Irradiated by LabRat
Lissa writes of her and her husband’s encounter, and subsequent defeat of, a wolf spider.
As long-time readers know, I am a somewhat recovered arachnophobe. I have an atavistic fear of spiders that used to be quite severe when I was a child, and at this point can best be described as controlled loathing tempered by education and exposure. I no longer am sent into a berserker killing spree at the sight of the eight-legged and can even tolerate them being in the room with me, although crawling on me is still grounds for an immediate death sentence.
My problem is that my life mate and best beloved actually likes the little bastards. I can broadly accept that having benign arachnid top predators in the house is better than having venomous ones, so except in the case of black widows (which he seems to slightly regret killing), this house is free-range for all types of spiders save those. Including wolf spiders. I’m well used to wolf spiders, as they’re quite common here, but as Lissa observed, the females in particular grow to… stunning dimensions. The one she has in her photographs is somewhat middle-sized for a female.
Currently, we have a quite large female in residence. While under normal circumstances Stingray is willing to shoo the ones big enough to still make me scream in shock outside- this is solely because during those normal circumstances he believes the spider in question to have better hunting opportunities outside. With the temperature outside dropping and insect populations going dormant, he now believes that this spider will be better off indoors, despite potential danger from the cat and Kang. (And me, should she get too near me.) Presumably she will be steadily knocking down the other spiders in the house until she’s large enough and feeling game enough to try for mammalian prey, which she already looks nearly ready for. I wouldn’t give a baby mouse long odds on surviving her, at any rate.
The end result of this uncomfortable arrangement is semi-daily events like this:
Me, somewhere random in the house: “AIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGH!”
Stingray, *excited*: “Oh, she’s still here? Shoo her under something, would you? Don’t catch the dog’s attention.”
Stingray: “Fine. C’mere sweetie…”
And no, I am not “sweetie”.
Kang is very confused. Her normal response to small skittering animals is to eat them or squash them, but Stingray has informed her in blunt terms she is not allowed to do this with this spider. Her look of mingled heartbreak and disbelief as she slouched back to the corner to go back to sleep was certainly expressive, at any rate.
The other woman. Not our individual, but the same species. And yes, as one commenter at Lissa’s noted, her eyes DO glow in the dark.