Ah, the rainy season is upon us here in Japan. Actually, this applies to folks everywhere in humid climates, but there’s a certain creature that rejoices in this environment, known for its shininess and disconcerting nimbleness and reflexes. That’s right: the cockroach. Have you set up your home defenses for this summer?

Our basic tool is the landmine-shaped roach trap, or possibly the roach motel. Then there’s the roach spray for going on the offensive. Today we’d like to tell you about a self-running method – autonomous, if you will. It’s called a cane spider, or brown huntsman spider. It’s also nicknamed the “Sergeant” spider because:

  • It’s the natural enemy of the cockroach and feeds on cockroaches.
  • It’s very fast and can chase down fleeing cockroaches.
  • It actually comes to houses that are likely to have cockroaches and takes residence.
  • It’s not only harmless to humans, it is actually afraid of us. Oftentimes, it spends the daytime in hiding.
  • After eating a cockroach, it simply goes on its merry way without so much as a goodbye.

You can get an idea of its tastes and appetite with this Youtube video, in which they drop two roaches into the cane spider cage – all pretty runty-looking. (Don’t worry too much about the queasiness factor.)

According to Instant Hawaii:

The Cane Spider (also known as the Large Brown Spider) is one big spider. Usually the size of a can of tuna fish, this spider has a huge body and thick hairy legs.

The Cane Spider can be found on all the Hawaiian Islands and, as the name implies, the spider frequented the cane fields. Indeed, 4-wheeling through any abandoned cane field can result in a number of uninvited cane spiders attached to your vehicle.

While certainly scary looking, this spider is actually quite a helpful arachnid. The Cane Spider does not spin a web, but instead hunts for food at night. Just about any insect is fair game for this spider, including cockroaches and silverfish.

Cane Spiders are very reluctant to bite and prefer to run instead of defend. However, if sufficiently provoked the spider can bite and though rare, can inject venom. The spider’s bite is small and usually does not result in any long term problems.”

Due to its size and speed, many people get freaked out by the cane spider and some actually say they’d choose the roach over it. But if you’ve every been bothered, harassed, or terrorized by cockroaches, please give the cane spider a chance!

[ Read in Japanese ]