Our houseguest Nellie let out a scream you could hear clear across Lusaka when she saw one of the many HUGE spiders that live with us. She also knocked over the vase of flowers, kicked the “nightstand” (i.e., cardboard box — this was pre-furniture arrival) across the room, and jumped up on a chair to make sure she wasn’t attacked by one of our pet spiders. (Could this be the reason she’s been our first and only guest? Has she put out an alert that several two-inch spiders live with us?) Here is the pet spider found in Nellie’s room.
Nel must have scared the spider to death, poor thing, because we could not find her anywhere. (Sudden epiphany — is this why Nel didn’t sleep well, because she was on the alert for the spider?).
When we moved in I set about killing all of the spiders in the house only to have Thom advocate for their survival. He said they’re harmless and they kill all of the mosquitoes and flies so we should never hurt them.
I’ve never been afraid of spiders so that was fine by me. They only go on the walls or ceiling and I’ve never seen them on furniture, tables, chairs, or any other surface. They’re also incredibly skittish — if you get within a foot of one it scrambles out of sight at lightning speed.
Here’s a typical scene in our house — you look at a corner and there’s a large spider.
I’ve tried to figure out what kind of spider they are and am still not sure. Possibilities include the Wolf spider, the Rain spider, the Huntsman spider, or the Baboon spider — all apparently common in Zambia. Here’s a close-up shot of one of our pet spiders.
The dogs like to chase them and they seem very fragile because with one knock of a paw they’re dead. Also, I’ve never seen any webs or spider sacks, so perhaps they are the rain spiders mentioned above and just come in when it’s raining?
I feel another contest coming on — the first person who can correctly name this type of spider wins 3 free nights in our humble abode. You just have to figure out how to get here… 🙂