(A few funny stories about spiders in the house, or is that an oxymoron?)
Around here it’s that time of year when bugs begin moving into the house to stay warm. Who can blame them? But thinking of spiders in the house brings up all kinds of emotions, from “meh” to torching the whole house (you’ve seen the memes).
My reaction is sort of in the middle; actually closer to the “meh” end of the spectrum, unless it’s a jumping spider, then I’m all for it! I think of jumping spiders as pets. They are fuzzy and cute and cool to watch as they actively hunt their prey, which, hey, if that prey is a bug inside my house, even better.
But even I have my limits. As long as a jumping spider stays on the ceiling or the walls above eye level, he is a welcome guest. But if he invades my territory (i.e. where I can reach him, or maybe it’s the other way around?), he is nicely escorted outside.
Let me share a few of my favorite jumping-spider-in-the-house stories:
1) One day I was sewing. I had set up my ironing board in front of the picture windows next to my kitchen island (remember that?). There had been a giant jumping spider crawling around on the vaulted ceilings for a few days, but that day he decided to come down the wall near the windows. I left for awhile to do mom stuff, then came back to my sewing. As I grabbed and tipped the iron to press open a seam, this giant black blob came sloshing into view in the iron’s water reservoir. Closer inspection revealed that it was indeed my friend the jumping spider. (I may have uttered a few choice words at that point; I can’t remember.) How the heck did he get inside my iron? And why?! Arghh. I unplugged it and dumped out all the extra water, hoping that it hadn’t boiled the spider to death. Nope. He was fine. Still crawling around. Inside my iron. Not knowing what else to do to coax a spider out of a nice, steamy iron reservoir, I propped the iron up so the afternoon sun shone right down the water entrance channel.
Then I left to do more mom stuff. When I came back a few minutes later, the spider was crawling around on the outside of the iron. It worked! He got a free ride outside pronto. Sheesh.
2) Another day I was lying on the couch and noticed a smallish jumping spider crawling around on the vaulted ceiling. There were also a few tiny flies up there with him. What happened next is something I would never have believed if I hadn’t seen it myself. (And I’m still not sure I believe it anyway.) That spider got within jumping distance of a fly and jumped. Yes—he was upside-down on the ceiling, and he jumped. And he didn’t fall on me. He landed on the fly, back on the ceiling. I want that super power.
3) A few months ago I was finishing up some lesson plans and noticed a black spot (you guessed it—jumping spider) crawl into sight on the wall behind my desk, peeking through a plastic crate I use as a bookshelf, kind of like this:
I stood up slowly to see if there was any easy way to capture it for a ride outside, but he had disappeared. Gone. What?
I looked everywhere. It was unreal. So I scooted my chair back a ways and kept working. And watching. Maybe I was a little bit nervous?
Apparently my daughter had opened the front door and the opportunist had run in. This was the best she could do to contain him. I laughed. And laughed. And laughed some more. And took a picture. And then I took him back outside. (Seriously, it’s easier to do that sometimes than to squish them. Eewww.)
My favorite way of dealing with spiders in the house, not of the jumping spider variety, is the vacuum hose. Mine is a central vacuum, so it all ends up in a canister in the garage, which is a peace of mind bonus. Not that they would survive the ride anyway.
(I don’t think I’m going to ask you to share spider in the house stories–this post kind of creeped me out even though none of it was actually scary.)