Toxic or harmless? What to do?

More and more often, Nosferatu spiders are seen in bathtubs, cellars, on doors and other places near people in different regions of Germany. Sensational headlines like “How dangerous is the poisonous giant spider?” is circulating in the media. Uncertainty and panic can arise not only in people who are already afraid of spiders. New invasive animal species do not pose a threat to native species – including us humans.

Here you can find out what effects a Nosferatu spider bite has on humans, why you don’t need to be afraid of the new spider species and what to do if you see one.

How poisonous is Nosferatu’s spider really?

The media is now picking up on new signs almost every day – and this often paints a bad picture, because the Nosferatu spiders (Zoropsis spinimana). toxic, but for most people perfectly harmless.

Although the animals, which are actually native to the Mediterranean region, are up to five centimeters in size, they are formidable, but no one needs to be afraid of the bite of a Nosferatu spider. For people who don’t suffer from allergies, symptoms are usually mild: spider bites can be swollen and red like a mosquito bite. In more sensitive people, the pain level can approach a mild bee sting. [2, 3]

However, Nosferatu spiders avoid “big” threats – including the human finger – and only bite when cornered and threatened.

Online game Nosferatus Spider
The venom of the Nosferatu spider is not dangerous to humans.
Photo: Stodtmeister / CC BY 3.0

Where are the Nosferatu spiders and how do I recognize them?

Nosferatu spiders are crepuscular and nocturnal and like to be confined to buildings. [4] For example, with the help of insect nets on the windows, you can prevent unexpected visits from spiders, wasps and other animals that you would rather not have in the apartment.

Also, Nosferatu spiders, which also look like wolf spiders, are often confused with house angle spiders. These are the differences:

  • Angle house spiders are sometimes larger in diameter, but have more delicate branches, and their body shape is also narrower.
  • Nosferatu spiders have a body almost twice the size and stronger than house spiders.
  • Nosferatu spiders are usually lighter in color, ranging from yellow to brown.
  • If you use your imagination, you can see the drawing of the character Nosferatu from the 1922 film of the same name on his torso. Hence the Nosferatu spider got its name.
  • House angle spiders build networks and therefore stay in one place. Nosferatu spiders belong to the ruff-chasing spiders that change their location in search of food.
  • House angle spiders cannot stick to smooth surfaces such as bathtubs and sinks, and are often stuck. Nosferatu spiders can even walk on vertical glass thanks to adhesive hairs on their legs.

Nosferatu spider discovered – what to do?

Please do not kill spiders, there are animal friendly and effective ways to remove them. The easiest way to catch a Nosferatu spider is to carefully place a large drinking glass over the creature, slide a piece of cardboard (like a magazine) underneath, and carry it out the door. Do not grab the animal with your hands, you provoke it to bite.

Then you can simply release the spider in front of the door or window. For those who are very afraid of spiders, there are also special insect grabbers that you can use to collect insects such as bugs from a distance and take them out. For example, you can find one of these live bug bites in our PETA store.

Why do we find some animals beautiful and others gross?

Our own perception is the main reason why we like to caress some animals and keep them as so-called pets, while at the same time others – like the spider in Nosferatu – often find them disgusting. This personal feeling can never justify inflicting pain and suffering on a living being. That’s why you should never kill creatures like the Nosferatu Spider, which can be scary to us because of its different characteristics.

Classifying other animals into certain categories and limiting their usefulness, for example, is part of a discriminatory paradigm. Speciesism is the same as racism: In speciesism, other species are deliberately devalued in order to justify their exploitation. Educate yourself and others about speciesism and act with compassion—to all living things!

More tips on how to deal with spiders in the house

Spiders are useful creatures. Recently, evidence has even been found that spiders dream like dogs, cats, pigs and us humans. You can find out which spiders you often find in your home and other tips and information on how to deal with these fascinating creatures here.

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