Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Canadian Creepy Crawlies: ‘Does It Bite?’

Aisha Isabel Ashraf
One of the less vaunted aspects of adapting to life abroad is getting to know your neighbours. Not the human ones, with whom you can decide the degree of interaction you’re mutually comfortable with. I mean those household occupants we live cheek by jowl with who don’t share a surname or the rent (or any idea of personal space, come to think of it).

Before we emigrated I did a little internet digging on just how murderous Mother Nature habitually was in southern Ontario and was relieved to find Ontario's only poisonous snake is the Massasauga Rattler, which put us on a par with the adder in the UK. By moving, we’d just be swapping one for the other, the bonus being we’d hear this one coming!

As far as spiders were concerned, all we had to worry about was the Brown Recluse spider (or Fiddleback), which can inflict a bite capable of causing a rash, nausea, fever, scarring and even death. Bizarrely, while researching this article (and trying to make myself feel better by confirming my hunch of a similarly hazardous species of spider in Britain) I discovered there are more venomous spiders in the UK than I realized, so I figure if I survived over twenty years there without any issues the odds look good for us here...


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