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Badmumna insignis.

I have just asked my carer to *not* clean the spider web in the toilet window. Over the last couple of months, I've become increasingly attached to a spider that lives there, even though I'm scared of her as well. I think she's a Black House Spider, Badumna insignis. They are a bit venomous apparently, in that a bite can be painful and require a cold pack, but they're very timid.

I wasn't worried about her web being cleaned away regularly as it did tend to get quite large, but the other day I realised she is missing some leg segments - probably from me recently opening the toilet window.

So now I feel bad and really want Shazza to have an easier life and not have to rebuild her web from scratch every fortnight.

Trying to shift her could get complicated, as she lives in the grooves of the sliding window so I'd have to poke around a bit, and I really don't feel like getting her aggravated.

From that website above I've learnt they live for about two years. She appeared last summer and was a lot smaller back then.

She's active at night and scared the willies out of me for several weeks on my nighttime trips to the loo, especially as she got bigger and bigger and I wasn't quite sure when she was going to stop growing. And the time I went in in time to see her and another spider squaring off to either mate or have a territorial dispute will sit with me for a long while I suspect.

She's so black that light just seems to fall into her, so when you go in there at 2AM and she's working on her web, you can't miss her.

But she's timid, and now she's getting a bit helpless as well. And her web building is now minimal. Frankly, I'm not sure she's long for this world.


My carer, incidentally, did give me a sideways glance and mutter something about getting out more. Then we moved onto cockroaches and we've agreed that if I ever claim interest and concern over a cockroach, she's to call my case manager immediately. ;)

10B, on the other hand, thinks cockroaches might work and I could overcome the fact that they all look the same with paint and a numbering system.

I feel a little torn. Mediation might be needed.

In the meanwhile, I'll be trying to find appropriate care options for Shaz. Or possibly holding a small memorial service at the toilet window. Candles may be involved.



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
May. 12th, 2010 05:37 am (UTC)
3 cm...
Oh lordy. I hope not.

Probably only 1cm so far. If she gets much bigger, one of us will have to move.

May. 12th, 2010 05:49 am (UTC)
Paint and a numbering system. Too funny. (Not serious, right?)

Very sweet about "Shaz", and you overcoming your fears and all. I hope it doesn't end up like Charlotte's Web where she makes 100's of baby spiders--in your bathroom-- before she fades away.
May. 12th, 2010 06:10 am (UTC)
One can never be sure. ;)

What bothers me is that the more I think about it, the more it starts to appeal. Imagine toddling to the loo in the night and being able to say "oh hello #5, how's things?" or "Whoops, I think that crunching sound was #8". "Oh you wild and crazy #7, one day it's food in the kitchen, the next day it's the cat litter! Tee hee."

It would be interesting to know if we see the same cockroaches over and over. Of course, the obvious problem arises: one would have to catch and handle the little bastards first. That's where the whole thing falls down.

Funny that the best I can think of for cockroaches are numbers rather than names.

Am starting to have thoughts about racing stripes though.
(Deleted comment)
May. 12th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
Yes, therein lies the rub. Tonight I had no problem with hand-catching a fence lizard in our living room and letting it outside. But cockroaches creep me out.
May. 12th, 2010 06:14 am (UTC)
Actually, I don't think I've overcome my fears. Just doing a google image search put me at risk of hurling Dave across the room in a panic. Nah, it's just Shaz and her unique qualities, or maybe my wildly misguided sense of moral obligation.

Oh god, if she does a Charlotte on me I'll die.
May. 12th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
I can relate to that. I couldn't even click on your link for fear of what might be jumping off the screen if I did but I have had certain types of spiders in my place that I had peaceful agreements with. You don't leave your corner much, I'll leave you alone.
(What is "a Charlotte"?)
May. 12th, 2010 09:10 am (UTC)
Charlotte is from a children's story "Charlotte's Web". Charlotte is a spider who befriends a small pig named Wilbur.

IIRC, Wilbur is likely to get eaten, so Charlotte writes messages in her web about how fabulous he is, and instead of being eaten he becomes famous.

She dies in the end, as spiders only have a short life, but has many little babies first.

Most of them leave to build webs elsewhere, but three stay behind and Wilbur tells them how fabulous their Mother was.

May. 12th, 2010 10:38 am (UTC)
What a lovely synopsis. We all fell in love with that book in 2nd grade. Living in Iowa, most of us were quite familiar with the story's setting and circumstances.

"Pulling a Charlotte". That's gotta be added to the lexicon somehow :)
May. 12th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC)
I had a liddle spidey friend that used to hang out in the window frame in the study. I'm sure she understood my greetings, and the fact that she is the only spidey I ever allowed to keep living in the house. However, she wasn't a freaking black house spider...they creep me out. But I'll understand if you don't tell Shazza that.
May. 12th, 2010 06:43 am (UTC)
May. 12th, 2010 09:11 am (UTC)
Thank goodness I don't have kids...
May. 12th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
Your post made me shudder.
Yep...arachnophobe and whatever a cockroach phobe is here.
But poor little lame spidey.
They really do have a short lifespan, with or without all their leg bits.
May. 12th, 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
No spiders in the house
It's simple: if they come in my space, they die.

That said, I have had anica_annica's solution in the past - but lately all my 8-legged acquaintances have been active. The only thing worse that knowing were Bruce the Big Black Spider is, is NOT knowing where BTBBS is!

You can apparently deter spiders with lemon oil around the entrances of your abode. Spideys don't like it. (I'm not trying to get rid of Shaz, who is completely your business) I'm just sayin'.
May. 13th, 2010 06:53 am (UTC)
Wow! She's a thick, black legged one, ain't she?? I'm glad she's little.. I just watched a youtube of one eating a cricket - looks like they can get pretty big. Pls don't grow, Shaz, it ain't cool.

I don't think it's loopy keeping her as a 'pet'. She's just sharing your space, hasn't bitten you and is just keeping to herself. Just chuck a fly or two up in her web occasionally and she'll be peachy. If only she'd made her web on the floor to catch the cockroach sequence.
May. 13th, 2010 01:33 pm (UTC)
Repeatedly misread as Badmomma Spider. :)
May. 14th, 2010 09:36 am (UTC)
I like the idea of a Shaz/Charlotte, but not in my house!

Generally if a spider is not a redback or whitetail, I leave them in their corner if they'll leave me in mine. I actually haven't seen a spider inside for about a year and a half now though...
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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