REAL LIFE

Expert says: A spider has definitely crawled across you while you sleep

... and maybe gone hunting in your eyebrows.
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In an interview with John Stanley and Garry Linnel on 2UE Michael Tate – better knowns as the Australian Reptile Park’s ‘Ranger Mick’ – says the odds are a huntsman has invited themselves into your bed.

Live in Sydney and are over 35? You’re guaranteed to have had at least a couple 8-legged creepies scurry across your sleeping body.

Clearly unaware that we’re grossed out enough, he adds this stomach churning insight: ‘Bushy eyebrows are the perfect hunting ground for a spider… It’s very likely that someone may have had prey caught on their face by a huntsman.’

JOhn Howard
How many huntsmen have managed to reach those hunting grounds?

It may send shivers down the spine – but it’s often said that if you can handle the common huntsman round your house you may find them a useful guest. Despite their long legs and hairy bodies, huntsman spiders aren’t actually considered dangerous to humans, and they may even be a huge help if you have a cockroach problem.

‘If you’re going to have a spider running around the house, make it a harmless huntsman,’ says Ranger Mick.

As for that saying that we swallow spiders in our sleep? Rob Crawford, Curator of Arachnids at Seattle’s Burke Museum, says it’s pretty unlikely. If nothing else – a spider is not going to totter happily into an open mouth, exhaling hot air.

‘Just try blowing on a spider and see how they react to that!’ Crawford says. ‘It’s not attractive to them!’

Ranger Mick can’t help but leave us with one last spine-tingling fact. Even if you may never swallow one: ‘Huntsmen can walk across you and you wouldn’t know.’

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