Introduction: Safe Humane Spider/ Insect Catcher

This “humane” spider trap was inspired by family members with severe
arachnophobia. The worst spider for them is the Huntsman because of its large size and hairy covering. Other insects such as large cockroaches are also a problem in Australia.

Step 1: Humane Spider and Insect Trap

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The trap is designed to be attractive to a spider threatened by approaching predators, and suggests a safe haven or escape by offering what appears to be a black pathway to a black hole in which to hide. For the human, capture is done remotely, at the end of a broomstick or other piece of dowel. The trap seems to work as intended, because the cockroach or spider usually heads into the hole and curls up. This is comforting for the catcher who can place the lid on the open end of the trap, for safe disposal of the contents by a quick flip of the handle.

Step 2: Description.

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The trap is made from a transparent soft drink bottle with straight walls and a screw top lid. The label is removed and the bottom of the bottle cut off just where the curve forms. This acts as the lid of the trap. The bottle top is painted black inside and screwed to the end of a broom handle (or dowel) of a length chosen by the distance at which one wants to use the trap. For example if one wants to catch the spiders or insects on the ceiling or at similar distances, a standard broom handle length works well. If this is too clumsy, shorter rods and/or a smaller drink bottle can be used for more confined places.

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The reason for this type of bottle is that the walls are flexible for fitting into uneven places or corners in order to prevent escape. The transparency is important so that the prey can be observed at all times through the trap wall and so that the spider cannot see the trap approaching. A black stripe leading upwards from the edge of the trap provides the spider or insect with an apparent pathway to follow. This black stripe, representing a branch in shadow, leads all the way into the bottle top, the inside of which is painted black to represent the bolt hole, or safe spot.

Step 3: Figure 1. Items Needed.

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Equipment and tools needed are shown in figure 1,

Instead of paint or a black felt tip pen, black insulating tape, or rough black carpet tape, which provides a good skid free surface can be used for the inside of the bottle top and for the black stripe.

Step 4: Figure 2.

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Figure 2 shows removal of the bottle bottom, which is used for closing the trap after capture of the insect or spider, by rotating it and inserting into the bottle. (Figure 3.)

Step 5: Figure 3. Rotated Cut Bottom of Bottle Acts As Lid.

Step 6: Figures 4, 5, 6 and 7.

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The bottle top is drilled centrally and a similar hole made in the end of the broom stick, (Figures 4 and 5).

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The next figures, 6 and 7, show the tops screwed in place and their insides coloured black.

Step 7: Complete "black Hole" for the Safe Destination, Figure 8.

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The black “hole” is completed by blackening the neck of the bottle (figure 8) and the black path to safety in the black hideaway is attached with the black insulating tape as in figure 9.

Step 8: Path to Safe Black Hole Made With Black Tape, Figure 9

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A view of this is seen in figure 10, followed by the completed trap attached to the broom stick in figure 11.

Step 9: Figures 10 and 11

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The bottom of the bottle can be attached with a string to the broom in order to prevent its loss when most needed! It is simply placed upside down into the end of the bottle, or the right way up if the bottle shape permits, after the capture. . (Figures 12 and 13, below.)

Step 10: Figures 12 and 13.

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The flexible sides of the trap can be used at an angle to the wall and in the corner between the wall and ceiling as shown in figures 14 and 15.

Step 11: Figures 14 and 15.

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Figure 16. A large Huntsman spider in the trap after crawling down black pathway.

The latest small version of the trap, (the one litre plastic lemonade bottle on a short dowelling handle) has black matt carpet tape inside the bottle and its lid. This can be a problem occasionally because the spider has a better grip, and can resist being shaken out of the safe retreat! The trap has been a boon for all who have used it, and takes care of recycling of a few bottles.

If the spider or cockroach is on the floor, it is worth placing the black stripe downward, i.e. next to the floor as you slide the bottle slowly towards her, to bring her up to a wall or the skirting board. She will see you through the bottle and usually runs up the stripe into the hole for safety!

Step 12: Figure 16: Large Huntsman Safely in the Hole! Figure 17: Smaller 1 Litre Size Trap.