It’s spider season in southern Manitoba

A couple of school girls fundraising in our neighbourhood spotted this spider on the side of our trailer:

Spider on our trailer

I measure its body to be about 5/8-3/4″, but note that its legs are retracted (it’s cold and rainy outside), so it’s actually bigger.

I really don’t want to find one of these guys inside the trailer. I can’t stand spiders. Last autumn I avoided dealing with a spider living in our entrance window and as the weeks went by, it grew significantly larger, to the point that when I finally realized I need to get rid of this thing, I was unwilling to even kill it with several layers of paper towel in hand. I’m not sure if it’s the thought of the thing crawling up my arm and into my shirt that gives me the heebie-jeebies, or if its the thought of hearing and feeling the crackle and squish as I squash it.

My solution? Suck it up with the vacuum cleaner and then empty the container into the garbage (and then take the garbage out).

(I fully expect you, Scott, to comment on this post with scientific accuracy and warmth, and quite possibly incredulity with my phobia. Perhaps you can identify the spider?)

11 thoughts on “It’s spider season in southern Manitoba

  1. Ange J

    ugh! even the picture of the spider grossed me out. i had to scroll the page up so that i didn’t have to see it while i was reading the rest of your post!

  2. Terry

    Although we have some huge spiders here in Manitoba, my phobia of spiders started when we lived in our trailer in Caronport. Huge, bulbous, and yellow. YUCK. We had hundreds of them on the side and coming from underneath our trailer.

  3. Scott

    I am honoured that I was mentioned in the post (a single tear of joy trickles down his cheek…). I will not mock your phobia for I myself am a recovering arachnophobe, but I will frown upon your use of inches when the centimetre scale was so close by. (Frowny Face! And another thing: do hold the ruler closer next time darling, it will not bite you!)
    As for identification (and I am not an expert!) a quick search on the net has led me to believe that this is a specimen of Araneus gemmoides or the Cat-Faced Spider. An orb weaver of the family Araneidae (the orb weavers). This is a late season spider and the “cat-face” is apparently made up of the two projections resembling ears and the other markings on HER abdomen. Yes Marc, your ‘guy’ is likely a ‘gal’. I hope that you did not destroy her, as I wager she eats a fair number of those bird-sized monstrosities you Manitobans lovingly call mosquitoes…(Rereading your post leads me to believe that you did annihilate it – and it was outside! A single tear of sadness follows the tear of joy…)
    @Toni – Spiders are all predators, but have a vast array of strategies. We have many smaller bodied, large harry legged varieties as well. The spiders like that tend to be ground hunters that leap (Jumping spiders – Family Salticidae) or wolf spiders. These spiders chase their prey and only use a web for their eggs. In the case on some wolf spiders, the female actually carries her eggs in a silk sac beneath her abdomen and when they hatch, she carries her offspring for a while as well! The fat bodied, long-legged spiders such as Marc’s specimen tend to build intricate webs and wait for their prey. When an insect is caught in the web, the spider can leisurely wander down, inject venom and dine at leisure. I am sure that they have orb weavers in your area, but perhaps they are not as prominent as they are in Canada in the late summer. We get some big ones!

  4. Scott

    And another apology – upon rerereading the post I realise you did not kill this lovely lady, but another, more hapless specimen that had the gall to try to rid your house of annoying insects…

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