Not Martha


Last night Scott and I were innocently watching television when one of those local lovelies, the Giant House Spider (warning! picture!) ran across the carpet. You can read an accurately dramatic account of a similar encounter here at Sundry Mourning. I spotted it first and jumped up to stand on the couch and screeched “ohmigodSPIDER” to Scott, who dutifully went into the bathroom to get some toilet paper before he had a look at it. He came back in and when he finally saw it all plans of squishing it using his hands were abandoned. We couldn’t bring ourselves to smash it into our carpet so he ran upstairs to get a bowl to trap it under while I watched it carefully because as much as I fear spiders, this is one that you really want to know the location of. We ran around a bit trying to figure out the best thing to slip under the bowl – too flimsy or thick and we risked letting the thing get loose in the house. We found something that would work and Scott let the horrifying thing go outside, well away from our house.

Oh man I hope it doesn’t come back.

Also, I cannot enter a room without checking every inch for more giant spiders. As I sit here typing this I inspect under my desk every ten seconds or so.

· comments [38] · 07-20-2007 · categories:mumbling ·

38 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Heidi // Jul 20, 2007 at 11:21 am

    That is so GROSS! I HATE spiders. ::shiver:: I’ve had dreams about them before and woken up to find one on my pillow next to me. Ugh!

  • 2 Elizabeth // Jul 20, 2007 at 11:22 am

    oh geez! i’m getting woozy just reading about this. i can’t bear to look at the picture. i take out my contacts before dealing with the spiders. that way i don’t get the full impact of how big they are as i take ’em outside. my cat seems to be eating most of them :b

  • 3 Carrie // Jul 20, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Yuck. And gross. Yeah, I understand that paranoia thing. Once, in college, a bat got loose and our house and we couldn’t find him. I couldn’t sleep for two nights because everytime I closed my eyes, I swore I could hear it flapping it’s wings and swooping near my head. However, every time I turned the light on, it was nowhere to be found.

    So, anyway, good luck with all that. I hope he doesn’t return!

  • 4 MamaLana // Jul 20, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    To quote from Wikipedia: “The bite of this species does not pose a threat to humans or pets.” I know, I know!!!!! Ewwwwwwwwwwwww. Hope it stays away!

  • 5 Tara // Jul 20, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Uuuuugh! I went through the same thing recently with a wolf spider in my house. I had to watch it for an hour till the boyfriend came home to get it, and there was a brief period in there where we didn’t know where it was at all. I hate chemicals so much, but I would be living in constant wolf spider fear if I didn’t have an exterminator come shortly after that episode.

  • 6 ben compton // Jul 20, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    I had my own encounter with a (slightly smaller) version a few days ago (not sure what kind, but these GHSs don’t seem to exist down here in KY). Was alone in the house when I saw it scurrying by near the television. Hardwood meant I could kersmoosh with impunity but the gobs of spider guts it left on my shoe were rather gross. I haven’t been able to enter a room without scanning it first since, and sleep was a long time coming that night. So, uh, I sympathize.

  • 7 Marjorie // Jul 20, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS! I detest those buggers too. All my hair stands on end just seeing a picture…..most times if one invites itself in to my house and my husband is around or will be home soon….I put anything I have on hand quickly over it so I don’t have to look at it and/or deal with it. Period. I was thinking of keeping a bat in the house to keep the spiders away.

  • 8 Annette // Jul 20, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    I’m the same way with spiders… growing up, whenever my mom would hear me yell “spider”, she’d always think I’d say “fire” and would freak out. But, if I even see a spider in my home, I can not go to bed until I know it is dead or outside.

  • 9 Linda // Jul 20, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    eeeeeeeeeeek! I hate those things!

  • 10 Kerry // Jul 20, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    oh my word! I hate spiders. Even with the warning i looked at the picture, wish i hadn’t now:) im sitting with my feet off the floor, don’t know how i will cope in australia.

  • 11 Rebecca Beagle // Jul 20, 2007 at 6:55 pm


  • 12 Jen // Jul 20, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    When I was younger I had a huge fear of house spiders and large bugs in general (particularly when they were inside MY home. I think I grew out of this last summer when I lived in an apartment with no window screens, and I regularly had to pluck spiders out of my stuff.

    Anyway, back to when I was too scared to touch them…I would always throw a glass cup or jar over them to keep them contained and deftly sneak in an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. I’d wait until the spider (or roach or whatever) stopped moving, then just scooped it up and flushed it. It’s an easy no-mess solution to bug killing without the whole “it could come back inside and eat me AT ANY MINUTE” fear.

  • 13 Kris // Jul 20, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    A glass and a postcard works well… you can take the spider away from your house and know right where it is. For me, the worst might are the hobo spiders. I used to live in Seattle and had too many in my house. I don’t know if you have any where you are, but those actually can bite… beware!

  • 14 Tin-Tin // Jul 20, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    I had to get a ruler out to see just how “giant” a giant house spider could be. Look at the bright side: at least it wasn’t JUMPING!!! AAAAAHHHH!!!

  • 15 Merlinator // Jul 21, 2007 at 4:26 am

    I hate spiders too. My husband evicts them for me…and yet I still can’t understand why squashing a house spider would ever be necessary when all it takes so put the thing out side is a glass and a postcard?

  • 16 Miss Sassy // Jul 21, 2007 at 5:04 am

    Ugh, ugh, ugh. Add that one to my nightmares. Like Tara, we had our own encounter with a wolf spider. We first saw it outside our door and then somehow lost it. We hurriedly closed up the apartment and then one day saw it inside!!! That means that it probably came in on one of us or some hole in the wall. Did you know some people keep wolf spiders as pets? Crazy people do. Did you know they can chirp like birds? AAAAARGH!

  • 17 Sandra // Jul 21, 2007 at 7:23 am

    Tin-Tin, I also had to get out a ruler. And while it was quite large, I was very glad it was smaller than a huntsman spider. Google it yourself, but here’s your warning: I’m not afraid of house spiders, but I’m definitely afraid of this one. I don’t like spiders with long hairy legs. :-(

  • 18 Jill // Jul 21, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Ugga bugga, I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about my similar experience when out of the corner of my eye, I saw one GALLOPING across the living room. The worst part is that by the time I could react and figure out my plan for extracting and/or killing it, I LOST SIGHT OF IT and it’s STILL IN THE HOUSE!!

  • 19 Ev // Jul 21, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Please, please, spiders are our FRIENDS. Truly, the ones that are not poisonous pose no threat at all and kill other pests that carry disease. That said, I agree that they’re scary-looking. But just try not to kill them. The glass/card method always works for me. Think of the complex beauty of a spider web. Y’know, think of Charlotte!

  • 20 Tricia // Jul 21, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Oh my….I think I would have to go and get one of those things you plug in to an outlet that is supposed to send out a frequency that insects and critters don’t like….I don’t know if they work, but I really hate unwelcome guests in the house. I hope that was the only one!

  • 21 Pieces // Jul 21, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    It’s the rain. Uck.

  • 22 Donna // Jul 21, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Well, at least the article notes that the giant house spider is probably keeping the more worriesome hobo spider away, ahaha. My daughters will NOT let me kill spiders, each one must be carefully removed to the garden. I do sympathize with your creepy crawly feeling, after I found not one but two house centipedes in the kitchen I was on edge for days. And unfortunately for them, centipedes do not get released into the garden even if they are as useful as spiders.

  • 23 Lenore // Jul 21, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    I know they’re our friends. That doesn’t mean I want to be the one with the glass and the card. Yes, I will sometimes (depends on size) keep track of a spider until someone comes to rescue me. Once, I captured one and took it outside all by myself. I was sooo proud. Better that than not know where it was! Okay, now I’ve got the creeps just thinking about it.

  • 24 Red Zinnia // Jul 22, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Oh my, what a way to spend an evening! We had two big wolf spiders in our bedroom this spring (at two different times), so now I have to shake every article of clothing or blanket that lands on the floor before handling it. If I wake up in the night with the comforter kicked to the floor I leave it there till morning no matter how cold I get!

  • 25 Kelly // Jul 22, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Giant European House Spiders are our friends! Normally they only come out of the basement if it’s “nooky” season. And in the basement? Well, that’s where they happily keep the REALLY scary creatures – the Hobo Spider, among other things – at bay. The Europeans are one of the few predators of the Hobo, so it was good of you to let him out so that he can defend us against scary poisonous things for months to come. :-)

  • 26 Sharly // Jul 23, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Oh, I so feel your pain! I can barely stand to see the word! Thanks so much for posting the picture separately and giving a warning! That’s one link on your site I won’t be clicking!!

    Ok, my feet are in my chair, now. Happy?

  • 27 Jenny // Jul 23, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Seattle has the biggest spiders I’ve ever seen, in fact they are so big the ones around here wear diapers. I can see the muscels moving under all that hair (fur?)as they run across the floor. I accidentily stepped on one in my bare feet and heard a big crunch. It was so gross.
    Hey love, love, love your blog! thank you.

  • 28 Mat // Jul 23, 2007 at 12:21 pm


    If you have anymore problems you should check out Alpha exterminators! They’re a Seattle based green pest control company that really helped me get rid of an ant problem, but without harming my dogs!

    (for a few bucks extra I also had them spray for spiders ;) )

  • 29 Anne // Jul 23, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    You need a bug vac! They suck the bug/spider right off the wall into a little containment unit. Then you can decide if it needs to be smooshed or released outside. I have this model: and I use it for all my catch and release indoor spider hunting.

  • 30 jessica // Jul 23, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    i used to live in columbia city and every single year at the end of july we would start to see these guys running around the house. you see them out of the corner of your eye darting around. yikes. they do go away though, that’s the good news. toward the middle of september we stopped seeing them. this might put your mind at ease, i never once saw one in my bedroom or my kiddo’s room. it seemed like they just liked to hang out in the tv room. good luck!

  • 31 Kim // Jul 23, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    We’ve got them on the other side of the country too–I just had the pleasure of sending one to creepy critter heaven over here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Eeww. Heebie Jeebie City.

  • 32 Kristen // Jul 23, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    My friend’s mom bought her a Spider & Insect Trap. It’s a clear plastic pyramid with a foot long handle at its apex and a sliding plastic base. Open it up, jam it around the spider and slide the door shut. Then, empty into a toilet — or if you have some silly type of remorse for the vermin — release it outside far far from your house. I like the fact that you can trap the spider and then leave it there if you wish. It doesn’t require you to fret that it’ll escape or breed inside it.

  • 33 Jen // Jul 24, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Do you have these where you live?

    I do and I’d bet on it winning in a bug duel against your spider any day. The Giant House Spider would climb up on a chair to get away from this thing. The way it moves is just so freakin’ weird.

  • 34 Michelle // Jul 24, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Ack!! Please read this!!!….

    Living in oregon, I get a huge variety of spiders. I can think of at least 10 different types I’ve seen in or around my house, so I’ve done a great deal of reading up on these things, and actually, I let one live in my window for about six months (knowing it must have been surviving off something I didn’t want in there, and that it never left unless to go in a crack near it’s web) But, one thing I have to say is…kill them. Considering the amount of babies spiders can have, and that the spiders you do see walking around your house, especially around this time of year, are probably males looking for a female to mate with (female spiders are a lot more likely to build a web in a secluded place and stay there, as was the case with my window spider) Putting a spider outside means it will either die without ever finding a mate, or if it should find one, then that means a higher spider population for you and your neighbors, and chances are good you will have even more of those dreaded spider encounters next year. So, if you really, really don’t like spiders, then killing them is really the only way to guarantee that one spider won’t be making 100 more spiders just like it.

  • 35 Jane-Ellen // Jul 24, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    I spray them with hairspray. They curl up and when my courage returns, I dispose of them. A women’s bathroom is a wonderfully toxic place.

  • 36 also abby // Jul 27, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    i tried the hairspray thing once when i was a kid. i way overdid it and ended up with a dead spider shellacked to my wall for a couple of days before i gave up and chipped it off.

    anyways…when you say ‘giant’, how ‘giant’ are we talking?

  • 37 megan // Jul 31, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Abby – This one was just about three inches long with the legs, though we found one that was larger a few years back. We didn’t know what it was at the time and it was shocking – luckily it had come up a drain into the deep sink in the basement and it couldn’t get out.

  • 38 Alie // Aug 8, 2007 at 8:25 am

    Agh! The picture! Creepy crawly doesn’t even come close.

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