The lodger

No, not this one...

No, not this one…

I dragged the washing machine out of the hole where it has been hiding since it retired itself a little while ago, determined to de-cobweb behind it and scrub the floor before the replacement is installed. Ani wanted to help, and did so by acting as a feather duster, collecting the webs on ears and tail, whilst ‘vacuuming’ the dog biscuit she found under there.

Personally, I was more concerned with finding what was responsible for the gossamer festoons. I disposed of the small snail and the mummified slug, evidently baked dry by the overheating motor some time ago. I was just about to start scrubbing the floor when a tiny movement caught my eye under the skirting board.

I have no problem with spiders, as long as they stay out of my bed and clothes. And the bath… at least when I am in it. I object severely too, to putting shampoo on my head and finding one on my hand that had jumped ship, so to speak. But normally. I have no problem with them. I teased the corner with the cloth as I cleaned, and caught the spider accidentally, pulling it out of its lair.

Now, normally, I have no problem with them, as I say, but this one was the size of a small bungalow.

I go barefoot indoors. I have no desire to meet such a creature barefoot.

It skittered off up the wall. I gave chase with the cloth, hoping to scoop it up and take it outside. It escaped, diving into a small crack in the woodwork. Oh well. It could stay there.

Except, it didn’t. It came back for more, evidently prepared to defend its territory.

It was dark in the hole under the counter. I tried to keep my eye on it, wishing I could reach the camera… I am sure my son would have liked to see a picture…

Okay, no he wouldn’t. But I’d have enjoyed showing it to him…

The intrepid arachnid kept on coming though, finally climbing the wall to launch an attack from on high. By this time Ani was involved in the chase, advancing and retreating two steps at a time and pawing the ground like a little horse. There was not much room for the three of us in there…

The spider jumped. Ani yelped. I sat back and bashed my head on the washing machine… and the spider hit the ground with an actual THUNK… it is that big.

You’ll notice the present tense…

I did manage to catch it… I even got it as far as the door before it wriggled free and scuttled off under the skirting board…

Ani currently has her nose glued to the aperture, snorting gently.

It appears we have a lodger…

Ani hunting spiders

A previous spider hunt

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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72 Responses to The lodger

  1. macjam47 says:

    Nice spider! They are definitely interesting creatures.


  2. noelleg44 says:

    What you have here is a Steatoda nobilis, a false widow spider, usually with an overall size of 20mm and is characterised by a dark brown colour and a bulbous abdomen. It is venomous but not deadly. Be careful with Ani, though, because of her size. It is not usually aggressive. I have a healthy respect for spiders – usually try to trap them (as you did) and throw them out.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      This one is fairly common around here… but it wasn’t the one we chased. That was much bigger and much darker… and too fast for a photo.It may have been no more than a giant house spider, but certainly looked heavy… and sounded it!


  3. OneDizzyBee says:

    A lodger. You are very calm about this. Never fear; I shall panic for you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’d have to move to another house. Immediately.


  5. sallyjanevictorious says:

    My Rule of Spiders is: If it scurries, no worries. If it jumps, might leave lumps. Either way, like you, I’m a catch and release kind of girl. If they’re too nimble to be captured, mine have always disappeared. My yours do the same.


  6. Ritu says:

    Ew!! Sue I would be exactly the same! Hope you don’t meet your lodger any time soon!


  7. denis1950 says:

    You certainly have a fascination for spiders Sue. I catch them in a jar and throw them over the fence into the neighbours, or if feeling naughty liberate them into the nearby kindergarten yard, (at night time). Sounds like you may have something from Africa or South America by the behaviour. These visitors come with cases of fruit then wander off once liberated. Are there any dead birds swinging in webs in the windows?


  8. Uh! Reminded the time when we moved to this house more than ten years ago. It was abandoned and empty for five years, and so any possible creatures settled comfortably in every corners and cracks in every room … what a disaster …

    The first week doing the cleaning and organizing was easy until we started to do the wallpaper and installed new floors … that is where you’ll find some little monsters lurking inside their lair, waiting for the right time to come out …

    That morning I opened the windows in the living room, letting in some fresh air into the house when what is entering are not air – those were spiders …. Ugh! Not one, not two, not three … not even ten … there are like maybe over twenty or thirty (who knows how many) just came down from the roof side and starting to enter … It was like a sudden spider invasion and I called out to my husband to help me getting rid of them … We would not want to hurt ’em, but there were too many and they were fast. I just do not want those things entering other part of the house and settle their nest somewhere … Ugh! I remembered the kids scream and my hubby had no choice but to smacked them all with the broom.

    Oh what a horror …


  9. KL Caley says:

    God! I am petrified of the things!! I know I am bigger than it and all that but it doesn’t help. I think I need an Ani watcher as neither of my two bother with them at all and happily let them sneak up on me! Then wonder why I jump up and down like a fruit loop if one gets too close to me :). Haha! KL


  10. Sorry, I would have hit the deck as I can’t get that close. Hubby has 2 spider catching kits depending on the size of the beast. I don’t mind the little ones, but he is well armed with a coaster and wine glass or a place mat and pint tankard!


  11. adeleulnais says:

    i do hope that you find the lodger and evict them from the property. I quite like spiders but not when they are the size of that one. eeek


  12. Mary Smith says:

    I don’t like spiders – it’s the way they move, I think – and always call for help to get them removed. However, I have been fascinated by one living outside my study window. He/she has a web across the corner and is kept incredibly busy. When small flies land on the web she’s soon there, wrapping them in a parcel which is then taken to the top of the window frame and fastened in the now well-stocked larder. It has been there for a couple of months now. While the weather is so dire there seeems little point in cleaning the outside of the window but I can’t postpone it indefnitely and I’m beginning to feel anxious about my spider’s untlimate fate. I’m not going to go near it once that pane of glass is not between us. How long do they live?


  13. A “thunk” ? Oh, no. Keep your eyes open for that one. ☺


  14. BunKaryudo says:

    I feel much the same way about spiders. I don’t mind them particularly, and I even find the small jumping one quite cute, but I can live without a huge one crawling over my hand or foot.


  15. Great story Sue, and a wonderful photo of said spider! I think it might be a false widow, the markings are correct, but it may be a little to hairy to be that particular type of spider. If it is a false widow, they are totally harmless, unless you are a fly of course! Lol! 🙂


  16. Arghh..I don’t really like them and, you said, “but this one was the size of a small bungalow.”!!!!


  17. Eliza Waters says:

    Oh, dear, don’t tell your son! 😉


  18. FlorenceT says:

    Know the feeling, Sue… Due to the damp and humidity here, they migrate indoors.. found 4 in my bathroom recently… a bit of an internal shriek later… 🙂 harmless, still not pleasant.


  19. I love animals of all shapes and sizes but rest assured, the flame-thrower would have been involved in the chase!


  20. Toby eats spiders. I don’t know why when he has plenty of lovely food and treats on hand (or should that be paw?) Glad you both won the battle…I hope?


  21. Helen Jones says:

    Oh, I really can’t deal with the big spiders. Sometimes, if they’re still, I’ll put a glass over them and take them out, but only if they’re very very still. Yikes! Has it reappeared yet?


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