Spiders take over Hamburg’s HafenCity

Millions of spiders have colonized the HafenCity revitalization of Hamburg's old port district, daily Berliner Morgenpost reported on Monday. Some windows alone are infested with more than 700 creepy crawlers.

Spiders take over Hamburg's HafenCity
Photo: Rainer Altenkamp

The carefully planned district is chock-full of angular modern architecture with plenty of nooks perfect for the larinioides sclopetarius. The spiders seem to like the district so much that they appear to be taking over one of Europe’s largest building sites, according to the paper.

“They are the rats of the spider world,” biologist Anja Nioduschewski told the paper. HafenCity is financing the doctoral student’s research into the arachnid problem.

The spiders can grow up to four centimetres long and they spin large webs to catch their prey. Nioduschewski is researching whether two different light treatments will scare other insects away, removing the spider’s source of food. But so far, neither treatment has worked, she said.

She is also attempting to isolate the female bridge spider’s sex hormone in hopes of creating a lure to remove the male spiders.

The city has financed her work through January, but she told the paper she fears they will be disappointed if she doesn’t find a solution. However, he 30-year-old student says she has at least cured herself of arachnophobia.