16 July 2005

Eight-legged friend

We have an American House Spider (Achaearanea tepidariorum) living in a fine web that she (or he, but let's call her "she") built just inside our bathroom window. Yes, I said "inside;" that's where House Spiders like to live. Her body is about 1 cm long, and each of her legs is about 2 cm if she stretches them out. She's mottled grey/brown, and we know for sure what she is because we looked her up in our Audubon Book of Insects and Spiders and she looks just like her picture.

You may think this is strange, icky, or even alarming, especially since she's hanging right there above our heads when we take a shower, but from our point of view she's more than welcome. Our bathroom doesn't have a fan/vent (and since we rent that's not going to change), so we leave the window cracked much of the time. That's how she got in, and that's how lots of less-welcome buggies get in from time to time. Some of those, she eats, which frankly is A-OK with us, vegetarians or no. She's doing far more good than harm, and we're glad to have her there.

You may wonder if we've never heard of window screens. We have, but again, we're renting, the landlord is uninterested in such things, and our House Spider is both cheaper and more nifty. I wish her good health and a full tummy.

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