Man Tries To Kill Spider Using Fire, With Predictable Results


Madison Dapcevich


Madison Dapcevich

Freelance Writer and Fact-Checker

Madison is a freelance science reporter and full-time fact-checker based in the wild Rocky Mountains of western Montana.

Freelance Writer and Fact-Checker


The wolf spider might appear to be the stuff of nightmares, but its venom is not very harmful to humans. Not a good reason to literally burn it at the stake, if you ask us. Mandritouiu, Shutterstock.

We get it. Some people don’t like spiders. Some people dislike spiders enough to have arachnophobia

Then there are some people who believe the only good spider is a crispy, torched one. Like one northern California man who reportedly set blaze to his apartment after trying to scorch an unwelcome visitor.


The Redding fire department chief Gerry Gray confirmed to the BBC News that a fire had taken place in an apartment building. Local newspaper Record Searchlight reported that an eyewitness saw a man who lives in the building use a torch lighter to kill the spider.

"It was a huge wolf spider," said Lyndsey Wisegarver, a caregiver for a man living in the apartment, to Record Searchlight

Here’s how it went down:

Man sees spider.


Man grabs torch-style lighter.

Man sets fire to spider.

Spider, now ablaze, runs to a nearby mattress and subsequently sets it on fire.

Residents were able to extinguish the mattress fire, but they weren’t to keep it from spreading to a nearby flag collection in the bedroom.


How American.

The fire, which took place on Sunday, spread to a bedroom closet. Residents were unable to extinguish the fire with a garden hose. According to Battalion Chief Rob Pitt, it was here firefighters were able to keep it from spreading to the attic and neighboring apartments.

In all, the whole ordeal took about 20 minutes and cost $11,000 in "moderate" damage.

He’s not the first, and surely won’t be the last, human to fight spider with fire. Take this Arizona man, who burned down his mobile home after trying to torch some unwelcome eight-legged critters using… wait for it… a flamethrower.


Or this guy, who sent his Seattle home up in flames back in 2014. This time using a lighter and spray paint, the man set his laundry room on fire to the tune of $60,000 in damages. Earlier that year, a Kansas woman also wound up with arson charges after she tried killing a spider with a cigarette lighter.

Applause for creativity.

To be fair, wolf spiders do bite, but their venom isn’t very harmful to humans and a typical reaction is a little pain, redness, and swelling.

Not a very compelling excuse for burning the place down, if you ask us.


[H/T: BBC News / Record Searchlight]


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  • spider,

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  • apartment fire,

  • redding,

  • blowtorch