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Buckeye Jones

Unwanted Houseguest

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Anyone think this spider, hanging out in my bathroom, is a black widow?

IPB Image

If so, any thoughts on how to get rid of it without getting bit?

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Ann D.   

That is one beautiful spider. I don't know if it's a black widow or not, but it sure is gorgeous.

A trick I read about one time was to have a cardboard box handy, sweep the spider into it and slap a lid on it, then take it outside. However, I read it in a fiction book, so make of that what you will.

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Andrew   

Eww, as a recovering arachnophobe (my fear was much worse as a kid), I shouldn't have clicked on those links - thanks, Alan! I've only seen a black widow once, camping out in a cardboard box that had been left in my backyard for a couple of days, back when we moved to East Tenn a couple of years ago. The critter in your photo, Buckeye, looks rather dissimilar, for what that's worth.

Nonetheless, that's one ominous-looking arachnid, that merits a good squishing - is it in a hard to reach location, such that you can't merely whack it with a book or a shoe (my preferred methods of arachnicide)?

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Well, whew. I found the same links as Alan, and also published my pics (yes! there's more of them, Andrew--just click here!) to Flickr to get some feedback from the ID Please group. Some thought it resembled a black widow enough to make me more curious/nervous. My biggest concern is that it is a juvenile, which hadn't molted enough to get to its distinctive black widow colors. Alan's link with the pictures I think clears that up.

But it sure was freaky! We found it Friday night, took pictures, then posted them to the web. While taking pictures, we left the window open (the nasty critter is in between the sash and the screen). When we got back into the bathroom, one of our cats was in the windowsill and the spider wasn't. Naturally, we were worried that it a) got eaten by the cat and if poisonous could hurt her, "B)" ran off to hide in the bathroom itself, or c) was a vindictive little monster who would crawl into our bedroom and bite us while sleeping.

Well, I guess not so much "©", but we were genuinely a little freaked out about sharing our bathroom with a poisonous spider, who may be hiding in our towel or under the toilet seat or something.

Then it showed up again last night in the same spot. I kept the window closed. And took the above belly side picture.

Now, I'll clean up its web. And hope it gets the hint.

Edited by Buckeye Jones

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Spiders are our friends. I keep telling my wife that. Her response is not printable. We've reached a compromise -- spiders in the house die; spiders outside are ok. Last fall, we had a couple huge one out by the patio. Since she knew they were there, they didn't startle her. What amazed me though was one night when it rained, she started to worry about what would happen to the spiders. (They survived.)

also, the google ads for this thread are great! I'd buy my wife some spider jewelry, but she wouldn't appreciate it.

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Andrew   

::also, the google ads for this thread are great!

I've already ordered my 'Black Widow' DVD - only $15!

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Actually, the picture in post one looks a lot like Charlotte. And you killed her before she could write anything?!?!

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Actually, the picture in post one looks a lot like Charlotte. And you killed her before she could write anything?!?!

No, she's still very much alive.

Here's something I heard (that may or may not be accurate): You're almost never more than four feet away from a spider.

The version I've heard of this is that you swallow on average of 4 spiders a year. They crawl around while you're asleep, and occasionally venture into an open mouth, which when tickled, swallows.

Have you ever woken up with an unexplained blister in your gums?

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Gee, in a week I'll be driving close to Cambria (locale for Arachnaphobia) but won't be stopping -- this time. Very nice place to visit if you can keep the film out of your mind.

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SZPT   

Spiders are our friends. I keep telling my wife that. Her response is not printable. We've reached a compromise -- spiders in the house die; spiders outside are ok.

My wife and I had pretty much the same conversation and compromise as you and yours did.

Buckeye, you're in Ohio? Check out this website: http://www.marion.ohio-state.edu/spiderweb/mainpage.htm

Spiders seem to be classified, at least in some ways, by the webs they weave. If the web looks like a cobweb, it's possible that you've only got the common house spider (literal name). Does it look like this from another angle?

Also, I had so much fun with my sister after she watched Arachnophobia. Ever made someone scream while they were brushing their teeth? It is such a funny, satisfying sound.

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These eight-legged freaks... hobo spiders... are all over my basement.

We've caught them and taken them to spider experts to confirm, and yes, they're the very same dangerous beasties that you'll find examined on that Web page.

They hatch during the summer, and we have to buy special traps for them. Our house is located in America's hobo spider hotspot. We have to be very careful. They're fast, aggressive, and freaking HUGE. And they chase our cats. When it's mating season, they're really vicious.

There's only one kind of trap that will catch them. Sometimes, we'll put down a trap in the basement and find eight or ten caught by the end of the week.

My brother was bitten by a brown recluse a couple of years ago. Ended up in the hospital, on antibiotics, for months. The wound on his arm left a hole the diameter of a quarter.

Wait, why does this all seem very familiar?

Ah, yes... AHEM!

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

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Chashab   

Saw my first Black Widow in the wild a few months ago. Scared the poo out of me, as it was in a pile of rocks I had just loaded with bare hands in to the wheelbarrow. And I thought as I began picking them up, "There could be a spider in here; I might want to get my gloves." Didn't think I'd been bitten, but after getting online and reading about the symptoms I began having the symptoms . . . they went away after an hour.

A lot more nasty, icky varmints here in AR than I was used to in NE. Brown Recluses were all over in some homes I remodeled over the last year and a half. Had an infestation of them in my shed last year too. They are harder to identify than widows; look like a little brown spider.

Have seen some BIG spiders down here on the sidewalks, as in 2.5 inches across or better. *shudder* Supposedly they aren't poisonous though.

Of all things, tasers (stun guns) and motorcycle batteries are lauded by some as the best cure for a lot of venemous bits. A friend of mine — a missionary for 16 years in South America — said this is how they dealt with bites down there, although he never was bitten to my knowledge. As I understand it, the electricity breaks up the poison.

Edited by Chashab

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And here I thought this thread (heh) might be about human beings. We have relatives who have infested our home for the past three days. They won't leave. Tasers haven't worked. Neither have not-so-subtle hints like, "Well, we need to get our laundry and grocery shopping done today. Really, we have no more food. No kidding. It's all gone."

This Christian charity business is hard sometimes. Black widows are nothing compared to nieces who love your RoadRunner Internet connection, and would happily camp out in front of your computer for days on end.

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Is this your man?

Maybe. Or its just a common house spider with unusual markings.

Someone else suggested a sheetweb spider, too. But I don't think so. I am just glad its not a Black Widow.

Or a hobo spider. Jeffrey, that's extremely freaky!! How's your brother now? And you're still living in your house even though you have invasions? When I read AC will I find any parts inspired by that? (I wonder if a similar experience inspired Shelob?)

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opus   
A lot more nasty, icky varmints here in AR than I was used to in NE. Brown Recluses were all over in some homes I remodeled over the last year and a half. Had an infestation of them in my shed last year too. They are harder to identify than widows; look like a little brown spider.

AFAIK, Nebraska might have some black widows and brown recluses, but it's primarily "Daddy Longlegs" territory around these parts. Spiders creep me out sometimes, but I appreciate the benefits that they bring.

Cockroaches, on the other hand... Blech... why did they have to survive the flood?!?

Edited by opus

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We have both black widows and brown recluses on our property. I got biten by a brown recluse several years ago, a juvenile the doctor said. The necrosis didn't eat completely through my leg, thank goodness. I had to take big time antibiotics and go to the doctor every other day for a week. I don't recommend it.

I went out to the wood pile yesterday to get some mesquite for BBQing, threw back the tarp and was surprized by two huge rat snakes. I screamed like a girl!! I don't usually kill the snakes unless they are eating my chicks. I'd rather have snakes than rats.

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Today was a lovely morning to wake up and find a Brown Recluse in my shower. Eeek! I am so praying that it was a isolated interloper and not the advance guard for a hobo spider-like invasion a la Jeffrey.

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When I visited Biola a few weeks ago, I woke up in my hotel room, slowly blinked and watched the room come into focus, saw something strange suspended in the air near the bed, and then sat up.

It was a black widow. First I've ever seen outside of a zoo exhibit.

I caught it, with some help from the fellow at the front desk of the hotel. The thing ran when we started after it, got under a table, and we carried the table outside.

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When I visited Biola a few weeks ago, I woke up in my hotel room, slowly blinked and watched the room come into focus, saw something strange suspended in the air near the bed, and then sat up.

It was a black widow. First I've ever seen outside of a zoo exhibit.

I caught it, with some help from the fellow at the front desk of the hotel. The thing ran when we started after it, got under a table, and we carried the table outside.

I hope you got your money back! We regularly find spiders in the house--its near the woods and all, but its a big difference between finding one that can potentially rot your foot off and one that is just creepy. I've got the spider sample at the Ohio State extension office for confirmation of its identity. Then we meet with the exterminators!

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mrmando   
When I visited Biola a few weeks ago, I woke up in my hotel room, slowly blinked and watched the room come into focus, saw something strange suspended in the air near the bed, and then sat up.

It was a black widow. First I've ever seen outside of a zoo exhibit.

Ted Baehr knew what hotel you were staying at?

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Don't forget. He tried to get me with a snake at the Glen Workshop last summer. Why didn't I endeavor to get a photograph of the black widow to go along with my snake photo? What's next?

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So Jim, did you feeling any tingling sensations in your outer extremities at all? Were any of your senses heightened? Maybe another one added to the mix or sum'n? Do you find you have a deep compulsion to make webs when you knit?

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