Aussie tarantula spider swarm discounted

May 8, 2009 at 11:14 AM
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BRISBANE, Australia, May 8 (UPI) -- A pest control expert is dismissing reports that the Australian outback town of Bowen has been overrun by scores of huge eastern tarantulas.

Newspaper stories of an out-of-control spider problem are hurting business in a spot made famous by Baz Luhrmann's $130 million film "Australia," starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, The Brisbane Times reported Friday.

Reports that large and deadly creepy crawlies have taken over Bowen first surfaced in The Times of London and were picked up by other news outlets.

Bowen pest controller Audy Geiszler says the story has been "blown out of all proportion and massively sensationalized."

"There have been no more than 10 sightings of these spiders here," Geiszler said. "There is definitely not an invasion or a plague or anything like that."

Geiszler says heavy rains recently have driven the tarantulas out of hiding to look for shelter.

He adds, there have been "no cases of them eating children or anything like that."

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