What spider gets THAT big??

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Last summer my sister and I were in our utility room. This is a small unfinished room that has our furnace and it is where I do laundry, stained glass etc. Anyway...my sister noticed a spider sitting upside down in one corner of the ceiling, whose size was unbeliveable! His body was bigger than a half dollar piece and with his legs he was a big as my hand. Hairy too! No kidding! (I'm glad I had a witness to this!) She thought Chuck was playing a joke on me with one of those big rubber spiders you can get at Walmart. When I told her it was real, you can only imagine the kind of excitement it caused. We decided to go after it since we are not that wimpy but this was not a tissue spider! I took the broom to it but when I whacked it, the drop ceiling pushed up and it got away! I bug bombed the room and haven't seen it since. I have looked in two different insect books about the east coast and only found spiders with bodies 1/4 inch in size. That was no 1/4 inch spider! Was is some kind of mutant??

-- connie in md (connie@mission4me.com), March 20, 2002


Connie, being from Florida, why didn't you catch it to feed the big spiders?!! We have woods or grove spiders that are 3 inches across when at rest; there are tropical spiders that cover a large mans palm with no trouble, then add the legs. The good news is that most of the larger spiders are not dangerous to humans.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), March 20, 2002.

Sounds like a wolf spider. There nice and big and black. They dont spin webs, but instead chase down their meals. There is also a common garden spider about that size but he spins a web.

-- Gary (gws@columbus.rr.com), March 20, 2002.

Yep, we had bigger than that when we lived in Florida...and if you think that is bad, ask a Floridian about Palmetto Bugs!!!

-- Karen (mountains_mama2@hotmail.com), March 20, 2002.

why kill it,, it must have gotton that big keeping other bugs in check, now your going to have 1,000's of bugs in the house, instead of ONE spider, as long as it isnt the poisonuos kind,, dont worry about it

-- Stan (sopal@net-port.com), March 20, 2002.

Hi Connie, I agree with Gary. Sounds like a wolf spider. I have them all over my yard and garden and they give you quite a fright when accidently coming upon them. I have only had one in the house, must have taken a wrong turn!

Also, if you ever see them outside, check out the back end of them. They carry the babies on their back and it's alot of babies. It's really quite a sight. I've heard they'll bite, but of all the times I've run upon them, I've never even come close to being bit. I figure if they live on the ground, they're doing some good housekeeping for me!

-- Annie (mistletoe6@earthlink.net), March 20, 2002.

I like the the big black and gold garden spiders you find an inch from your nose when your picking sweet corn myself jack

-- jack c (injack1@aol.com), March 20, 2002.

I used to live in Jersey & pretty much agree with everyone. If it has yellow black stripes, its a garden spider. If dark brown or black it is a wolf spider.

Both are good to have around. Garden Spiders tend to sit on their webs (real big web, 1-3 feet across), while Wolfs move around. Wolfs have good eye sight, so if they see you coming they will run away - that is why you don't here much of Wold spider bites. But, they will bite if given no other opton.

I always leaae spiders alone. If they occupy my space, I pick them up with a sheet of paper and move them elsewhere.


-- Rudy (rbakker@wcrtc.net), March 20, 2002.

Every fall my parent's house in VA becomes infested with wolf spiders. So you just don't sit on the floor in the fall (and checking your bed is a good idea). they usually don't bite but i've heard that some people when bitten have a reaction similar to a brown recluse (big area of rotten skin around the bite). I agree with stan. helps keep the other bugs in check (but you might wanna check your shoes before putting em on!)

-- Elizabeth (lividia66@aol.com), March 20, 2002.

Guess I'm the only one willing to admit that I'm with Connie. If a spider makes it into MY house, I'm whacking it!! Spiders do good... outside, on the porch, in the barn, etc.... but they aren't welcome in the house.

-- Marge (mboyc73@yahoo.com), March 20, 2002.

when we built our place in te woods the grandaddy longlegs moved in. i got very good at grabbing them off my face and tossing them away without even waking up. Now they are not in the house anymore, I think they've moved into the attic. they're welcome to stay there as long as they don't run across my face in the middle of the night.

-- VickiP. (countrymous@webtv.net), March 20, 2002.

Those yellow and black spiders give me the shivers! Oy vey! Usually, spiders don't bother me but those are a different story! And they seem to love the raspberry patch!

-- Ardie/WI (ardie54965@hotmail.com), March 20, 2002.

I will tolerate just about any other creature but spiders. Having been bitten in the left eyebrow by a spider when I was 8 years old, which was a nasty experience, and having had to wear glasses ever since, I am not left with much fondness for these critters. I lived in Florida for 5 years and can vouch for the size of their spiders, seemed that every time one got into the mobile home I found it when it was in the shower stall with me. This happened several times. I'd be happily showering, turn around and think if I can see that damned thing without my glasses, how big is it?? Jumped out screaming 3 or 4 times, got tired of it, and decided to back in fightin'. A well swung damp towel usually did the job. Biggest one I ever saw was on the wall of the bedroom, about 2 feet above the head of my bed. I swear that thing was 6 inches across, big fat hairy legs, huge body. Swung at it with a broom, missed it, it took off, running around the little closet nook--darned thing was so big I could hear it's feet like a little mouse running. Closed the door, sealed off the gap at the bottom with a towel, and though I don't believe in pesticides I went and got one of those bug bombs and let it loose in there. Slept on the couch for a week. When I finally did sleep back in my bed, along comes one of those "palmetto bugs". (I don't care WHAT they call them in Florida, they're just damned big roaches!) Stupid thing decides to crawl under the sheet and up my leg in the middle of the night. I was sure it was "the" spider. I'm also sure half of Tampa heard the screaming, don't think I've ever done so much flailing and swattin' in my life.

Sheesh. One thing living down there did....made me appreciate our civilized little Canadian spiders!

-- Chelsea (rmbehr@istar.ca), March 20, 2002.

I happen to agree with those who kill spiders. I do not like sharing my living space with spiders. I don't mind them out in the garden or even in the garage, but thanks/no thanks to them in my house. I will kill bugs there myself with no help from the eight legged monsters.

-- roxie (rbare@gvc.net), March 20, 2002.

Ok folks...you have convinced me that Florida is not the state for me! Sorry Chelsea, but I did get a good belly laugh off your spider incident. I don't have any problem killing spiders in my house when they are big enough to carry off my baby or any other spider for that matter since I can imagine them crawling on my children in the middle of the night.

-- connie in md (connie@mission4me.com), March 20, 2002.

...and I agree with you, Roxie. The spiders are welcome to the barns, garages and other out buildings and I will even tolerate a number (of the smaller ones) in my house. However, despite an aversion to using chemicals, when the spiders start really moving in and taking over it's time for a can of RAID!!!

-- Lenette (kigervixen@webtv.net), March 20, 2002.

Connie,I live in the middle of IL.The house we used to live in had plenty of spiders.We would hear them crawling on the floor sometimes.One early morning I got up to fix a bottle and there was a spider as big as yours maybe bigger in my sink,with his legs he was bigger than a mans hand,I killed him with oven spray,as he jumped I stood there screaming and crying.I also had one in a 2lb. coffee can that was scrunched up because he was so big.I had others too but i dont want to talk about them.I was told they were wolf spiders,cousins to tarantulas.I kill all spiders I see in my house.I have a sixth sense when it comes to spiders,if there is one around I know it and must find it.willa in IL.

-- willa in Il. (goodall6@hotmail.com), March 20, 2002.

why even wonder? Just hurry up and kill it!!! ; )

-- Dave (multiplierx9@hotmail.com), March 20, 2002.

Connie, are you sure it wasn't a tarantula? We have them all over around here. What ever it was, I hope it doesn't come back! Best wishes.

-- cowgirlone in OK (cowgirlone47@hotmail.com), March 20, 2002.

I used to go to Del Vale lake to watch the Tarantulas migrate. The ground would be crawling with hundreds of them.But then again I am also the one who used to carry my teachers 6 foot boa through the halls of my junior high school to.Just dont show me a grass hopper.

-- kathy h (ckhart55@earthlink.net), March 20, 2002.

1. The average person eats 8 spiders while sleeping in a lifetime (statistic I read somewhere).

2. Try the agressive house spiders in Northern Idaho. I sprayed one with bug spray, it stopped and looked around, came straight for me. I sprayed again and moved to a new location. It stopped, looked around, came straight for me. I moved again, it stopped, looked around, and came at me again. I got the vacumn cleaner.

-- Mike (uyk7@hotmail.com), March 20, 2002.

I'm behind you Connie- usually if they are small and harmless they live but it depends on my mood. We had one in our root cellar a couple of years ago that sounds like it was your spider's big brother. We decided it was a wolf spider but it was so big, we had to do him in with a ceiling type paint roller. Boy could he move!

I could just picture that guy in one of the babies crib and turning Jr. into a cyclops. He just had to go.

-- Mrs G (gunnar@yifan.net), March 20, 2002.

I have also heard that fact about how many spiders people swallow, but this one would have choked a horse! I'm sure it wasn't a tarantula. I have seen enough of those (behind glass) to know what they look like. The legs were too long and the body didn't look right. That though had occured to me. I wondered if my husband brought home yet another animal and didn't mention it! I'm pretty convinced from all of you that it must have been a Wolf Spider. We sure didn't have them growing up in Wisconsin.

-- connie in md (connie@mission4me.com), March 20, 2002.

I have a lot of those black hairy spiders with the white spot on their back. They are very sneaky. I kill every one I see. Was told they were good ones but as long as they are in my house they are bad and dead if I see it.

-- ruby (rubyfmc@cs.com), March 20, 2002.

I was going to guess at Wolf spider as well...but we do have some kind of other spider here that I call a Woods spider or a Dock Spider -- depending on where I see them. They look the same, large and grey, with a light brown blotchy marking on the body. When they are sitting and waiting for prey (also don't spin a web), they form a large letter H with their body and legs.

I don't know what they are, I've seen them for years. The biggest one I ever saw was the size you are indicating, sitting along side my front door. "Great" I thought, "Next stop is probably my bedroom!" since I was having to go in and out the door that day.

That's when I noticed the stalk that Yellowjackets start their nest out with, right next to my door as well. And even as I was watching, another Yellowjacket came back, and the spider snatched it out of the air and killed it. "Bon appetit!!" I yelled.

After that, it was live-and-let-live with her. She cleared out all the Yellowjackets, then left, never having given my any nocturnal visits, probably went back into the woods. This from the person who used to be arachniphobic, having woken up in the night covered in newly hatched baby spiders. At least I probably got my lifetime's quota in spider-eating in that night before I knew it.

-- julie f. (rumplefrogskin@excite.com), March 20, 2002.

Wait a minute guys. My first thought was it was a wolf spider as well but those things JUMP! If it was a wolf spider and she took a swing at it, that bug would have been leaping 2 feet off the ground all over the place. DH is still traumatized by an ugly wolf spider incident when we lived in Mexico! lol

-- Najia (najia274@yahoo.com), March 20, 2002.

I too was wondering if it might have been a tarantula I remember one year when I was living in the mountains of Arizona they went through it ended up around my place was a bad place for them as I don't know why but my cats found that they really liked the taste of spider legs. A lot of spiders arrived with 8 legs and left with 6 or 7. gail

-- gail missouri ozarks (gefozarks@centurytel.net), March 20, 2002.

Connie I hate to tell you this, but I think your house was built over a radiation waste site. LOL

-- r.h. in okla. (rhays@sstelco.com), March 20, 2002.

Ya know what's worse than swatting at a wolf spider and missing? Swatting at one and having hundreds of her babies, that she carries on her back, scatter!!

Some folks, without much knowledge of such, can't tell the difference between a wolf spider and a tarrantula.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2222@hotmail.com), March 20, 2002.

You know, if you don't want a spider in your house, you don't have to kill it. They're pretty easy to catch. Just put a glass or bowl or whatever will fit over them, gently so you don't crush their legs. Then slide a piece of cardboard under the edge of the bowl and move it slowly up until it seals the bowl completely. Then lift the whole thing off the wall, maintaining the seal, take it outside and put it on the ground. Remove the cardboard. Voila, free spider and spider-free house!

-- Laura Jensen (lrjensen@nwlink.com), March 21, 2002.

There are no tarantulas in MD, unless it was an pet store escapee. Wolf spiders do get that large. I hate the orange/ yellow spiders here, they are very agresive but thankfully, only seem to come out in late fall (deer hunting season) and dont like houses. I have, since moving to the country, befriended a few hairy jumping spiders after one inhabitated my house for a few weeks and would sit on a door frame and wait for a fly to buzz by... he'd (it was prob a she) jump and nail the fly mid air. Named him Hairy. Had another in my truck- he went on the 1400 mile journey to NY state many times.. sitting on the dash or ceiling. Wolf spiders I remove from the house with a sheet of paper. Garden spiders, as mentioned above, do get as large as the one you mentioned, but are not hairy- they are black and yellow and don't (that Ive seen) ever come in the house.

-- Kevin in NC (Vantravlrs@aol.com), March 21, 2002.

You spider-ciders should read up a little on arachnids and chill out. Spiders are one of the best creatures you can have around the house next to a snake or a frog. They consume a number of bugs you'd really rather not have around.

There are only two truly dangerous spiders indigenous to the United States -- the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. Learn to identify those two, kill them on sight and leave all the others alone. Personally, I'd really rather not even kill those but they're just too lethal to have around.

In the Brushy Mountains of Eastern Oklahoma where I live on 10 acres, I have all sorts of interesting spiders around the house during certain times of the year. I like to watch the Granddaddy Longlegs and various other little spideys that frequently crawl around my desk. They go about their business, don't bother me and I don't bother them. Live and let live.

I also know where a number of tarantula holes are located among the rocks around the property and visit them occasionally to check on how they're doing. I like to watch them ambling around in the evening looking for bugs.

And just so you don't get the impression I'm some kind of tree-hugging, liberal bleeding heart, I've got another house guest I could well do without -- scorpions. During scorpion season I kill an average of about five a week somewhere in the house. Never in 62 years been bit by a spider but I've been stung by scorpions. Not life-threatening but damned unpleasant for a few minutes. I've seriously thought about moving in a few tarantulas to see what they could do about my scorpion situation. Can't gas 'em because it would kill my spiders.

I also shoot deer, dove, quail, rabbits, coyotes, possums and coons. Nothing against them either, but they're good to eat and the latter three will get my ducks and chickens if I don't get them first.

But I've just got this thing about spiders...

-- Hank in Oklahoma (hbaker@ipa.net), March 21, 2002.

Would like to tell a "tall tale" about the black and yellow spiders, now this comes ffrom my mind as a four year old, (60 now). The bigger boys tolds us that they were writing spiders, as they leave designs in the web. Well the story swa if the spider saw your teeth they would write your initial in their web and YOU WOULD DIE! Wellmmmph theymmph nevermmph sawmmph mymmph teethmmph. The mmph represents the soound of youy talking with your lips stretched over your theeth. A little lore can be dangerous.

Countysiders forever!!!!!

Wayne Roach

-- Wayne & (LYN) Roach (R-Way@msn.com), March 21, 2002.

Hank, the rental I'm in isn't sealed well and is an invitation to just about every kind of crawly. I was stung 3 times in one week by scorpians. What a weird feeling to have your lips go numb and not be at the dentist! -LOL- BTW, taking a Benadryl, which usually helps me with ant bites, had no affect.

Thru the years, I had tried various brands of electronic gizmos, but they didn't work. I friend suggested I try what she uses; it got rid of the rats in her feed room and what few insects she had in her house. It doesn't kill, just chases them away.

Hot diggity! Haven't seen a scorpian in months, nor any other crawlies. It started working just a few days after I plugged it in. I've been told if there's a heavy infestation due to whatever brings those nasties out once in a while, that I might see a bug or two, but so far, so good. Click the link.

Pest Offense

-- ~Rogo (rogo2222@hotmail.com), March 22, 2002.

Thanks for the link, Rogo.

I'll take your word for it and toss 'em thirty bucks for that gadget. Cheap at any price if it works and if it doesn't, what the hell, no big loss.

It's encouraging that the company is based in Maitland, FL. I just left Florida last year after 37 years there and I can guarantee you it's the bug capital of the earth.

Here's a tip for you and anyone else in harm's way for bites and stings: Sting Eze. Comes in a little yellow plastic bottle with a green cap and is available at Wal-Marts and elsewhere.

I've been stung by scorpions several times in camps and tree stands in the Everglades and didn't have that stuff. Major pain for hours afterwards.

I started noticing and killing the scorpions right after I moved into this house in Oklahoma, then I found this Sting Eze at the local Wally World and grabbed a bottle. I'd never used it before but figuring that with the number of whiptails I'd already encountered in my new digs sooner or later one of them was going to get me and it wouldn't hurt to at least try it.

Sure as hell, I was kicked back on the couch one evening, fell asleep and woke up with something crawling up my leg. By the time I'd shot off the couch and shucked my Levis, the little bugger had already nailed me twice on the butt.

Grabbed my trusty new vial of Sting Eze, rubbed it on immediately and the results were miraculous -- just a slightly painful sensation for about a minute, then nothing.

I now have a bottle in the house, one in the truck and another on the ATV. Never leave home without it.

Now, hopefully, this Pest OFFense gadget will reduce the need for the Sting Eze.

But I'm still keeping it handy.

-- Hank in Oklahoma (hbaker@ipa.net), March 22, 2002.

I bought one of those pest gadgets last summer. Had it in our storage shed. Finally took it back after two months when I walked out and saw a mouse sitting UNDER it blinking at me. I finally just let the door open a crack and the cats took care of the problem.

-- connie in md (connie@mission4me.com), March 22, 2002.

My wife and I were sitting down having a cup of coffee. She picked up her cup, took a sip, and felt something touch her lip. Lo and behold! A big spider. The legs touched both sides of the cup. :-) Needless to say she got rid of that cup!


-- Mike (uyk7@hotmail.com), March 22, 2002.

This reminds me of a time when I was about 16. My Dad was sitting in his recliner on the front porch (Yes, my Dad had a recliner on the front porch). Dad was sitting there one afternoon reading a playboy magazine when all of a sudden he started yelling "Jeri(My Mom) bring me my gun! Well, Mom and I didn't know what was going on so we went out on the porch to see my Dad standing with Playboy in hand taking on the biggest SPIDER I had ever seen that was layed out on the arm of his chair. My Mom with quick thinking grabbed the broom and Slammed that spider good. As we all stood there looking at the spider thanking God that we had killed it, my Dad looked up and said Rita go find your sister so you two can carry the chair and throw it away. Needless to say I had no choice and we carried Dad's chair to its burial place. With every step that my sister and I took we wondered out loud if there were anymore SPIDERS in this chair (it made us walk a lot faster). Funny thing though, Mom swept that spider off the porch and not even five minutes later its remains were no longer on the ground. I still wonder to this day if we actually killed that spider or if we just knocked it out temporarily.

-- Rita (rlynchjarss@aol.com), March 22, 2002.

My wolf spider story is a bit racier - snuck off to my gramps' country cabin to be a little "closer" to my then fiance. Right in the middle of our snuggling, I looked up to see a whopper of a wolf spider - hanging upside down from the low ceiling not 6 inches from my face! Talk about putting a crimp in your style. You never saw someone move so fast! Not normally scared of them (I know their harmless) but the proximity was too close for comfort.

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), March 26, 2002.

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