More free cat toys…
Oh man I don’t mind them all over the yard eating bugs but they need to stay the hell out of my house. Time to vaccum the basement rafters.
I would like to read that article, but I cannot with all those images of spiders. Why is there no plugin or greasemonkey script to block all pictures of spiders?
HAH. Not in my house they won’t… because it’s also the season for these little buggers to come in as well.
They really do seem to wreak havoc on all the other crawlies, including spiders which is the only reason I begrudgingly tolerate them (they freak me out a tiny bit less than spiders, so it’s a deal).
I haven’t noticed many spiders in the house, but I love the fact that this is the time of year when I see so many outside around the house. Many of them, I know, are females, and I especially enjoy spotting Aranea cavatica, because, hey, who doesn’t love Charlotte’s Web?
Actually it makes me a little sad because I know the reason I’m seeing them, the reason their webs have gotten so big (big enough for me to throw them the occasional katydid), is because they’re about to pass on.
I have immense respect for those big suckers when I see them outside. When I see them run under my bedside table as I’m preparing for bed is another story. There will be no sleeping to be had while the possibility of a gigantic hairy spider walking across my face is a significant possibility.
You do know those things are venomous, I hope? I’d rather have twenty wolf spider bites than be clawed by a house centipede once.
Interestingly, there’s a female pholcus phalangioides in my house that I got a few pictures of with her last litter who recently took up with a new beau. They were doing some kind of mating dance while she was still swollen up with eggs, and then they moved, together, to a new web in another room. Since then, they’ve moved again, still together to a third room. It’s really sweet.
We’re in Canada, so we don’t have the poisonous tropical ones. The ones here very rarely bite people and, if/when they do, aren’t more dangerous than a bee (and we’re not allergic). I’ve never had issues with them… aside from the creeps.
I think it’s all about the light conditions, humidity, and connecting spaces.
Where I am, If there’s consistent light, even if it’s pretty dim, there seem to be a couple of species of little jumpers that completely has their way with everything else, I don’t think anything else gets much past the ‘dot with legs’ stage unless something big wanders in from somewhere else, except the occasional corner weaver.
The wolf spiders here seem to be on more of an internal clock and are often that ‘something big from somewhere else’ from dusk to dawn outside, I think we notice them a lot because that’s when we’re out and about.
Meanwhile, where it’s usually dark and damp you’ve got the house centipedes, and they can be that ‘something big from outside’ too, they’re not afraid of light but they’re pretty useless at catching the little jumpers and seem to be at a disadvantage against the wolf spiders, who seem to railroad them from the side if they happen to meet.
The cellar spiders are . . . weird. It seems like they tend to replace the centipede niche in some places I’ve been, but are more active in a smaller zone during the day. . . but I’ve seen them owning a room when it’s well lit too. They make a messy web but will wander about and take out nearby weavers and such as well. They’re surprisingly brainy critters.
Then you have the male weavers, who really have no business being out in that mess. They’re like everything else’s potato chips. There must be a bunch of 'em to make up for it, because they seem to be the token non-insect-victim this time of year. There seem to be a lot that look like gangly wolf spiders but move like . . . like food, apparently.
I’m pretty sure all centipedes are venomous. Certainly all the ones here in the mid-Atlantic US states are! They don’t really bite or sting - instead they have a pair of specialized front limbs, called maxillipeds or “poison claws” that are connected to a venom gland at the base. The bigger the centipede, the more painful the bite. Your average house centipede probably hurts about as much as a bee sting, though, so that was a very apt comparison!
I know they have venom. I meant they’re not ‘send you to the ER’ venomous
Hm. When’s house-centipede mating season? I don’t have as many of them as I do spiders, but I get a few. The cats think they’re great toys, until they get played with a bit too roughly and break…
I’m so glad I’ve never seen any of these centipedes in my house y’all are talking about (Seattle area). But thanks for making me paranoid now.
I’ve heard, anecdotally, that smaller centipedes deliver a worse “bite” on account of the venom being more concentrated. Or maybe that was scorpion stings? I dunno.
I allow Pholcus phalangioides to live in the corners of my place, because they’re far preferable to the houseflies and mosquitoes that they keep under control. I wish they’d clean up their webs when they relocate, but it’s a small price to pay. Aside from being untidy they’re not bothersome.
I encourage the Lycosidae for the same reason. They are pretty tidy except for the shed skins.
I’ve heard that story about the young having more concentrated venom told about rattlesnakes and copperheads, but my Grandfather told me it was a myth. His explanation was that people who got bitten by baby copperheads were typically bitten many times, because they’d disturbed a nest or fallen into a snake pit. I dunno about baby centipede venom but my uninformed hunch is that it’s also a myth.
My house used to get INFESTED with house centipedes in the spring and fall - we’d find 1-2 a day, and not just in the basement or ground floor of our house, but in our BEDROOM. We re-did our backyard, tearing out the deck that connected to the house, and found that the grading of the backyard underneath the deck actually drained water TOWARDS the house, resulting in lovely dark and damp conditions that house centipedes absolutely love. Since we got rid of that deck? We now only see maybe 1-2 a month in the busy season. I’m not sad to see them go, and haven’t seen an uptick in spiders or other buggies either. So I’m guessing all that damp under the deck was also a nice breeding ground for all those other bugs too.
Edit - despite being so infested with them, nobody in my house was ever bitten by a house centipede, for what it’s worth.