 27, 2014, 2:26 pm | Link

    Hi James and all

    I’ve got an update for you. Rick Boutcher (see comments above) allows Huntsman spiders to stay in his home in return for them clearing up his less wanted critters. He saw your comment come through James and has kindly provided us with a photograph of a baby Huntsman, freshly taken just yesterday.

    She’s a real beauty and this little baby already knows what her job is, when Rick rescued her from the bathtub, he noticed she had just killed a pesky mosquito.

    Good girl…

    For the record, this is the first baby Huntsman I have seen as well. As Rick says “I was amazed at how beautiful this little baby was. The body is like a little dot and the legs, already in the same proportion of an adult, are like tiny fine hairs.

    Yes, she has got long legs for a baby, hasn’t she?

    Took Rick a while to get this baby to eventually move onto his hand, she was a little nervous. But she got there in the end and no doubt this spider will become another valued member of the Huntsman ‘pest control’ team.

    Huntsman are really nothing to be scared of. These spiders are the good guys.

    Thanks Rick for the photo, hugely appreciated.


    • Lindy May 5, 2014, 4:27 pm | Link

      That is a Huntsman spiderling? I have those all over! It really makes me wonder where the mama and papa are…ack.
      Funny, as I don’t get creeped out from Tarantulas and just recently acquired one, but it’s just a little spiderling. House spiders don’t bode well with me, but I will give them space if they are doing their job (which of course they are).
      Wonderful photo!

      • BobinOz May 5, 2014, 7:29 pm | Link

        I bet Mama and Papa know where you are 🙂

        Thanks Lindy, yes, it is a great photo from Rick.

        Cheers, Bob

  • james hoggard March 26, 2014, 12:40 am | Link

    is there such thing as small huntsmen spiders cuz the one u have in the videos r huge!

    • BobinOz March 26, 2014, 12:47 pm | Link

      I’m sure there is, and I suspect they are called ‘babies’. I’ve never seen one though, I suspect they grow up pretty fast 🙂

  • Rick Boutcher March 4, 2014, 4:57 pm | Link

    Ahhhhhhh. . . Another Huntsman household. . .
    Tony. .
    I am Rick Boutcher and I have had a family of Huntsman Spiders living in my house for the past three years. They do a marvelous job of keeping the house bug free and in return my entire family and the housemaids know to give them free run.

    Indeed they are harmless in regard to their venom being toxic to humans. How ever, like all things, put it into a threatened position and it will protect itself and while the bite is not toxic to humans, from what I have read, it hurts like the dickens. But as long as you treat the Huntsman Spider with the same respect, he or she will show you, there is absolutely no problem.

    I have had Harry (You might want to check out the link Bob made for Harry) in my hand several times and he is as comfortable sitting in my hand as I am having him sit there. But again, handling a Huntsman Spider is not something I recommend for everyone. I am just one of those crazy people. But for sure, as Tony has said, “Don’t kill them!” They are one of the best things you can have in your house.

    Have a great day. . .
    Rick and Harry

    • BobinOz March 5, 2014, 1:16 am | Link

      I agree with you both wholeheartedly, never kill one of these spiders, they are good guys. They clean up the ugly little critters you really don’t want around, but with humans they are timid, non-aggressive and as Tony and Rick have both said, very gentle and calm if you pick them up carefully yourself.

      Having said that, I have to admit that I have never picked one up, but I do hope one day that I find the courage to do so. I’ve seen a friend of mine pick one up and take him outside and gently put him on a wall, no problems at all.

      One day I hope to be able to do the same if I can pluck up the courage.

      Like Rick though, I’m also not recommending that everyone go around picking these spiders up, because they can bite and I have also heard it can smart a bit. Nothing wrong with letting them be though.

      Cheers, Bob

  • tony March 4, 2014, 12:31 pm | Link

    i have picked up a few huntsmans they are harmless and to prove a point to all my friends i placed one on my face all it done was crawled up on my head, o never kill them i let them roam around my house freely never have to use fly spray at all do a good deed they are harmless dont kill them

  • Rick Boutcher February 10, 2014, 2:07 pm | Link

    Hi Bob. . .
    I think one of the things that sort of bonded Harry and I was me rescuing him from our cat Kato. Kato had him under his paw and I just happened to see it. I scooted Kato and picked up Harry and put him on the table in the Master Kitchen. It is at this time that I had the amazing photo op with him.

    In the encounter with Kato, Harry lost his right rear leg. But like a Crab or a Lobster, a Spider will regenerate lost limbs. Not sure if you know it, but a Spider like a Crab or Lobster must shed its skin in order to grow.

    Two Winds is not over run with Huntsman Spiders, I think there are about six of various size. Have not seen Harry himself in a while and fear that his life span of about two years may have expired. But his offspring maintain the bug and insect control in the house.

    Everyone have a outrageously great day. . .


    • BobinOz February 10, 2014, 4:17 pm | Link

      Rick, I’ve just emailed you, if you send me your photograph of Harry I will put it online here. Cheers, Bob

  • Rick Boutcher February 8, 2014, 4:57 pm | Link

    Hi there everyone, it is I, Rick Boutcher with the family of Huntsman Spiders working in my house (Two Winds Estate) in Carosucan Norte, Asingan, Pangasinan, Philippines.

    As I have have said in my past posts in regard to Harry, he and his family do a great job of controlling the insects and bugs in our house. While I have no fear of Harry or any of his family, that does not mean that everyone is the same as I. For sure there are many people who are absolutely backed up when encountering a spider the size of your hand. I will admit that the first time I ever met Harry, man he back me right up!

    In response to the question the seemed to be the topic of the e-mail I just read. The question, “Is the bite of a Huntsman Spider harmful to humans?” From all the research I have down on Harry, having given him free run of our house, the answer is no. But! That is not saying that a bite from a Huntsman Spider will not hurt. It will for sure hurt, much like getting stung by a large, angry Hornet. But the venom of the Huntsman Spider is not toxic to humans. Will cause redness, maybe nausea, pain and swelling, but it will not destroy the flesh like some other insect venom will.

    My advice to all. If you encounter a Huntsman Spider, let him or her be. Buy the way a male Huntsman Spider is much skinnier then the Female (Oh I hope Harriet did not hear me say that! heheheh). You do not look anything like what a Huntsman Spider eats and the only way that you could possible get bit by a Huntsman Spider is by trying to capture it or kill it. Does not matter what kind of living thing something may be, put that living thing into a life threatening position and they will defend themselves.

    I know that most people are freaked out by spiders and to encounter one the size of your hand is like something out of a nightmare. But for sure, in reality, a Huntsman Spider is your friend.

    You all have an outrageously great day. . . . Oh. . Harry from Two Winds Estate, Carosucan Norte, sends his regards.


    • BobinOz February 10, 2014, 1:55 pm | Link

      It’s been a very long time since I last had a Huntsman spider in my house, which is understandable, I do get regular pest control treatment so my house isn’t very inviting for them.

      Even if we didn’t have pest control and took on some Huntsman lodgers, I’m afraid our two cats would never just let them be. They would be climbing the walls to get at them. So my house will remain Huntsman free, but I can see the advantages.

      Thanks for the update Rick, take care, Bob

  • Laura February 8, 2014, 2:07 am | Link

    I had just washed my face and started to
    venture into the bathroom and I look down and spot a huntsman
    venturing out of the bathroom. We both saw each other and freaked
    out. I spilt my milk some landed on the huntsman he ran and hid on
    the wall behind the towel. I told my boyfriend about him and when I
    left his room I spotted another huntsman outside his door.

    I’m guessing these two huntsman may be the parents of all the baby
    huntsman I have spotted on the toilet and bathroom walls. I spotted
    eight on the walls in the bathroom and eight on the walls in the toilet.

    I have never seen this many huntsmans before in my life.

    Oh and we also have the ones who get into fights and end up missing
    a couple of legs.

    • BobinOz February 10, 2014, 1:51 pm | Link

      Sounds like Huntsman Manor, your place.

      Rick, below, has some advice about keeping Huntsman around the house…

  • Rick Boutcher December 13, 2013, 10:09 pm | Link

    Hello everyone, I have been reading the comments about the Huntsman Spiders and I thought I should come back and give you all an op grade on Harry. In case some of you do not remember or do not know, Harry came to my house in Carosucan Norte, Pangasinan, Philippines, looking for a job as the insect and bug controller. We, my wife, Priny, and I gave him the job. At the time Harry was the size of my hand. Time to time we crossed each others path. This hiring of Harry took place in August of 2012. From the research I have done in regard to the Huntsman Spider, they live about two years.

    BobinOz made a comment to my introduction of Harry, his comment questioned, “What would happen if a “Harriet” (Female) Huntsman Spider showed up?” Well I am happy to announce that Harriet has, more than likely, showed up and while we are not over run with Huntsman Spiders, we have noticed that there are a few young ones also working at the house. Nice that Harry is keeping the pest control position in his family.

    I have had Harry stand in my hand and I woke up one night to the feel of him walking across my chest. Felt good to know that he was looking over me and my wife while we slept. He and his offspring are doing an excellent job of keeping our house (very big house) relatively bug and insect free. I will tell you all that I do not recommend you trying to handle a Huntsman Spider. But I will tell you that all the times Harry and I have come into close contact with each other, I respect him and he respects me. Slow motion approach to his front lets him know that I mean him no harm.

    Well, it has been fun talking to you all once again and hope you got a chuckle and a little insight into the very comfortable relationship that can be developed between your family and the family of a Huntsman Spider. You give them a nice house to live in that offers no threat to them; they will keep your house free of annoying bugs and insects.

    Everyone have a great day.

    • BobinOz December 16, 2013, 2:07 pm | Link

      Hi Rick

      Wonderful news about Harry, and Harriet. Thanks to them you now have a small team of Huntsman Spiders patrolling your house and keeping those bugs at bay. I have to say, it certainly an environmentally friendly way of pest controlling your house, much better than the chemicals I pay $200 a year for.

      It’s a good plan, but I can’t see many arachnophobes following suit.

      Interesting that the spiders have stayed though and not ventured outside, obviously they are very happy where they are.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Jack December 12, 2013, 8:31 pm | Link

    I have terrible arachnophobia. I was taking the bins out and I was emptying the recycle and I saw a spider there. WASN’T A HUNSTMAN! So I crapped myself and screamed like a little girl right into the laundry and then realised there would be more there so I ran out and almost backflipped onto the couch. My parents told me to spray it but I said NO WAY! A: I don’t want that bloody thing to move and B: I am not going back to the bins for another 24 hours so you can do it.
    I’m not very tough when it comes to spiders.

    • BobinOz December 13, 2013, 2:34 pm | Link

      Take some deep breaths Jack, everything will be alright. As you probably noticed, spiders don’t chase humans, running away is a good plan. You’ll probably want to get that screaming under control though 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • Shakesfirst November 5, 2013, 12:36 am | Link

    I was in an RSL in Canterbury, a suburb in Sydney, when a huntsman walked across the till and the staff trapped it under a glass and stopped serving drinks, a bloody sin, until they could figure out what t do with it. Easy, I reached over the bar and walked it on to my hand went outside and let it go in some shrubs. They still charged me for the beer though.

    • BobinOz November 5, 2013, 4:28 pm | Link

      They stopped serving beer!! You had no choice, you had to do what you had to do.

      Yes, I have a friend who I have seen pick up a big Huntsman before and move it out of the house, it’s not something I highly recommend as I believe they can bite, but having said that, your Huntsman didn’t bite you and neither did the one my friend picked up.

      I don’t think I could bring myself to do it though, no matter how many beers I’d had 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • JustJenna October 29, 2013, 1:00 pm | Link

    Sarah, maybe your Grandma was trying to keep you from sitting on the toilet seat – that’s a bit awkward for a girl, now isn’t it?

    I live in the southern part of the main island, Honshu, in Japan – a big old Japanese farmhouse, and we have Huntsman Spiders in legion. I leave them alone; they’ve as much right to this place as I do. And besides the Huntsmans, the smaller web-weaving spiders as well – you would not believe the other pests they get rid of for us!

    Growing up, I was taught that it’s bad luck to kill spiders, so please mind that.

    What I’d be rid of most swiftly are the horrible mukade – Japanese centipedes!

  • Sarah Quirk October 2, 2013, 10:48 pm | Link

    Lol!!! Thank you for answering my ridiculous question 🙂

    • BobinOz October 3, 2013, 12:57 am | Link

      In Australia there are no ridiculous questions 🙂

  • Sarah Quirk October 1, 2013, 10:03 pm | Link

    Is it true that when you go to the toilet in Australia there are tiny spiders living round the seat? And if these bite you can die???? Or is my Grandma scaring me into not moving to Oz??

    • BobinOz October 2, 2013, 1:46 pm | Link

      Wait until Granny tells you about the drop bears 🙂

      I’m afraid the old and wise one is pulling your leg, nobody has died in this country from a spider bite since the early 1970s which was before we had the correct treatment in place.

      Grandma is indeed trying to scare you.

      • Jessy March 3, 2014, 7:47 am | Link

        Well, once when I went to the toilet and something felt wrong, so I lifted up the toilet seat and a spider (only a daddy long leg) was on the bottom of the toilet seat. But if that was a different spider and I didn’t check, I could of have had a bad time.

        • BobinOz March 4, 2014, 12:38 am | Link

          See, there is an argument for us blokes leaving the toilet seat up 🙂

    • Bob August 18, 2015, 3:30 pm | Link


      Sorry for replying to such an old post, but thought I’d put my 2 bobs worth in.

      There are Redback spiders in Australia that frequently live in and around the home.

      Take note of the comments;
      “commonly near or inside human residences”
      “..seriously harmful to humans”
      “…responsible for the large majority of serious spider bites in Australia”
      but most importantly
      “there have been no deaths directly due to redback bites ”

      From a young age we were always taught to check for redbacks before picking things up, sitting down in chairs etc.


  • Anali September 18, 2013, 7:06 pm | Link

    Well I live in Arizona, today had an encounter pretty similar to yours except it was on the floor and my kids were playing barefooted by it when i hear them screaming… It was about 2 inches long or so, but seemed bigger to my eyes… Had never heard of a 6 legged spider and even thought it had lost the other 2 legs… creepy spiders! Do you think there might be any more around my house since i found one??? Great blog very helpful and funny! 🙂

    • BobinOz September 19, 2013, 9:11 pm | Link

      I really doubt there will be any more six legged spiders round your house, I don’t think you’ll be troubled by them any more. Eight legged spiders though, that’s a different story 🙂

  • Din September 9, 2013, 6:45 am | Link

    I reckon a cockroach bite is more painful than a bite from this critter.

    • BobinOz September 9, 2013, 11:43 pm | Link

      Unless there is a Huntsman in the house who eats the cockroach before it bites you. Problem solved.

  • Paul July 11, 2013, 2:17 am | Link

    I have seen a huntsman the other day and it was in our bathroom.. It has only six legs, maybe there’s a huntsman species that only have six legs?

    • BobinOz July 12, 2013, 1:56 pm | Link

      No, it must have been the same spider that I saw, where do you live 🙂

  • Tralee June 17, 2013, 8:43 pm | Link

    I have to agree with quite a few here. Those “fangs” are palp’s. To be slightly crude they are, with the male anyway, full of semen. (According to David Attenbrough). But no matter what they are, they give me the heebie-jeebies. As u can guess I’m not a huge fan of spiders

  • J-MAN May 29, 2013, 8:04 am | Link

    I caught a huntsman spider and I’m keeping it as a pet.
    I am aware of what it eats and stuff but my concern is to whether
    I should keep it as a pet and if so, what can I do to make it blend
    Into it’s natural habitat

    • BobinOz May 29, 2013, 9:39 pm | Link

      The best way for it to blend into its natural habitat is to set it free 🙂 Other than that, I can’t really help, I’ve never kept a Huntsman.

  • mindi fay May 17, 2013, 6:33 am | Link

    You all might laugh at me but we just bought a house up here about an hour away from Yosemite National Park up in Greely Hill. We discovered a couple encounters with a spider. Example Yesterday I went into the shower and felt a string of web across my face and looked up. A huge spider on the granite wall above my head..rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I hate spiders, biting ones anyways…:) and ran out, got a glass and took pictures of it. I have been researching on a lot of different spiders, It’s def not a brown recluse which I thought right away, this spider has four eyes on top and four on bottom row and had a violin shape on its head but was not dark enough to be a brown recluse. So I came across this Huntsman spider and was relieved. This spider compared to a brown recluse is nothing in bite. It might hurt like hell but lease your skin does not start to rot and start eating away and could cause the victim to lose a limb. Thank you all for your information and comments…it was all helpful 🙂

    • BobinOz May 17, 2013, 8:10 pm | Link

      I’ll take a Huntsman spider over a brown recluse any day, I’ve heard about those things, nasty! So you get Huntsman spiders in California then? Anyway, glad I was able to put your mind at rest.

      Cheers, Bob

      • phillip September 22, 2014, 3:26 pm | Link

        Brown recluse bite won’t start the irreversible roting till 72 hours later just a FYI on them for those who don’t know

        • BobinOz September 22, 2014, 8:24 pm | Link

          So you think you’ve got away with it…… and then you haven’t. Nasty!

  • claire April 9, 2013, 11:38 am | Link

    Well thought I better comment on huntsmans seeing not 20 minutes ago i had the terrifying experience of being bit by one on the hand. And I will add it was hard to find my hand for its size, anddddddddd it hurt like crazy when he latched on. Needless to say I screamed my Bullarab/mastiff took offf like a bat out of hell (hmmm so much for protecting me lol ) and I did the wartoosy on his body. Sorry to any spider lovers but he scared me and I can tell you it hurt and natural predator instinct kicked in and the boot did the rest of the work ….oopppsss poor dead harry lol.

    • BobinOz April 9, 2013, 12:38 pm | Link

      Yes, the Huntsman spider rarely bites, but when he does, it can hurt!

      As for that spider, whilst I would never condone the senseless killing of an innocent creature, let’s face it, he started it! Live by the sword, die by the sword, he had it coming to him.

      And your boot delivered!

      Hey, lucky you had that week tough dog to protect you 🙂

    • Meek April 16, 2014, 4:54 am | Link

      On a scale of 1 – 10, what would be the pain factor? 🙂 cheers

      • BobinOz April 16, 2014, 2:36 pm | Link

        I’ve never been bitten by a Huntsman, so I don’t know. I suspect it might be different for everyone, but if Claire is still around, maybe she can tell us.

        Claire, are you there?

  • Ashlee Foster March 23, 2013, 11:56 am | Link

    I’m headed to the Philippines soon and I have arachnophobia something terrible. Someone kill me now.

  • Dillon January 4, 2013, 10:54 am | Link

    i know but i do like jumping spiders

  • Dillon January 3, 2013, 8:12 am | Link

    oh god if a spider that size was crawling on me i would freak out like a little girl!!!

    • BobinOz January 3, 2013, 2:33 pm | Link

      High pitch screaming? You’ll scare the spider!

  • Bev October 30, 2012, 4:41 pm | Link

    Is a bite from a Huntsman harmful to a dog?

    • BobinOz October 30, 2012, 9:26 pm | Link

      No, I wouldn’t think so. But a bite from a dog on a Huntsman would be pretty harmful to the spider.

      • Abibee April 20, 2013, 7:48 am | Link

        I can’t stand spiders so when a huntsman the size of my head decided to invite itself in I set my Irish Setter on it. My dog did a great job of protecting me and went for it catching it in his mouth! The spider bit him and he yelped and dropped it but his mouth and face swelled up so badly I had to take him to the vet! She told me huntsman can be poisonous and cause a reaction in dogs but not kill them. My dog was certainly affected by the bite and I felt awfully guilty. At least I know now my soppy dog will protect me, from spiders at least anyway!

        • BobinOz April 21, 2013, 9:50 pm | Link

          Well, you live and learn. The Huntsman spider is not venomous, but it’s bite can be painful. So I’m surprised the vet has used the word “poisonous” and that dogs can get a reaction.

          I do understand though that a bite in the mouth from the spider would have been very painful to your brave dog, maybe you should invest in some insect spray?

          Glad your dog is okay though.

  • Rick Boutcher October 11, 2012, 6:52 pm | Link

    Hello. . .
    My wife and I live in Carosucan Norte, Asingan, Pangasinsn in the Philippines. About a year ago I stepped into the bathroom and, my goodness, there was this spider the size of my hand hanging out on the wall by the shower. I took its picture and did an bit of research, finding out that it was a male Huntsman Spider, not harmful to Humans (Did not say they will not bite!! Anything that feels endangered will bite).

    So I figured that what this very large spider was actually doing in my bathroom was asking for the the position of Staff insect and bug controller. Gave him the job and even gave him a name. We call him Harry. All the staff house maids and family have been told to leave Harry alone as he has been given free run of the house.

    Every once and a while you can hear one of the house maids of family say, “Hello Harry.” He is really something to see and one night I had the opportunity to have a really up close and personal encounter with pictures. Be glad to share.

    As for the insects and bugs in the house? Harry does a great job.


    • BobinOz October 11, 2012, 11:21 pm | Link

      Ha ha, that is funny! Every house should have a Harry, it would save $200 or so each year for that pest control treatment. Does he really take care of everything? What would happen if a Harriet turned up, lots of little Harrys? Am I thinking this one through too much?

  • james June 17, 2012, 2:14 pm | Link

    yeah those are pdipalps, the fangs are between them and are in more of a pincer shape, the bite from a huntsman can hurt a bit and will often draw blood but is not dangerous (i’ve been bitten dozens of times and will probably be bitten dozens more.

    • BobinOz June 17, 2012, 9:40 pm | Link

      Somebody commented elsewhere that they were advised to get a tetanus jab after being bitten by a redback, so if a bite draws blood, that may be something to consider.

  • abigail March 16, 2012, 12:52 am | Link

    i am scary 🙁 lol

    • BobinOz March 16, 2012, 10:38 pm | Link

      No your not, scary people do not lol, they mahaha!

  • Ammar February 8, 2012, 5:19 am | Link

    is it fangs or palps

  • Michael January 1, 2012, 8:48 am | Link

    Interesting line you wrote about the legs of the spider 🙂

    And I can only count six legs, has this guy been in a fight

    Well Done (Y)

    • BobinOz January 3, 2012, 10:09 pm | Link

      Maybe he won? Maybe the other guy lost more than a couple of legs?

  • Nina December 9, 2011, 11:03 am | Link

    Their fangs are actually quite large, and can be painful (trust me)

    • BobinOz December 9, 2011, 10:26 pm | Link

      Are they fangs? Others say they are palps. Not sure it matters much if they hurt all the same.

      Have you felt the pain Nina?

      • Matt January 28, 2012, 6:08 pm | Link

        Those dark black things with the little hooks on the end are the fangs, the small leg like things on the side are the palps.

        The worst thing about these guys is definitely their speed, nothing scarier than having one bolt out of nowhere when you’re on the toilet at 3 in the morning 😛

        • BobinOz January 30, 2012, 12:58 pm | Link

          Yes, they are fast, aren’t they? Not nice when you get one in the car!

    • julielu March 22, 2015, 4:48 pm | Link

      I agree with Matt and also Nina’s link pic clearly shows The ” fangs ” ! No one I know has ever been bitten by a huntsman… and I have removed many from houses and cars over the years. My son’s best mate has a party trick where he puts one on his tongue – and always lives to repeat it!

      • BobinOz March 23, 2015, 5:00 pm | Link

        Crikey, your son’s best mate must have a very big tongue 🙂

        • julielu March 24, 2015, 10:45 am | Link

          Actually the spider is the one who’s terrorised i think – it just curled its leg up to fit !!

  • BobinOz November 4, 2011, 8:04 pm | Link

    Well I did say I’m no arachnologist. Fangs sound more exciting than palps, but palps are less scary. So I suspect we’re all glad they are palps.

    Explains why the Huntsman is harmless. Or is it?

  • leu2002 October 27, 2011, 5:21 pm | Link

    Yeah , no offence but i work at a spider lab and those are pulps NOT fangs! – Sorry to be a party pooper

  • Jerry October 27, 2011, 3:27 am | Link

    Hi, those are the palps you’ve circled in red, not the fangs.
    The palps are a sensory organ on spiders.

    • leu2002 October 27, 2011, 5:23 pm | Link

      I agree

    • Darryl March 6, 2015, 1:32 pm | Link

      Also the sex organ. The male spider tends to have long thin palps and the female shorter and thicker…Monash uni has a beaut website about spiders

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