Friday, October 7, 2011

The Cavalry has Arrived!

(originally posted July 30, 2009)

Last night as I was getting ready for bed, I looked up on the wall and saw a dark brown spider who could win the "World's Greatest Legs" contest since he was more leg than body. 
A picture of a male huntsman from one of my favorite websites,

It was a male huntsman spider, also known as the giant crab spider or housekeeping spider, and he was moving along the joint between my wall and ceiling, carefully monitoring each step. Did I shudder at the sight of this arachnid with his 4" leg span crawling towards the wall above my bed? Nope, I started doing a happy dance!

The housekeeping spider (Heteropoda venatoria), may be an exotic species from Asia, however to my knowledge this spider has not yet become an invasive species that has negatively been affecting Florida's ecosystems. Instead these spiders are mostly found in people's houses where they feed on cockroaches. And like most Floridians, I have cockroaches that come into my house without an invitation. The sight of the housekeeping spider on my wall was as welcome to me as the sight of the Orkin Man to others. I knew that this spider (whom Mr. Nature Geek and I nicknamed "Jeeves") would rely on its stealth and speed (housekeeping spiders don't build webs) to hunt down the cockroaches that waunder our home.

So as I lay in bed, I watched "Jeeves" patrol the perimeter of the bedroom before crawling behind a stack of boxes to wait for me to turn out my bedside lamp. I think I rested a little easier last night knowing that my house would probably have at least one less cockroach by the morning.

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