Creepy Crawlies In My Creepy Crawlspace

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

spider8

These spiders have very strong and sticky webs

spider9

Possible food source? Spider Crickets. Also known as cave crickets. These were quite abundant on the concrete walls.

spider5

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.

spider7

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.

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A juvenile. Maybe only an inch or so. Blurry photo. It was hard to get a good shot with this moving all over.

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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. πŸ™‚

spider2

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.

spider1

32 thoughts on “Creepy Crawlies In My Creepy Crawlspace

  1. They definitely look like house spiders. The body shape also seems a bit like that of one of the orb weavers.
    That’s as far as I am prepared to venture. I am no entomologist.

    But you could try posting here …..
    The Spider Club of South Africa.
    If you give these folks details, where, when etc they may be able to help or direct you to an American site that will.

    Some of the members are seriously clued up and always help me with Arachnid IDs.

    https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=The%20Spider%20Club%20of%20Southern%20Africa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I told him if I find one in the actual house he needs to kill them. I told him opening the egg sack was a mistake, and he probably had babies crawl onto him. I will never go down there again!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I spent ten mins. doing the Googly thing – for interest sake.
    Every picture of a North American house spider seems to have smooth, hairless legs, whereas the arachnids in your pics all have hairy legs, much like a field spider.
    On saying this however I am going for these two choices.
    1. The North Carolina Super Venomous Eat your face off Icky Swamp dwelling Instant Death Spider.
    or:
    2. The common and completely-harmless-to-humans North American house spider.
    I can’t make up my mind, so you will have to decide.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the extra effort. I just finished a 12 hour shift at work so I may try some more research when I get home or sometime tomorrow. Somebody has to know what this thing is. I don’t think there’s a brand new species of spider whose population is completely contained within my basement. We’ll see.

      Like

      1. All other indicators tie in -including a positive id from someone on SA Spiders five mins ago.
        The hairy legs are another give away.
        Lynx spiders have similar hairy legs but they tend to stay outdoors.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve been busy working the last few days and running errands today so I haven’t had much time to do more research. I really appreciate your efforts to ID my spider friends. It won’t ease my wife’s mind, just knowing their name, but I am grateful for it. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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