Thursday, September 5, 2013

Peek-a-boo! I see you!

There is no house spider I like more than the Huntsman spider (Heteropoda venatoria).

Big spider!

Naturally shy and harmless to people, these large (3" to 5" long) arachnids are aggressive cockroach killers.  Their preferred time to stalk prey is at night.  During daylight hours they tend to seek out dark, quiet places to hang out and hide.

Most of the time I've discovered their hiding spots inadvertently while dusting picture frames or reaching for a container of something seldom used in the pantry.  When the picture or container is moved and the spider is exposed, it usually freezes for a moment as if to say, "What happened?" then scurries off to find another place to hide.

Occasionally, however, there have been times when daytime hangouts have not been nearly as secretive as the spider may have hoped. Below are a few of the less than appropriate places where our beloved Huntsman spiders have chosen to reside...

Hunstman:  "If I stand real still when that human is wiping his face with the towel, maybe he won't see me..."

"I'm hiding...behind the towel"
(Not exactly what you want to see when you're about to dry your face)

"Kiss My Face"...I don't think so!

"You can't see me!"
(Oh, yes, I can)

A close up of the Huntsman in it paper towel hangout

A couple days ago we discovered a Huntsman in what it probably thought was a safe, dark and soft hiding place...With my allergies, I guess the spider didn't realize how often I reach into that box for a tissue.

And finally...
Just last night my husband called me into the bathroom for the latest sighting of a Huntsman hangout:  In Ralph's waterpik!
Not the best place to hide, Mr. Huntsman.  Please find a new spot


  1. When I was a kid, we had the most enormous house spider that lived under the sideboard. Every evening he/she would come scuttling out and run over the carpet looking for morsels. We called he/she 'Fred' and wouldn't have thought of crushing or putting it outside. "Oh there goes Fred!" we'd chorus as kids.

    1. That's a great story, Dawn. I wish more kids grew up in families that appreciated nature. 'Fred' was fortunately and you were too.

  2. With all the rain we have had in Florida this summer, the Huntsman Spiders are regulars at our house. It was a great relief to find that they were shy and harmless because they sure look scary!

    1. I know what you mean, Kathy. They are so big and scary looking but they're such beneficial spiders - killing cockroaches and doing night patrols to reduce bad insect populations.