I have an older home without a basement. Not sure why, in 1958, someone decided to not put in a full basement when building this house. So I’m stuck with a crawlspace. It’s not a true crawlspace, as you don’t have to crawl to move around under there. The height ranges from about 4 feet to about 7 feet, depending on where you are standing. I guess the proper description would be an uneven, dirt floor basement.
With a dirt floor basement, all sorts of critters make their way under the house. We’ve had moles, mice, rats and of course spiders and insects over the 18 years we’ve lived here. The spiders in particular have been enjoying their time here and their numbers have grown tremendously. So much so that I have to be careful where I walk under there as they make webs across the doorway and I walk through several almost every time. I had to go under and check on a pipe and found that one particular species of spider is getting large and numerous. Arachnophobia comes to mind. My wife is now too afraid to go down there.
I can’t identify these spiders from any guide for spiders here in NH. I think they are maybe just a common house spider, though they are not something I have ever seen anywhere else. So if they are common, I must not get out much…or maybe I just don’t go into damp, dirt floor basements often enough. This spider is possibly a parasteatoda tepidariorum. The problem is that the Wikipedia page for these house spiders says they can get about an inch or more. The ones under my house are easily 2+ inches with some close to 3 inches long (leg span) . I guess that’s more than an inch, but being so much bigger, it makes me wonder if I have the wrong spider ID to begin with. If anybody has some more knowledge about spiders than I do (Ark, c’mon. Help me out here) I would appreciate it. Here we go…
Hanging from a metal heating duct
These spiders have very strong and sticky webs
Possible food source? Spider Crickets. Also known as cave crickets. These were quite abundant on the concrete walls.
One of several egg sacs, each with hundreds of babies. I opened one up and the spiderlings just poured out, ready to go out into the world.
Horrible photo, but these are some spiderlings. I had a hard time in the dark (under the house) trying to get decent lighting and focus.
A juvenile. Maybe only an inch or so. Blurry photo. It was hard to get a good shot with this moving all over.
I captured a couple of spiders to bring in the house. The wife was less than thrilled that I brought them inside, but I needed a better look. 🙂
The way these move is rather creepy. They remind me of widow spiders with the way they hang in their webs and the way their legs move. Their bodies are not as bulbous as widows. They are quite fast when they want to be.