I know what you're going to say already, mom. But spiders are good! They eat all the other bugs! Well that's what I've kept telling myself over the past month and a half, as I spent more and more time cleaning out cobwebs from our patio and eaves. However, last night we were coming in from having dinner outside and right next to the sliding glass door I see some movement out of the corner of my eye. I put everything down and came back to take a look and found a huge black-widow spider. I think the ones I've always seen at Grandma's were much smaller, maybe an inch at best, but this female (given its markings) was nearly two inches long and quite beautiful.
Too bad I had to get rid of it. Normally I wouldn't but because it was within reach of our way too curious cat, it got the flip-flop treatment. Sigh.
I think the number of spiders we have is partly related to the number of crickets in our backyard. Muji is making a dent in that population (although she doesn't eat them, just catches them) but they are everywhere. If we spend any amount of time on the back patio in the evening with the lights on, soon enough they'll be hopping all over us. I never realized what a nuisance they could be too! They were never really much of an annoyance in Pittsburgh, maybe these west coast crickets are more invasive.
I'm going to try some of the advice for the crickets from HowToGetRidOfStuff.com but if you guys have any tips, I'm happy to listen.