Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Other: Name That Spider!

Have you seen this spider? The other night, I went into the bathroom to get ready for bed when I saw a rather large spider crawling around. Spiders don't automatically freak me out, unless I recognize them as being really nasty, and about the only really nasty one I can recognize is a black widow. The way I figure it, though, is that most spiders around here are totally harmless to humans, but they're good at getting rid of bugs. So if one spider eats just two bugs, the creepy-crawly population of my apartment has already dropped.

However, I didn't recognize this new guy, and he was rather large, probably close to 2" with the leg span. I took a picture, which I won't post here in case it freaks some poor reader out just to stumble across spider pictures, but you can see it here. I tried looking it up, but most of the pages I could find on spiders found in California only had written descriptions and no pictures, or they were devoted to brown recluses, which, contrary to popular belief, have not been proven to have gotten west of the Mojave Desert, the last time I looked it up. (Anyone in the Los Angeles area saying they were bitten by a brown recluse here probably actually had the pleasure of meeting their cousin, the Chilean recluse, which is similar in appearance and almost as nasty, but not quite.)

Anyway, if anyone recognizes this spider, please let me know what it is and whether it's (a) likely to bite me and (b) likely to hurt if it does. If it's potentially a little nasty, I will probably try to water glass-paper trap and "relocate" it, possibly across the courtyard near the apartment of the incessantly barking dog.1 If it's super nasty, I'll try to kill it outright, but I'd rather avoid cleaning spider guts off the wall if possible.

P.S. I haven't seen any spider webs in any place obvious, so it's probably not a hardcore spinner. I don't spin, either, as it's easier to buy the yarn when it's ready for knitting rather than give Spoon another target flying through the air.

P.P.S. Yes, I made the milk carton picture all by myself. What do you want? It's 2AM!

1I don't blame the dog for being a nervous little nuisance. I blame the dog's owner for thinking a small, nervous dog who barks at any stranger nearby would be a good idea in a high-density apartment building, and the building's owner for buying the place and reversing the "no dogs" policy. However, if the spider gave the dog's useless owner the scare of her life, I can't say I would feel too bad.2
2Someone must have complained recently, because I've heard her actually try to shush the dog when it starts barking now. Discouraging a loud, high-pitched, constant bark hadn't occurred to her before? Maybe even if the spider isn't nasty, I'll relocate it and pray spiders really scare her.


Anonymous said...

I'd probably would have slammed my shoe on it already...eeeek!

Fluzz said...

If you were in the UK I'd say it's a bog standard house spider. They can get up to 3" leg span, are completely harmless and instantly creepy.

But I dunno about US, sorry.

Anonymous said...

It looks as though it may have been a brown recluse spider. I hope you took the advice of the earlier response and gave it the good old fashioned shoe treatment. Be on guard and to be on the safe side, it wouldn't hurt at all to make a habbit of shaking out your shoes before you put them on.

Here's a link showing image search results for the brown recluse spider...