Arachnid Identification
October 30, 2011 5:06 PM   Subscribe

What kind of spiders am I evicting from my kitchen? Picture.

We're in coastal Massachusetts, but the way. I'm just curious--New England isn't exactly known for its venomous animals--but we had quite a few, thanks to the ready availability of flies that come in when the front door sits open (no screen), and the pattern is interesting.
posted by Dr.Enormous to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
Looks like the American house spider to me. Are they hanging upside down in a little messy web?
posted by thebrokedown at 5:17 PM on October 30, 2011

Brown widow.

Easy to kill by smushing and vacuuming, hard to kill with poison - they can go dormant pretty much indefinitely, IIRC. And they live pretty much anywhere.
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:54 PM on October 30, 2011

Forgot to say, good news and bad news:

Bad news - yep, venomous.

Good news - I've had them in every house I've lived in for the last 20 years, and I'm careless about where I put my hands and feet (under stuff, into shoes that have been left on the porch, etc) and I've never been bitten. At least not by the widows.
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:56 PM on October 30, 2011

Best answer: Massachusetts is a bit northeasterly for a brown widow.

It's definitely a cobweb spider though, most likely a common house spider, or some form of Steatoda or Theridion.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:56 PM on October 30, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone: using your info, a search led me to this spider, which looks to be the closest picture I've seen.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 9:15 PM on October 30, 2011

Nice! Wikipedia says non-aggressive, no recorded human bites, and it preys on hobo spiders and brown recluses. That's a good spider to have around.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:33 AM on October 31, 2011

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