SYDNEY - Piercing screaming and shouts of "I'm going to kill you" prompted Australian police to rush to a Sydney home at 2am, only to find an embarrassed man and a large spider.
New South Wales's police said officers raced to the apartment in the harbourside suburb of Wollstonecraft last Saturday after reports of a violent domestic dispute between a man and a woman.
Neighbours reported a woman screaming hysterically, a man yelling "I'm going to kill you, you're dead! Die, Die" and sounds of furniture being tossed around.
A man aged in his 30s, out of breath and flushed, came to the door and was immediately asked where his wife or girlfriend was.
"Umm, I don't have one," he answered.
When police explained they had reports of a domestic and a woman screaming, he replied: "I don't know what you're talking about, I live alone".
Pressed about the threats to kill, the man became sheepish and even apologetic as it emerged what had caused the ruckus.
"It was a spider, a really big one!!," he said, admitting he was chasing the large arachnid around his apartment with a can of insect spray.
Asked about the woman screaming, he replied: "Yeah, sorry, that was me, I really hate spiders." Authorities were not able to say what kind of spider was involved, beyond "a big one" and that it had met its end.
"I hate spiders with an absolute passion," said Inspector Dean Lindley who attended the scene.
"I don't get close enough to check out what kind of spider it is mate," he told 2UE radio on Friday.
Lindley said the apartment was "foggy" with pest spray when officers entered and it was "lucky he wasn't smoking as the whole unit would have gone up".
Australia is home to a startling number of the world's deadliest creatures, including snakes, spiders, jellyfish and octopuses.
Funnel-web spiders are particularly feared because their bite can befatal, although there have been no deaths since an anti-venom was developed in the 1980s.