People walking by a house in Wanneroo, north of Perth, on Wednesday reported hearing a man repeatedly yelling “Why don’t you die?” along with the sound of a screaming child, the West Australian reported.
Police arrived at the scene to find that the man did indeed harbour intentions to inflict bodily harm — on an eight-legged intruder.
“Police spoke with all parties who advised that husband had only been trying to kill a spider (has serious fear of spiders), apologized for inconvenience to police,” read a police communications log posted to the Wanneroo Police Twitter account before being deleted, the BBC reported.
“No injuries sighted (except to spider),” the police log assured.
It’s not the first time that death threats targeted at spiders have prompted a frenzied police response in Australia.
In 2015, police were called to a home in Sydney after people reported hearing a man yelling “I’m going to kill you, you’re dead! Die! Die!” followed by what sounded like a woman’s screams, as well as the sounds of furniture being thrown around, the Sydney Morning Herald reported at the time.
The screams, however, belonged to the distressed man — police found him alone at home, scrambling about and knocking down furniture while trying to chase down and neutralize a spider with a can of bug spray.
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Australia has the dubious distinction of having one of the world’s highest spider-to-human ratios.
Biologists have previously warned that the country’s summer heatwave means people are more likely to find spiders in their homes.
— With a file from Reuters
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