* Prices may differ from that shown
*I'm still tallulahbang, by the way*
I give you fair warning: if you are of a sensitive disposition or a bit arachnophobic, don't read on.
So, one day a couple of weeks ago at about 10.30pm, I was sat with the TV off and one lamp lit, contentedly reading my book. Out of the corner of one eye, I saw something walk from the living room door to the computer table. Initially, I thought it was a mouse. It moved again, and I realised IT WAS THE WORLD'S BIGGEST SPIDER. Not to exaggerate, or anything, but this beastie could have eaten the dog and then wondered what was for pudding. It had hair, nails, teeth and big boots. I'm pretty sure it had 'LOVE' and 'HATE' tattooed on the knees of each leg, too. It was so big, in fact, that when it ran behind one of the castors of my computer chair, I could quite clearly see its legs poking out either side.
I had no idea what to do: it was the kind of size that if I'd stomped on it or hit it with a shoe and missed, it would have borne a grudge and murdered me to death in my sleep. So I did what any responsible adult would do: I ignored it and hoped that it would go away. Boris (for, in a nod to The Who, that's what I'd named him) had, in the meantime, made good his escape and scuttled off under a wheeled cabinet on which I keep the fish tank, the printer and other assorted bits and pieces.
In the cold light of day, though, I decided that ignorance is rarely bliss and decided to investigate underneath aforementioned cabinet. What I saw suspended there was the stuff of nightmares: a massive spiders' nest. There were several pods visible in it and it was at least half a metre across.
Now, before you get all judgemental on me and tell me that spiders are the gardener's friend and busy themselves with eating troublesome insects, let me tell you this: if you'd seen this thing, you'd have napalmed it without a second thought. I, though, had only the vacuum cleaner in my armoury, so that had to suffice.
A couple of days later I happened to drop something down the back of the armchair. I pulled it out to retrieve said item, and there, poised in the act of building another nest inches from my head, was Boris (who had evidently escaped the probing nozzle of the Electrolux). Enough is enough, and, after Febrezing him to death (it was all I had to hand) I set off down to Homebase to get myself some spider-killing spray, or some napalm; whichever was cheaper.
Homebase, disappointingly as it turns out, don't sell weapons grade petrochemicals. They don't sell spider killer/deterrent of any kind, in fact. So, I ended up getting a can of Rentokil spray for the princely sum of £2.99, which aims to kill wasps, ants, flies and any crawling insects.
The can looks like a bog standard aerosol can, although the nozzle is slightly finer. It claims it will kill insects in flight, as well as deterring any insects from crawling on surfaces on which it has been sprayed.
Being the consumer warrior that I am, I've tested it extensively on your behalf. The results are as follows:
*Wasp that was crawling around on my bed*
Bizzed angrily for a couple of seconds, looked like it was thinking of whipping out a Browning 9mm and shooting me to death if only it had one to hand, and then died.
*Woodlouse that was heading for the bookcase*
*Small dog that inadvertently decided to investigate what mum was doing just as I was spraying the woodlouse*
Coughed and spluttered a bit, but definitely and defiantly still alive.
*Small-ish spider that was lurking under my shoes*
Curled up and died.
*Annoying mega-big bluebottle that had been puttering around the house for a few days*
After one squirt it was a bit punch drunk, doing mad zigzags and flying into walls, 2 squirts later and it hit the deck.
With that kind of effectiveness you'd expect it to smell awful, but it actually smells lovely; somewhere between hairspray and air freshener. The nice smell may belie how harmful this is, though: Homebase list it as an 18+ age-restricted item and the back of the can is just awash with warnings in BOLD font and pictures that imply that you'd be wise not to use it as a deodorant. There are also many labels stating how toxic it is to aquatic life and how it must not be allowed to get into the water table. And, well, when something's capable of wiping out the fishies, you know you're dealing with some serious stuff.
I can't help but thinking that when a product has this many warnings, it must mean that it's seriously bad for the environment. After all, if it will kill the majority of crawling and flying insects, that must also mean it's capable of taking out the nice ones like ladybirds and butterflies as well. I would therefore advise using it with caution or saving it for the rare occasions when you have a bit of an infestation. It's certainly not something I would recommend spraying around the house or garden every day.
It's not all doom and gloom, though: the back of the can also proclaims that it is for amateur use only, so your hopes of bringing back the gold medal in insect-annihilating at the next Olympics need not be dashed. Every cloud has a silver lining, eh?
Fly, Ant & Wasp Spray is a unique multi-purpose surface and space spray for the control of flies, ants, wasps and other insects in and around the home / Fast acting / Surface and space spray / Contains Permethrin & D-Allethrin / This product is intended for indoor use. Always read the label and product information before use. Use biocides safely.