Skip to comments.Yellow sack spider reports trigger hysteria in Austria
Posted on 08/06/2006 7:50:35 PM PDT by Marius3188
VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- An eight-legged invasion is giving some Austrians the creeps.
The venomous yellow sack spider, whose painful bite can cause headache and nausea, has become the talk of the country since several people were bitten earlier this summer.
Reports of spider sightings have dominated the local news, triggering hundreds of calls to a Vienna poison hot line and prompting the government to plead for calm.
"The bites of a yellow sack spider are indeed painful but not deadly," Health Minister Maria Rauch-Kallat said in a statement. "If you are bitten, please don't panic and in case of discomfort immediately contact a doctor."
In a sign of the hysteria, 190 people went to a hospital Wednesday in the northwestern city of Linz fearing they had been bitten. Only eight of them had the right symptoms, doctors told Austrian state broadcaster ORF.
Eva Reiner, a Vienna business consultant, fished a dead yellow sack spider out of her pool this week -- and hasn't gone swimming since.
"It wasn't even alive, and it still looked evil to me," she said.
Experts are urging people to keep their perspective.
The yellow and brown striped critter -- Cheiracanthium punctorium in Latin -- is one of 1,000 similar species found in Austria and neighboring countries, said Christian Komposch of an animal ecology institute in the southern city of Graz.
There are sightings every year, said Komposch, who accused the news media of spreading misleading information and fanning the frenzy.
BFD! What a nation of wimps.
Fake but accurate.
Duh! I noticed that too late. You're right. One doesn't tend to hear much about poisonous ANYTHING in AUSTRIA s in my haste I misread it.
Years ago we had an invasion of grey taurantulas. They were smaller than the classic black ones but very creepy. We managed to seal up the holes in our house and kept them out.
Venemous yellow sacks? Sounds like an MSM description.
No, the MSM would be venemous brown sacks.
I can't tell if that's a Toyota or a Chevy in the first joint of the tentacle curved back into its mouth, but either way, yikes!
I'm sure they all shrug their shoulders at reports of incoming rockets in Haifa. But a few yellow spiders in their own home town has them all cringing with fear.
True, but in the same way wasps and hornets are not poisonous. They can put one heck of an OUCH on you.
We have then here too. I took my grandchildren out one night with a portable UV light so they could see how they glow under the UV light.
Doesn't take too long to find them around tree bark, old logs etc. When you start to picture them as "land shrimp",
("Ummmmm! land shrimp!")
it's time to go back to the house and pig out.
LOL - "land shrimp", apt description.
I guess those sac spiders are around here after all. I got it mixed up with the "Hobo" spider.
I haven't seen any sac spiders around here though.
I initially read the heading as Australia, also.
"We had a scorpion in the house this morning - yikes. Hubby swept him up and flushed him."
Don't they clog up the pipes? I thought the critters were kinda big.
Many years ago when I took geology in college the professor was always careful to place a rock hammer or other object of known size in any slide he took so the audience would know the real size of the formation that had been photographed. It definitely pays to to the same thing when photographing insects or arachnids.
I had no choice on the photos 'cause I didn't take the pictures...I just referenced their URLs.
Not here - the biggest ones I've seen in this area are about 1" - 1 1/2" long - cricket size, basically.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.