A few nights ago I was sitting in my favorite chair, which happens to be a rocking recliner. It is one of a matching pair. I inherited both chairs along with my mother’s house in 2005. We now live in the house. I normally sit in the chair my mom sat in for many years.
About three weeks ago, something went wrong with my chair. It appeared to be broken. The rocking mechanism seemed to be stuck, making it hard for me to rock forward to get out of the chair. Last Thursday, someone came to help clean the house, and I asked her to help me switch the chairs so that I could start sitting in the good one, which hasn’t been used as much.
Last Thursday night I opened the chair so I could put my feet up, and I thought I saw something spider-like dropping from the foot rest onto the floor. I got up to look for it, knowing it was probably a spider. I couldn’t find it. It occurred to me it might have crawled under or into the mechanical parts of the chair, since some spiders prefer dark places. I didn’t feel quite as relaxed about sitting in the chair.
So this evening I was walking from my chair toward the kitchen and I found it. Yes, that’s her you see above. She was hanging on a web between some boxes of books. In such situations, I normally get the vacuum cleaner (canister type) and vacuum up the offending black widow, which this one was. The problem was that I had to get close to the spider’s location to plug the vacuum cleaner in. That scared the spider and she hid in a place harder to reach.
I’ve had a lot of encounters with these spiders – enough to observe their behavior. I know they have a tendency to hide, and then come back when they think the threat is gone. That’s what happened. A few minutes ago I went back, and there she was, back in the web. I had already plugged in the vacuum, so I just got my camera ready to snap her photo as a macro. As I approached, she left the web and started to crawl on the carpet toward me and the chair.
Did I panic? Of course not. I had to get her photo first. Then I vacuumed her up. I’m currently testing the theory I’ve heard that the spiders will crawl back out of the vacuum after you leave them. So I taped up the end of the hose. Problem solved? Not quite.
Unfortunately, this spider had a friend close by who is better at hiding. I still have to find and catch the friend. I also have to hope they haven’t made little spider babies. I could have a nest in the innards of my chair. The second spider seemed a bit smaller. I’m hoping it was her mate and she ate him, but I don’t think I’d better count on that.
What would you do in my situation?