AN IRISHMAN’S spider catching invention has gone viral online, 15 years after he first designed it for his spider-fearing son.
Dubliner Tony Allen, who lives in Clondulane, Co. Cork, was regularly called on to catch and remove spiders from his son Robert’s bedroom.
“I was getting sick of chasing them around the place and my wife didn’t want me killing them so I decided to come up with an idea,” he told The Irish Post.
Using a simple grabber and some bristles from a sweeping brush, the first spider catcher was invented 15 years ago – and hundreds of thousands have been sold since.
The device works by using bristles that open and close at the push of a button, trapping the spider inside and allowing you to safely remove it from your home.
Mr Allen was so sure his invention would be successful that he left his job 15 years ago, after coming up with the idea, and became a full-time inventor.
He debuted his product at the London Invention Show in 2001 and a Manchester-based company, Brainstorm, came on board to help out.
“It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that it really took off,” Mr Allen explained.
A video of the Spider Catcher was shared on Facebook and soon had four million likes.
The initial success led to the invention being picked up in several other places – including on the Business Insider Facebook page, where it went on to be viewed 93m times.
“The phones and emails were going crazy,” Mr Allen said.
“We’ve had orders from all the big places – everyone from Walmart in the US to places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc.
“Now there are three factories in China manufacturing it instead of one.”
And now, most importantly, the now-30-year-old Robert can use his very own Spider Catcher to rid his home of the arachnids.
The Spider Catcher can be bought for £9.99 on Amazon UK - and sales have been boosted by 550 per cent this month since the video went viral.
See it in action here