Posts Tagged ‘red backs’

Creepy Crawlies

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

So the good news is that Sir Pubert has booked tickets to come and visit. He is leaving the safety of England and venturing to the southern colony, a brave decision considering his apparent fear of anything that moves.

Growing up in Australia you get used to being constantly surrounded by bugs. Flies, ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches, stink bugs (although I haven’t seen one of them in ages), slaters, spiders, moths… you develop excellent wrist muscles from swatting something away from your face every 30 seconds or so. While you do get used to it, they are also really freaking annoying. Having flies on your food or a cockroach running around on the wall just above your bed when you want to go to sleep really isn’t fun. Sitting in an ants nest is the pits.

However, despite this, when I moved to Europe and discovered that there just aren’t any insects over there, I missed my crawly friends. You’re never alone in Australia as there is always some sort of small, multi-legged creature watching you or attempting to steal your food. Right now, I am the only active human in my house but I am being gentle serenaded by the high-pitched vibrations of cicadas outside. On the beams of the roof I’m fairly certain there are spiders and there’s likely to be something crawly walking under the couch as I sit here writing this.

What most Europeans/Brits (eg. Sir Pubert) fail to realise, however, is that while we do have a lot of insects in Australia, they’re not all poisonous. I have been back in the country for almost two months and am yet to die. While this may be some sort of pre-Easter miracle, it is more likely due to the fact that most insects are just annoying and not venomous.

Saying that, I did have an altercation with a Red Back spider (red = danger = poison = go to hospital) this morning. I was still half asleep, but luckily it was too. With the help of some eucalyptus scented bug spray (the fresh smell makes it seem like you’re doing good things to nature rather than killing innocent creatures) and a tissue, I managed to win the battle of good and evil. There is an abnormally large number of Red Backs around my house at the moment building nests in roof beams, door frames, and the hot water heater. I found about 20 teeny-tiny baby Red Backs who had clearly all just hatched from their eggs in my car door the other day. While babies are cute, I really didn’t want 20 Red Backs in my car so I politely asked them, and their very large mother, to leave.

red back spider

The worst thing about Red Backs is that sometimes they don’t have red backs.

Apart from the Red Backs I haven’t seen anything potentially life threatening. One of the regular morning swimmers at the beach reckons he saw a shark chasing salmon the other week but he likes a good story so the validity of his sighting is a little rocky. So it is safe for Sir Pubert to come and visit. I just hope he survives the sniffer dog at the Perth airport on his arrival.