Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

Old May 25th 2002, 6:20 am
Russell Driver
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

"Benny" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > You have all expressed your fear of Spiders and Snakes which in real terms bite so
    > few people most REAL AUSTRALIANS don't even give them a second thought ... But Drop
    > Bears on the other hand are responsible for the death of about 1200 people per year
    > in all parts of Australia from the bush and into city area's with tall tree's ..
    > Please do yourself a huge favour and
    > some research on them before arriving because it may save your life if you learn
    > how to escape when being hunted by a pack of drop bears.

Ahhh, the Drop Bears.I wondered when someone would let their secret out. Don't you
know we are supposed to let the "newbies" find out about them on their own,
terrifying they are!


Luck is when the paths of opportunity and preparation cross.
Old May 25th 2002, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

Aarghh yes the dreaded Drop Bears - yeah right nice try!!!

The BEASTIES - contrary to some of the **** we see in the media very few animals (worldwide) attack humans unless they're provoked or threatened. I grew up in Africa and was exposed to lions, elephants, numerous snakes etc etc but with the exception of (1) a group of tourists who tried to pose with a pride of lions
(2) Another visitor who tried to swim a mile in the downstream Zambesi ('twas a hippo not a croc), I am unaware of too many fatalities. Plenty of lesser incidents but even those involved doing things the avarage person wouldn't do e.g. one of my mates who was a 'snake handler' has been bitten several times but let's face it who wants to go around handling snakes the whole time?

The moral - ask the locals (perhaps try not to use an English accent or they'll try the 'drop bears' type story on you)



PS look at ito relative risk, you got a better chance of winning the lottery, being hit by an asteroid, getting run over on the motorway than being wiped out by a beastie.

The moral
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Old May 25th 2002, 9:37 pm
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I was in Melbourne for 6 months, lived in a 9th floor apartment, and kept windows closed all the time, didn't see a thing, nice and safe !!

At the end of my time there went to North Queensland, saw a snake, wow, saw big spiders don't know what type, just BIG, and big lizards, 3 ft long !

Also went at the Jelly fish time, and was warned don't go in the sea, no problem, except when you go out to the reef, come back to shore and the boat ferrying you to the shore breaks down, and you have to wade the last 100 ft to shore, not a problem they say, well it wasn't.

Just keep your eyes open, and you'll all be fine, benefits outweigh the creepy crawlies I say !
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Old May 25th 2002, 9:45 pm
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I think I am going to be sick!!!
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Old May 25th 2002, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

As a fellow Scot i too am scared of big spiders. I would advise buying that book... to twat the bugger with...
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Old May 26th 2002, 10:37 am
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are the drob bears related to the haggis family?
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Old May 26th 2002, 10:38 am
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

Hi guys

For those of you who are really scared of the bugs try this:

sorry about how long it is, but I'm not a computer whizz and don't know how to do those fancy links!!..hey cool, it's done it by itself!!!

Lakeland won't know what's hit them if their sales suddenly jump up on spider catchers!!!

love sophia x
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Old May 26th 2002, 12:20 pm
Terry R Brookin
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

    > I can't help wondering - if redbacks live in your mailbox, how many posties get
    > bitten each year?

Well the posties usually post through the slot, whereas the recipient has to put
their hand into the interior of the postbox. You learn to look first...

We were travelling in convoy with friends one day when our friends car came to an
abrupt halt in a cloud of tyre smoke in front of us. They piled out of the car at
speed, and we wondered what was going on. It turned out that they had been happily
driving along when a snake appeared slithering up the steering column. Imagine what
my friend felt looking down and seeing a snake's head in the region of his crutch!
<g> After they calmed down, we located it under one of the seats and with my friend
diverting it's attention, I got hold of it's tail and dragged it out of the car. It
slithered off into the bush. The (English) wife wouldn't get back into the car and
continued the rest of the journey with us! <g>

I've encountered many of the nasties in Oz, including having a Redback on my hand.
The only time I've been stung was a bluebottle on Bondi Beach. It's all about common
sense and remaining cool. The only exception is the piranha cockatoo - a particularly
nasty and aggressive variety of cockatoo that hunts in packs rather like piranhas. In
certain parts of the Northern Territory they advise the wearing of helmets if you
venture into the bush. They pelt you with stones and rocks from the trees, and then
when you're stunned, they swoop in packs and peck you to pieces. Apart from the
Aborigine folklore, they were practically unknown until recently, when an attack was
filmed by a Japanese tourist...
Regards -Terry
Old May 26th 2002, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

while in oz (melbourne) earlier this year being the boring type that i am i found myself glued to watching terestarl daytime t.v
on this perticular program i was watching they sold gadgets. you know like things that make cucumbers into pretty shapes and things. well one of the items that was being advertised was a thing that plugs into your elecrical socket and sends out a varying inaudibale noise that is supposed to make all those horrible beastie things run away, they said this included spiders and cockroaches, but not wives.
shaun and lor
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Old May 28th 2002, 4:20 pm
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My wife was petrified of spiders in England. Before we were married, a big spider in her flat in Southampton meant she would scream, and up and leave to go to her mum's, until I got there to deal with it. When living together, she still hated any spider in the room and refused to go near letting out a huge scream, and prefered to get out of the room - my son likewise. These were two big obstacles to thinking about coming out here.Â

However, they really have got used to it, I'd say after just 4-6 months, and now casually observe a big spider and allow me to deal with it without panic, which is an amazing change! I'm sure most people don't like them, but the Huntsmans aren't dangerous though I expect they could bite, but on the whole all the creepy crawleys are more afraid of you and tend to stay out of your way. It's when you go to bed and suddenly see a huge one on the wall that gives you the creeps! Of course you are meant to shut the screen doors but the weather is so nice that often you throw windows/doors open and forget about them. So many times we've come upstairs to bed to find the verandah doors wide open, at which point we do have a check of the curtains and other places for creepy crawleys. But really in 2.5 years, it's only happened about 6 times, and it generates a bit of excitement catching the thing and killing it!. Yes of course they are not nice looking! but my wife no longer screams and runs out of the room. There's another spider here which is very creepy looking - cabbage like and light green with a dome for a body. We've only seen that 3 or 4 times and they are just as easy to catch.

One of the things you'll notice when you go in the supermarket, as well as the huge variety of chocolate, is the huge variety of bug sprays! Some barrier spray for outside helps keep spiders and ants from crawling in, and any general spray inside slows the spiders down until you can squash them. Once the thing is immobilised, I put toilet paper over it and then smash it! Those huntsman are quite bulky... they don't just squash down to nothing... there's quite a bit left!

When we moved in and first looked up at our verandahs, there were little beige blobs all over it... looking like blobs of chewing gum! We learnt these were spiders eggs..... and the easy answer... pressure spray... gets rid of the real quick! It's just another thing to bear in mind when you are clearing up outside! You can also spray the house, or get it sprayed professionally... inside and out. Inside, someone comes and sprays cupboards, cracks everything.... I'm not sure what they use. Outside, they spray all around the gutters, under the eaves, under the verandahs etc. It certainly seems to keep it much clearer of spiders. I have done this myself using "Pidgeon's Pest Controller 500" Group 1B insectiside - professional use only - not for residential use and with a host of serious warnings on the bottle!

Now Redbacks are the poisonous spiders that you do get sometimes - and they don't look scary because they are fairly small and thin - yet after a while, you begin to feel casual about that too..... treating them really only as significant as a wasp - ie something you avoid but just stay calm and deal with it if you happen to see one. Spraying the outside of the house, eaves, verandahs helps to keep them away. The main thing to watch for is perhaps look under your outdoor furniture if you're about to move it. Spray under there once in a while... also in the corners of your garage or shed, they like going there. A couple of years ago, we seemed to be getting quite a few redbacks in the house, until we found the crack where they were and sprayed inside. We didn't see any for over a year, then just last week we found one in the garage. He's disappeared before we could get rid of him so I've left a can of bug spray nearby, ready for him.

Once my wife called on the mobile in fright, in our 4th month here, - saying a really fast and absolutely massive spider had just run across the living room...she claimed it was as big as a mouse- so I had to come back from my friend's house to find my wife perched feet up on a chair....and we searched the edge of the living room for it. I was quite edgy myself having heard the size... but it turned out that it really was a mouse after all.Â

Quite honestly, spiders are easy to deal with and you will find the fear eases up fast...just spray them to slow them down, then squash them! and you really won't find too many though it's amazing how far they can stretch a web across two trees 20 metres apart.

We did have a spider appear in the car just once as we were about to get back in... and it started to rain so we were stuck outside. I had to run back to the supermarket and buy some spray.. then come back and try and search under the seats. Quite a difficult job as they know you're after them... but there was absoutely no way we were about to drive anywhere knowing it was in there! On that subject... it's a good idea not to leave the car doors open at home.... and invitation for a snake to come in. Not that it's likely, just something you don't do ! I've popped a couple of plastic spiders in the visor that dropped on my wife when she opened it but that joke has gone a bit sour now!

Now it's the ants that are the real problem! They all bite... just stand still on the grass barefoot for a while, and you could well get bitten. But a large black ant or a green ant bites painfully and the pain is around 50% of a wasp sting in intensity. If one gets stuck in your shoes it carries on biting and you soon know about it ! But it doesn't stop you sitting down for a picnic... but the moment an ant appears, brush it away quick! You can get "ant sand" to sprinkle over your brick paths to get rid of them.

If you are actually right by trees - within metres of the property, then you might get more creepycrawlies. Otherwise I don't think you get more in rural areas... in fact funnily enough we've not seen a big spider (only the one redback) inside for 6 months. But they are all bigger than in the UK! – just have some spray handy.

Snakes – seen a few – they are very timid and stay away from you – but don’t approach them and you’ll be fine. My wife hasn’t seen one in 2.5 years. I saw a python in the undergrowth – if I was in England I would have called the zoo! In fact a snake did chase my friend on his tractor, but honestly encounters are so few and far between or non existent that I wouldn’t worry about it.

Kids here in Oz grow up knowing these things exist, so they take some natural precautions that your kids might not. So keep warning them in the first year, such as getting them to walk around, not shortcut through some bushy area with long grass, and intentionally worrying them that there may be a snake there to allow them to build their own defenses. Best idea is to stay away from long grass and undergrowth... if it's on your property.... get that mower out!! If it's not easy to mow, use a "whipper snipper" or "brushcutter" (strimmer)!

The sound of insects at night while it's hot (Oct-Apr), is amazing! Continuous jungle sounds as if someone has put 360 degree surround speakers outside... except it's for real! Also the birds have some very strange sounds too, all very distinctive. Pop outside to throw something in the bin and here some thudding around your feet, which will make you jump at first - but then you'll find it's almost certainly just the Cain toads which come out at night during the summer and mostly stay out of the light. I still wonder where they all go during the day. Some are massive and we've had a couple thud up against the patio doors once in a while! Australians hate Cain toads and treat them as a pest and try to introduce you to some nasty traditions such as hitting them with golf clubs. I'm sure far more get squished just driving up and down the drive. They wither away to a crispy shell very quickly in the sun!

After over two years here, having got used to just about everything creepy crawly that could be thrown at us, we went to a friends house for afternoon BBQ. We had just been for a walk at Mount Glorious and it had been a bit muddy up there. After some excitement with finding redbacks under their furniture that they thought they'd got rid of the day before, we suddenly saw the most disgusting slimy dark, fat worm like creature inching its way across the patio. Someone stepped on it and red blood oozed all over the tiles. Where the hell did that come everyone wondered? After looking around, I looked down and saw a second one right there on my foot, between two toes. I couldn't believe it, having driven for 20 minutes since ending the walk, both of them must have been there all the time..... a leech ! It was having a wonderful meal and we poured salt on its back and I think sprayed it too. Why me ???!! I thought.... and subsequently squashed that one too creating even more blood this time. The area itched for about 2 months! Well I understand that this could equally well have happened in England in a damp area, but it goes down as another Australian creepy crawly story for me!

Last edited by timsorrell; May 28th 2002 at 4:29 pm.
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Old May 29th 2002, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

About the leeches, elders say here that if you find one stuck on you, should live it alone rather than kill it, this way the bite won't hurt. They also say that is good for those having history of heart attack or strokes let once in a while a leech to "thin" their blood. Responsible for this action is a substance having a anti-clotting effect. Anyway, this is for European leeches, as in Australia all crawlies are bigger use them on your own risk.
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Old May 29th 2002, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

I've just read Tim's post re creepy-crawlies. What a response ! - I feel there is not much I don't know on the subject now.

Good on you Tim !
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Old May 29th 2002, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

What a major response to my irrational phobia,

Thanks a million(in some cases)

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Old May 29th 2002, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

Tim - you were wearing sandals! I hope? My toes are curling - mind you I just heard a Sydneyite (spelling?) saying today she was moving to Melbourne as she heard there are no cockies down there, after one experience watching one on the train the other morning wandering round peoples feet - I might follow!!! Never mind the fact I watched a huge one wander outside the building in work while I had a smoke and was so keen to make sure I got back inside I walked straight into the glass sided building ! Does this count as an insect injury? or just make me look a pratt to the others that saw me - I wandered off laughing at myself, cockroach forgotton.
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Old May 29th 2002, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Big, Hairy, Bitie, Beasties

Poor Sandra, my tale of woe is nearly as bad (or judge!!).

When we were in Perth in October we were staying at a rellies house and we came in one night and I saw this HUGE black thing scuttling across the floor (the light had obviously frightened it)....I screamed that 'there is a creature in the house' everyone came running, but of course, the thing had long gone into hiding.

I described the thing to my sister who informed me that it sounded like a bush cockroach....apparently they can fly!!! EEEWWWWW!!! I spent the rest of the night searching for the thing with my hood up!!!

And this from an Aussie (who admittedly has spent most of her life in the UK!!!).

love sophia x
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