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Old 02-13-2013, 07:38 AM
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I have a spider living in my window

Last summer, a small spider set up housekeeping in my window, between the window itself, which was open, and the screen. Since I kept the window open all summer and most of the fall, she thrived. The puzzling thing is, she's still there. And alive. And moving about, building or repairing her web. The window hasn't been open except for really brief moments since about October. What is she living on and how long do spiders live?

I've gotten quite attached to her as she lives in the window I look out of when I do dishes. I know she can't live forever but I dread the day I find her dead or gone.
Old 02-13-2013, 08:12 AM
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....We are different people entirely...I would have killed the spider and put it's head on a tooth pick, so that I could display it in the front yard. It would serve as a warning to any of it's spider-brethren that happened by..."This is not the house you want to inhabit"...
Old 02-13-2013, 08:22 AM
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I'm with you, wonder9. Not sure why people feel compelled to express death wishes for spiders on every thread which is about how great they are. I love watching all my resident spiders.

Spiders basically break down into two groups - the so-called 'primitives', which include tarantulas, our Australian funnel-webs, trapdoors and such like. They can live 20-30 years. All the rest, including all the web builders, and referred to as 'moderns'. So yours is a modern and most live at most 2 years. Orb weavers often live less than a year. They can survive a long time without food - I've had exactly the same experience as you with them in screens. They will also take very small prey if they have to - but always live prey.

I suspect she may be the American common house spider, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasteatoda_tepidariorum

If so, they are great to watch for lots of reasons. We have them here in Oz as well.

Isn't it much more fun to enjoy spiders rather than just kill them, given the pleasure is free and the spider is harmless?
Old 02-13-2013, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynne-42 View Post
I'm with you, wonder9. Not sure why people feel compelled to express death wishes for spiders on every thread which is about how great they are. I love watching all my resident spiders.
They are beasts to be afraid of that invade your house. Recently I have adjusted my 'fearness' scale:

Mice
Cave Cricket
Spider
regular cricket
Ants


Mice are at the top of the list solely because of how difficult they are to catch.

I feel each of these creatures, when I find them in my house, is somehow plotting my death...
Old 02-13-2013, 09:42 AM
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I have a small spider that lives in my basement behind the 20 gallon Red Wing crock. When I come down stairs he hears me coming and peeks out from behind the crock. Our eyes will meet for a second and then he darts back to his hiding place. I sometimes look behind the crock to see if he's there, but he must have a really good hiding place, because, except for those furtive glances, I have never seen him.
Old 02-13-2013, 09:51 AM
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I was thinking about this and I realized that I had a similar sort of 'pet' a long time ago. A bat had flown into our window and my wife and I thought it was 'living' there during the day. We used to watch it and it would move around a bit, at first. After a few days it stopped and it took us a while to realize that it had died. We didn't realize that it was actually stuck in there - in fairness we didn't actually go by the window all that much and when we did we didn't really want to disturb it.
Old 02-13-2013, 09:56 AM
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We've had a jumping spider living in our mailbox ever since we replaced it a couple winters ago when the neighbor slid into it—the mailbox, not the spider. Prior to that our previous mailbox had its own spider. It never gets on the mail, just sits in its nest at the back of the box. I have no idea what it eats or how it gets out to eat.
Old 02-13-2013, 09:59 AM
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where do you expect it to go? you've trapped it, now you have to feed it. start raising some food for it, meal moths are common and easy to raise.
Old 02-13-2013, 11:46 AM
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When I lived in Australia I often had one or two Huntsman spiders living in the house. We mutually left each other alone. In return, I never had an insect problem of any kind and never had to use bug spray. Of course, it was unnerving the first time to watch a spider with a leg-span the size of your hand walk along the wall near the ceiling in search of prey, at night, with only the light from the TV set.

At least the Redbacks stayed outside.
Old 02-13-2013, 01:10 PM
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I'm generally fairly spider-phobic, but there was one that lived in my driver's side mirror that I was quite fond of. He would rebuild his web every morning, then it would get destroyed by the wind while I was driving to work. I admired his persistence! And it was in the winter with windows firmly closed every day, so I never worried about him getting in my car.
Old 02-13-2013, 01:38 PM
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I allow them around the house (inside and out) as they are good little predators of things I do not want around, as long as they stay in hiding. However, my family does not appreciate them so much, and when one makes an appearance, I am quickly summoned to capture it and escort it to the edge of town (it gets thrown outside). I do not kill them - live and let live and all that.
Old 02-13-2013, 02:37 PM
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Harmless little grey house spiders that kill other actually harmful things I leave completely alone. When my daughter was an infant one of them caught a yellow jacket overnight in her bedroom!

The great big hairy things I just shudder and call my husband to pleeeze get rid of it for me.
Old 02-13-2013, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post
I'm generally fairly spider-phobic, but there was one that lived in my driver's side mirror that I was quite fond of. He would rebuild his web every morning, then it would get destroyed by the wind while I was driving to work. I admired his persistence! And it was in the winter with windows firmly closed every day, so I never worried about him getting in my car.
Ha, me too! Orb weaver, had her from Feb last year through November.
Old 02-13-2013, 02:55 PM
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I look forward to fall when a zebra striped hippity-hopper usually comes to live in my kitchen window. I've had to announce that it's a pet to family members, though, or we have a tragedy.

What do guests think? I don't know. I never mention it and apparently they don't see it or don't care. My kind of guests. I kept a "perfect house" for decades and now it's my turn to keep a house that is pleasing to me. That includes a spider for amusement now and then.

The ones which are less aesthetically pleasing are either returned to the outdoors, or if they don't look too sinister, are relegated to the cellar to do what they do.

Butcher Cook, my mother couldn't stand a spider. When I asked her why she told me it was because they "stared" at her.

Last edited by Tethered Kite; 02-13-2013 at 02:57 PM.
Old 02-13-2013, 03:33 PM
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Timely related story... [slight warning for grisliness]

Rookie golfer suffers Black Widow spider bite during Women’s Australian Open, uses golf tee to remove deadly venom.
Old 02-13-2013, 06:44 PM
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You can still get a factual answer in MPSIMS. Moved from General Questions.

samclem[, moderator
Old 02-14-2013, 12:04 AM
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This from Shawn at "Sibling and Charybdis"

Dear spider on my window sill,
I fear that you must be quite ill,
For certainly you're in no mood
To work at all to catch some food.
I let you be because I thought
That you'd have many insects caught
But still my house has gnats and flies
Who've yet to meet their grim demise.
I would not ask you eat them all-
That order would be rather tall.
Yet not so much as tear a wing,
You haven't done a fucking thing.
Your "web," if I may call it that
Is most ill-made to snare a gnat-
It seems as though you do not care
It's three sad strands just hanging there.
I wonder wht the flies must think,
As they rest safely on my sink,
And see you on the window screen,
My lazy spider welfare queen.
Are they amused to see you so,
Or sad their foe has sunk so low,
That you won't even move a leg,
To take an insect down a peg?
How can it be you're still alive,
For on what fare do you survive?
Perhaps you insect flesh despise,
And learned to photosynthesize.
Well, I don't need another plant,
So to condlude this rhyming rant
Just know my anger won't relent
Till you pay me some murder-rent.
Old 02-14-2013, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeinva View Post
All the US News outlets were calling it a Black Widow, but in fact Australia only has the closely related Redback.

(And New Zealand has the similarly closely related Katipo)
Old 02-14-2013, 04:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
When I lived in Australia I often had one or two Huntsman spiders living in the house. We mutually left each other alone. In return, I never had an insect problem of any kind and never had to use bug spray. Of course, it was unnerving the first time to watch a spider with a leg-span the size of your hand walk along the wall near the ceiling in search of prey, at night, with only the light from the TV set.

At least the Redbacks stayed outside.
OH, HELL NO!
That is one big, damn, honkin' spider! Umm, by the way, is that YOUR hand holding that spider?
I actually like spiders, the little 'jumpers' are really, well... cool looking. http://google.com/search?q=jumpi...w=1920&bih=956
They also tend to be quite secretive little buggers, so I have no problem cohabitating with them.
Spiders like that one, on the other hand, I would prefer to be outside of any house that I'm intending on residing in.
Are they aggressive in any way? How often do people get bitten by them?
Just sayin'...
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:43 AM
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Huntsman spiders only rarely venture inside houses, and in my experience, it's to die. They might hang around for a few days or weeks, but they are in passive mode and eventually you find them in the corner, all curled up and dessicated.
Old 02-14-2013, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynne-42 View Post
I'm with you, wonder9. Not sure why people feel compelled to express death wishes for spiders on every thread which is about how great they are. I love watching all my resident spiders.

Spiders basically break down into two groups - the so-called 'primitives', which include tarantulas, our Australian funnel-webs, trapdoors and such like. They can live 20-30 years. All the rest, including all the web builders, and referred to as 'moderns'. So yours is a modern and most live at most 2 years. Orb weavers often live less than a year. They can survive a long time without food - I've had exactly the same experience as you with them in screens. They will also take very small prey if they have to - but always live prey.

I suspect she may be the American common house spider, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasteatoda_tepidariorum

If so, they are great to watch for lots of reasons. We have them here in Oz as well.

Isn't it much more fun to enjoy spiders rather than just kill them, given the pleasure is free and the spider is harmless?
Thanks Lynn. That spider doesn't look quite like the one in my window but close. I periodically open the window to see if it wants to leave---but it doesn't---or if something tasty will come in---which sometimes happens, I suppose, since I occasionally see tiny desiccated corpses in the web. Messy web, looks like layers of gauze rather than intricate webbing like the orb weaver. The temperature has been down in the teens and the window faces north so I'm impressed that it has weathered that kind of cold.
Old 02-14-2013, 08:55 AM
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I used to have a paralyzing fear of spiders. I forced myself to get over it and now I have no problem picking up any spider that's in my house and gently placing her outside if its warm or in the basement if its cold. I would leave her alone but the cats would hurt it.

Those jumping spiders are kinda adorable.
Old 02-14-2013, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey View Post
Those jumping spiders are kinda adorable.
They're fun to play with, too.
Old 02-14-2013, 09:06 AM
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I love spiders, they're so cool. That Huntsman is gorgeous!
Old 02-14-2013, 12:29 PM
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Neat spider but I think I'd have trouble sharing space with it.

I sat on my deck one sunny day and watched a spider spin a perfect web the size of a dinner plate. What a marvel!
Old 02-14-2013, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
When I lived in Australia I often had one or two Huntsman spiders living in the house. We mutually left each other alone. In return, I never had an insect problem of any kind and never had to use bug spray. Of course, it was unnerving the first time to watch a spider with a leg-span the size of your hand walk along the wall near the ceiling in search of prey, at night, with only the light from the TV set.
Fuck no!

I may very possibly have a chance to go to Australia this coming year...I don't think I'm going to take it.
Old 02-14-2013, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dung Beetle View Post
Fuck no!

I may very possibly have a chance to go to Australia this coming year...I don't think I'm going to take it.
And you're in Florida, of all places! Home of the IHBAK-ER (Insanely Huge Bugs of All Kinds - Especially Roaches*). Looks like you would have built up a tolerance by now.

*yeah, y'all call 'em "palmetto bugs", but that's just a nice way of saying roach.
Old 02-14-2013, 03:41 PM
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If I'd ever seen a spider as big as that Huntsman, I'd still be running.
Old 02-14-2013, 06:32 PM
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Huntsmans are harmless, and docile. Sure, they're big and hairy (and fast) and if you're an arachnophobe like me they can make you jump, but if you keep out of their way they don't really bother you.

If I can tolerate one sitting on my computer monitor for three days, then you can handle visiting Australia.
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