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Old 11.06.2013, 23:13
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GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

I was just about to turn out the lights for bed when I saw a spider AT LEAST 7 inches wide on my wall. I'm arachnophobic and ran to get some spray to get rid of it but when I got back, it was gone...

There's no one around to kill it for me and the prospect of entering the room again is irrationally terrifying. A quick google search says that Switzerland has no poisonous spiders but still, is this normal for the spiders to be this gigantic? Getting some spider spray or what have you ASA-freaking-P tomorrow morning...
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Old 11.06.2013, 23:14
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

Probably an octopus, or a small spider in front of a spot light, playing shadow theatre - but don't kill it; you'll be grateful when he catches and eats all the mossies.
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Old 11.06.2013, 23:24
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

I am yet to see any evidence Switzerland has insects even remotely proportional to those in Australia.

The first time I actually found a spider in my bedroom, I honestly wondered whether it had accompanied me from Australia and had been hibernating somewhere in my suitcase for months.
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Old 11.06.2013, 23:26
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

According to the internets, the largest spider that should be native to this part of the world has a maximum size of 4 inches across (and typical for that species is more like 3 inches).

So either you have an escaped exotic on your hands - does one of your neighbors keep spiders? - or else the critter wasn't actually nearly as big as it looked. (Small comfort, I know. )
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Old 11.06.2013, 23:28
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

HKcool, location NY, spiders where?
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Old 11.06.2013, 23:31
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

Well her boyfriend's been telling her...
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Old 11.06.2013, 23:31
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

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HKcool, location NY, spiders where?
Haven't updated that but I'm in Zürich. Oerlikon to be more specific.
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Old 11.06.2013, 23:36
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

If you believe you've seen a spider here, measuring 7ins., then you're certainly welcome to flatter me, too.
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Old 12.06.2013, 00:14
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

Don't believe it was that big!
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Old 12.06.2013, 01:42
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

As I'm sure your girlfriend will concur, most things estimated in inches are wild exaggerations.
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Old 12.06.2013, 01:43
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

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If you believe you've seen a spider here, measuring 7ins., then you're certainly welcome to flatter me, too.
It's a good thing this thread has no pictures.
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Old 12.06.2013, 02:22
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

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It's a good thing this thread has no pictures.
There is one thread which I distinctly remember as I stopped looking once someone posted a picture of an arachnid of the size the OP mentions from somewhere in Switzerland. I won't go looking for it as I'm not a fan of spiders, but it's on here somewhere and I still get the creepy crawlies just from thinking about it.

As for the OP, there are some seriously ranch-sized spiders in Switzerland. I didn't open my windows the entire year as hundreds of spiders made camp outside the windows (without screens) due to the proximity of the outdoor lamps (which then cast very, very creepy shadows in the bedrooms at night...). The street lamps had similar camps of spiders that were so large I could see them without my glasses from 100m or thereabouts. I don't begrudge them until they enter my home at which point I become rather homicidal to the 8-legged kind.
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Old 12.06.2013, 05:55
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

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As for the OP, there are some seriously ranch-sized spiders in Switzerland. I didn't open my windows the entire year as hundreds of spiders made camp outside the windows (without screens) due to the proximity of the outdoor lamps (which then cast very, very creepy shadows in the bedrooms at night...). The street lamps had similar camps of spiders that were so large I could see them without my glasses from 100m or thereabouts. I don't begrudge them until they enter my home at which point I become rather homicidal to the 8-legged kind.
Where are they never seen anything but tiny harmless ones here? In fact the number of spiders overall is exceptionally small
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Old 12.06.2013, 06:39
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

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Where are they never seen anything but tiny harmless ones here? In fact the number of spiders overall is exceptionally small
Now... You're just being contrary...

While most are exceptionally small, I've seen dozens of spiders on just one bush here. Spiders are NOT an endangered species here...

OP- are you sure it wasn't some type of daddy long legs? Something with a tiny body, but long legs?
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Old 12.06.2013, 06:41
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

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I was just about to turn out the lights for bed when I saw a spider AT LEAST 7 inches wide on my wall. I'm arachnophobic and ran to get some spray to get rid of it but when I got back, it was gone...

There's no one around to kill it for me and the prospect of entering the room again is irrationally terrifying. A quick google search says that Switzerland has no poisonous spiders but still, is this normal for the spiders to be this gigantic? Getting some spider spray or what have you ASA-freaking-P tomorrow morning...

YES it is normal after the 7th dl of whisk(e)y
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Old 12.06.2013, 06:49
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

I've had such a monster in my place last year. I can't upload the pic from my iPad, but believe me it was terrifying.

Now, of course it was not the body that was 10 cm wide, but the body plus the gigantic legs reached a diameter of a good 15 cm.

If I'm not mistaken they are called Tegenaire spiders in French (spelling?). They are totally harmless but can reach truly impressive sizes.
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Old 12.06.2013, 06:55
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

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I've had such a monster in my place last year. I can't upload the pic from my iPad, but believe me it was terrifying.

Now, of course it was not the body that was 10 cm wide, but the body plus the gigantic legs reached a diameter of a good 15 cm.

If I'm not mistaken they are called Tegenaire spiders in French (spelling?). They are totally harmless but can reach truly impressive sizes.
If meeting such a beast again, try to displace it onto the balcony. Succeeded once two years ago, and the beast killed all wasps and other such things, while residing just outside my balcony.
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Old 12.06.2013, 07:18
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

As a geeky biologist...
it's almost assuredly Tegenaria duellica.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_house_spider

Weirdly enough, the only other place these horrid things are found is the west coast of Canada (Vancouver - my home city!).

They're awful looking, but they're really harmless. That said I nearly peed myself when I saw one in the hallway last summer. And my husband who will squish arachnids with his hand if required was so put off by the enormity of the thing (>10cm in diameter, or 4") he went and sought The Sunday Edition of the paper to swat it with.

Left a terrible squish on the wall. We left it there a few days for the landlord to see, and as a warning to other creepy crawlies to stay inside the walls!!

Here's some general spider tips that help me sleep at night when I've had a similar experience:
  • pull your bed away from the wall so they can't crawl onto it
  • don't let your blankets touch the floor
  • put double-sided sticky tape on the legs of your bed to prevent them from crawling up (warning: you might accidentally 'catch' one this way!)
  • consider getting an energetic pet cat or a pet gecko!
  • put down glue traps (cruel to all creatures - not sure I can stomach this, but my neighbour can. The worst part is disposing of the traps with a giant spider in it, apparently!)
  • go on a sealing and caulking spree and hermetically seal your apartment!
  • go on vacation during August and September when all these suckers come out looking for some rumpy-pumpy!
  • get a boyfriend who will dispatch the horrid beasties when they appear. Then marry him so you'll have free, on-demand pest-control for life. (This is what I did - I can highly recommend it!).
  • wear slippers around the house (my friend stepped on one of these in the dark once. It went crunch and she's never been quite right since!), but maybe have a glance in them before you put in your feet..
As Poptart mentioned, there are several old posts on this topic. I don't recommend them if you don't like photos of giant, awful spiders.

The most scary one (IMO) was taken by an EF member of a giant spider on her cupboard doors.... it gives me nightmares.
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Old 12.06.2013, 07:26
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

All you need to do, is gently cup both hands around it, until it crawls on one and just put it outside - there is absolutely no need to squash spiders.
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Old 12.06.2013, 07:27
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Re: GIGANTIC spiders in Switzerland...

Also, if it makes you feel any better, they have the World Record as the fastest 'true spiders'! So you probably didn't have much of a chance of catching it. Hopefully it retreated quickly from whence it came....

I'd seriously putty up any cracks around the window frames, doorways, baseboards, cupboards, etc. That's my strategy anyway. Urgh.
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