your friendly neighborhood spider...spider
August 3, 2022 9:45 PM   Subscribe

I moved into this apartment a few weeks ago. It was freshly cleaned before I moved in; due to schedule bullshit, I have barely unpacked yet. Last week, I went on vacation for a handful of days, and when I returned, my apartment belonged to the spiders. Why?

These are all manner of spiders -- tiny brown jumpers, spindly white fellas, itty bitty bitties who scatter when I sweep the floor, ceiling spiders, lampshade spiders, doorway spiders, spiders setting up shop in my dishes overnight ...I am not exaggerating when I say I have encountered more spiders since moving into this apartment than in the entire preceding 4 decades of my life.

This isn't really a problem per se. I used to be highly phobic but I've really gotten past it, so now once I've had my little jump scare I just let them go about their spidery business. (I do evict them from my coffee mugs.) And it's infinitely preferable to having the kinds of critters these leggy bois eat.

But it's still kind of puzzling and wild! My apartment is a top floor in a very urban area, hardly some kind of rustic woodland cabin. There is some fairly thick ivy on one side of the building, so I assume that's part of it? But what else? And do you have any tips on coexisting with just like an absolute nation of spiders?
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not an entomologist/I've only been told this anecdotally, but the likely explanation I've heard is that the cleaning resulted in the destruction of the homes of a lot of non-spider bugs, sending said bugs on the move. When the spiders noticed all these bugs (i.e. food) plus no human around to be scared of, the spiders took advantage. If one or more of those spiders happened to be pregnant, that could have resulted in what you are experiencing. We've had waves of spiders in our place too - they usually dissipate after a week or two.
posted by rjacobs at 9:56 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]

the spiders noticed all these bugs (i.e. food)

Agreed. If there are that many spiders, there must be an order of magnitude of less visible bugs that they are eating at the moment. Like centipedes, spiders are our allies, not our enemies.
posted by fairmettle at 10:04 PM on August 3

Not to gross you out, but I had a huge number of spiders in my yard and we discovered that they were eating each other. In the end we got a praying mantis, who toasted the lot of them. In short, your many spiders may not mean many bugs. Why did they all come out? Your place was cleaned and all the living spiders were removed. But not their eggs! They hatched when you were away. Spiders ahoy!
posted by Toddles at 10:50 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]

Was it godawful hot while you were away? Our house has been Spiderville for the last week or so because we had a bad heatwave and a ton of them came inside, I assume looking for water/cooler temps. I usually wouldn't expect so many in here at this time of year.
posted by potrzebie at 11:13 PM on August 3

I don't know where they all came from, but if you are in the habit of keeping a water glass by your bed at night, now would be an excellent time to swap that out for a bottle with a lid you can close. Some things are better not learned through experience.

Also, if you keep your mugs upside-down, you will never find a spider inside. (Less of a worry with glasses, because a spider you can see is never going to ambush you.)
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:09 AM on August 4

Response by poster: Also, if you keep your mugs upside-down, you will never find a spider inside. (Less of a worry with glasses, because a spider you can see is never going to ambush you.)

Oh, years of living with much less savory bugs have trained me to store all glassware face-down; however, the little sink spiders like to colonize the mugs overnight while they're in the drying rack.

I'm happy to just wait it out and keep things swept. The place was vacant for about a month before I moved in so I'm sure they got quite used to not having to dodge clumsy human feet and brooms. The vibe I got upon confronting one on my kitchen faucet was very "oh, you're here! how embarrassing" lol.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:32 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]

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