How to catch a spider in 8 legs – er, steps

I think I’ve found an untapped niche on Pinterest that I can fill. That’s not something you can say every day is it? Champagne Gillian’s recent posts on how to get belted up and how to make up had me inspired, so I headed to Pinterest and was promptly overwhelmed. I’ll admit, my search terms were broad, but whoah, if there ain’t a lot of ladies sharing how-to’s out there in Pinterland! I’m pretty much presentation-challenged (generally comfortably so, so it’s okay to talk about it out loud when I’m around), so I’m fairly confident I could never, ever recreate those grand effects on myself.

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Which made my head start to think about what I can do (because the ever helpful self-talk is more than happy to shower me with what I can’t do, and I like to cut that off quick-smart)… It’s true that I was inspired by my surroundings, and when I tapped in the magic words to Pinterest – ah hah! I found a gap in the shiny, well-manicured land o’ Pins. Sure, you might look pretty, Pinterest – glamorous even – but can you do the stuff that counts in my household? Apparently, NUP.

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So, without further ado, let us enrich the Pinterest landscape with some practical tips for translocating the local fauna, aka How To Move The Really Big Spider Outside Without Killing Anyone.

140312 spider 1Step 1: Size up the spider in question
Mine was a huntsman (Sparassidae sp.) slightly smaller than the size of my outstretched hand. It was young, had all eight legs and was situated on a hallway wall next to my three year old’s bedroom. It was giving her (and her father) regular scares and, therefore, needed moving.




140312 containerStep 2: Select your materials for transportation
My preferred vessel is usually a round plastic container with approx. 12cm diameter, but this spider was a bit big, so I went for a lunchbox. You’ll also need some stiff paper/card. I used a handy sticker book belonging to my daughter.



140312 spider 1aStep 3: Take a deep breath
You can do this. Hunstman spiders are big, but you’re bigger. If they bite you, they can draw blood but they are not dangerous from a toxic/venom perspective. But they’re not going to bite you, because you’re following this how-to-guide and it’s on Pinterest, so it’s fo-realz! Where were we? You’re bigger. Maybe take a second breath?


140312 spider 2Step 4: Put the container (open mouth to surface) over the spider
It’s actually that simple. But you might need to psych yourself up a little to be bold and just do it. In my experience of moving at least 100 hunstman spiders outside, they generally do one of four things:

1. They mostly sit completely still while you put the container over them.

2. Very occasionally, they’ll run batshit crazy away from you.

3. Even less frequently than running, they’ll turn to bite the incoming vessel at the very last moment. This can be surprising, but now you’ve been wanred, you will be sure to always tilt the container towards yourself as you approach the spider, so you can roll it over on top of the spider if this happens).

4. On very, very, very, rare occasions, the spider *might* jump off the surface towards you. This always sucks, but it’s good incentive to move quick at the start before it develops a jumping game plan.

140312 spider 3Step 5: Slide the card under the container
You’re essentially spider-free already. The hardest part is done. Very gently lift one side of the container just a teeny smidgeon and slide the card/paper/Sesame St sticker book into the gap and gradually edge it across to the other side. Too fast and you’ll squash Charlotte. The spider will likely move when you touch it with the card, so again – be prepared that it might move quickly or in a jumpy way. Generally, they just lift their legs stoically like preschool kids do when climbing into fresh undies.


140312 spider 5Step 6: Move everything away from the wall
Slow and steady here, everything is contained, so no need to rush.




140312 spider 6Step 7: Go outside
Resist the urge to just fling everything outside once you exit the house. Find a suitable release site (when not enjoying your hospitality, huntsman spiders usually live in fallen leaf litter or under the loose bark of large trees).



Step 8: Release the spider
You can gently tip everything over and walk (who am I kidding, run) away and return to retrieve your container and card later, or just lift the container (away from you is recommended) and observe your eight-legged friend finding freedom. Your house probably has less flies than it did before. No one was killed.  You’ve got bragging rights to everyone you meet for the next fortnight.

Don’t you feel awesome?! Yay!

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How are you at catching spiders?

Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.


  • I don’t like killing anything – I even avoid poor little slugs on the ground – but, man, SPIDERS MUST DIE. if I ask you to get rid of a spider, no matter how scared I am, I want to see the body. I need to know it’s really gone.

    That is all.

    • Oh Tara Tara Tara,

      all creatures great and small – EXCEPT the crunchy ones? No – come on. You’re a smart lass. Take a step back and put on your objective eyes. They’re just a critter, doing the best they can in a human-infested world. Cut them some slack – they just want to eat mozzies and flies – that’s not such a bad thing!

  • I love that you did this guide, and I love that you do this in general, but not having to catch spiders is pretty much why I got married. Hey, Tony Abbott was right: that glass ceiling is pretty much shattered. *giggle*

    • *headdesk*

      Now you have this most excellent and on-Pinterest guide, you can practice being an independent woman in arachnid matters. Go on, you haven’t lived until you’ve felt the exultation of a successful translocation!

      • Thank you, the guide is excellent. It’s not so much that I don’t know how to do it, it’s just…ew, spiders.

        And yes, I am ashamed of myself, thanks for asking.

        I’m also afraid of indoor plants – especially vines. No shit. I’m a therapist’s dream.

  • I am in awe of anyone who volunteers to be that close to one of the worst things on earth. As far as I am concerned, if they are in my house they must die. I figure if the situation was reversed and I happened to drink a magic potion that shrank me to the size of a fly and I got caught in a spider’s web, I would end up as dinner. So it seems only fair that I kill them first.

  • We are getting out house treated on Monday, takes care of most things, except the Huntman spiders that get along on their claws eg tippy toes and aren’t affected. Those fugger jump, when they’re in my house I head to a hotel for the night!! (you have WAY too much time on your hands by the way, what a great post!) xxx

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