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Giant Spiders in Laos

Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
210 posts
9 reviews
Giant Spiders in Laos

Hi All,

My husband just saw an article that said there are giant spiders called Huntsman spiders in Laos, I think in caves. Is this true? I think he is worried about Pak Ou caves. He insists he will not do any caves. I hat spiders but if they are not gonna drop on my head or be in my hotel room I might be okay. Any sightings?

18 replies to this topic
Vientiane
Level Contributor
6,533 posts
95 reviews
1. Re: Giant Spiders in Laos

There are so many spiders. They are at least a metre across. We also have drop bears and hoop snakes.

Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
210 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: Giant Spiders in Laos

Thanks that was a very helpful response.

Melbourne, Australia
1 post
3. Re: Giant Spiders in Laos

Hi,

I went to the caves 2 weeks ago with my husband and teen aged kids and we did not see any spiders. The caves are amazing - very open and there is plenty of room.

Enjoy the caves,

Cheers,

VI

lewes uk
Level Contributor
10,674 posts
206 reviews
4. Re: Giant Spiders in Laos

Hi,

Also please note, the giant huntsman gets to a maximum size of 30cm leg span, often much less and is not that common.

Cheers

Buckinghamshire...
Level Contributor
91 posts
53 reviews
5. Re: Giant Spiders in Laos

@Peppersiluv - The Huntsman is not poisonous. But beware of the woodLaos : )

I stayed in one of the nicest guest houses in Laos and it had a huge spider that lived in the bathroom. So if you have a phobia about arachnids in your hotel then forget Laos. This is the Tropics after all! - so I'm not sure what you're expecting?

Vientiane, Laos
Destination Expert
for Vientiane
Level Contributor
3,347 posts
278 reviews
6. Re: Giant Spiders in Laos

I have Huntsman spiders in my house - they are usually only 5-10cm across and are very timid - they run away quickly when they detect movement. I don't remember seeing any at Pak Ou.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,020 posts
119 reviews
7. Re: Giant Spiders in Laos

There are so many visitors to the caves at Pak Ou that any self-respecting spider would stay well out of the way. I have seen biggish spidies in caves in Asia (Thailand though, not Laos), but well off the track, trying to look inconspicuous. They have no reason to get in our way - we are not their prey.

Phuket, Thailand
Level Contributor
4 posts
5 reviews
8. Re: Giant Spiders in Laos

hahaha where I am from in Australia we have a lot of huntsmen spiders. Don't worry they are harmless.

St. Catharines...
Level Contributor
4 posts
8 reviews
9. Re: Giant Spiders in Laos

Huntsman spiders can be found in almost every tropical and sub-topical country in the world. Not just Laos. You will find them in every south east Asian country....Africa, India, northern part of Australia, South America, and the southern U.S. also.

They have been known to inflict defensive poisonous bites, but are not widely regarded as dangerous to healthy humans. Their poison is mild, probably less than a bee sting.....and your greatest danger is probably an infection of the bite. Like a possible infection of any cut or bite. Huntsman spiders are widely considered beneficial because they feed on insect pests such as cockroaches and crickets.

It is not always clear what provokes Huntsman spiders to bite people, but it is known that female members of this family will aggressively defend their egg sacs and young against perceived threats. The rarity of bites on various body parts suggests that most are accidental or incidental, resulting from inadvertent handling. You can usually let this spider walk on you hand without it biting. But some people are not careful and they try to annoy the spider. Bites from Huntsman spiders usually do not require hospital treatment. In particular, no cases of necrosis have been reported.

Be careful.... use your common sense if you are around them, and if you get a bite... wash the bite well, and use an antibiotic cream and bandage as you would for any minor cut or wound. Your husband should relax and not worry.

Geoffrey K. Isbister & David Hirst (2003). "A prospective study of definite bites by spiders of the family Sparassidae (huntsmen spiders) with identification to species level". Toxicon. 42 (2): 163–171. doi:10.1016/S0041-0101(03)00129-6. PMID 12906887

S. H. Skaife (1963). A Naturalist Remembers. Longmans South Africa. OCLC 11111496

Edited: 21 April 2017, 21:23
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,020 posts
119 reviews
10. Re: Giant Spiders in Laos

I think it's worth recognising, too, that if you have an anxiety about spiders, no amount of cited facts can help. People who are afraid of spiders can be told till you're hoarse that they're not in danger. It's just the look of them. Chances are you (and he) won't see any spiders in the caves, but if you do they'll probably be over to the side, off the track, so easily avoided. If he does see one, it may be quite big (small hand size), so it might scare him, even sitting quietly and inconspicuously. It depends on how bad his phobia is, as to whether youo can get him into the caves or not...

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