A crazy spider lives in the litter box

2014 -- I finally got a good photo of this crazy spider that sent me on a merry chase.
2014 -- I finally got a good photo of this crazy spider that sent me on a merry chase. | Source

Darn crazy spider!

Don't get in his way!
Don't get in his way! | Source

Imagine my surprise one evening as I started to scoop the litter box, and a big spider popped out of the litter. I reached over with the scoop to remove it from the box, and it ran -- fast. This Mario Andretti of spiders was wheeling around the box faster than I could move with the scoop. After giving me a merry chase, I was finally able to scoop it up, but then it jumped into the floor and laid a rubber streak down the hall. It sped into the laundry room and under the washer, and that was the last of it. Or so I thought.

The next evening I started to scoop the box again, and there sat Little Miss Muffet, except she wasn’t sitting on a tuffet, but it did start with at “T”. (That earned her the name.) Then Tas, my 20 lb. black monster cat, brushed past me, hopped into the box and proceeded to do some business. The spider nonchalantly moved out of his way. Either Tas didn’t see Miss Muffet or he ignored her. As soon as he left, Miss Muffet and I had another merry chase, and I lost track of her this time.

Again, the next day I picked up the litter box to completely change the litter, and there she was crouching under the box just waiting for her chance to jump back in. I assume it was the same one, after all, how many crazy spiders are there? I chased her again. This time she ran up the wall and onto the ceiling and through a vent.

As Dizzy Dean once said, this was déjà vu all over again. It just kept on déjà vuing, and I wonder if it was the same spider. How long is a spider’s lifespan? Anyway, a week later an incident occurred with a similar spider half that size. Did Miss Muffet lay her eggs in the box and this one hatch? I don’t know, but if it did, the rest of them now reside at the city dump. I rounded up the liner full of litter and tossed it into the garbage can outside.

I thought maybe these spiders were wolf spiders that wander into my underground house. Wolf spiders are a nocturnal ground spider that does not build webs. However, Miss Muffet and her family more closely resemble the common grass spider, a web builder, but I don’t find any webs built by her.

My residents are large, about 2 to 3 inches in diameter, including the legs, and grayish-brown in color. Unlike what I’ve read about the aggressive wolf spider, they are very shy and seem harmless enough. I’m glad because we can’t seem to rid our house of them. We don’t spray very often because we have cats with health problems, Katrina is 19 years old and Tas is diabetic. In the past the cats have chased spiders and eaten them, but this variety is not on their menu. They seem to prefer eating the spiders that build webs in the corners or eating crickets. Cats do have discriminating tastes.

I have a theory as to why the spiders are attracted to the litter box. Any time we see a web, it contains, or at least nearby is a spider of seemingly no kin to Miss Muffet or her family. I think those webs are Charlotte’s. I’m not sure that my speedy spiders are webmakers, and maybe the clay litter is the closest they can find inside to dirt (which means they haven't checked out hubby's den). Anyway, Miss Muffet and her relatives have provided me with some interesting entertainment that I can expect each spring.

Addendum

September 11, 2012. When I went into the bathroom this morning, the first thing I noticed was one of the crazy spiders curled up dead in front of the litter box, a victim, I suppose of the spray I had used around the baseboards in the bathroom the week before. An underground house attracts all kinds of insect critters, and the only way one can have a “green” underground house is to live with them. We try not to resort to spray, but when unidentifiable fuzzy things invade the bathroom, that’s it! I spray. Anyway, back to the spider.

This is the closest I have ever come to one of them. I gingerly picked it up on a paper towel and took this photo. With the legs uncurled, it would be about 3 inches across. Can anyone identify it for me?


Curled up dead in front of the litter box. What kind of spider is it?
Curled up dead in front of the litter box. What kind of spider is it? | Source

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Comments 46 comments

kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi MizBejabbers, I see you enjoyed a bit of an adventure with a spider who can run faster than you. Thanks for this fun read enjoyed it !

Vote up and more !!!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Hey, kashmir56, I replied to your post a couple of days ago through my Kindlefire, and apparently it didn't go through. Anyway, yes it was an adventure, and I expect more to come. Thanks for the read and the vote & more!


Linda 4 years ago

I think you have camel crickets.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

This is definitely a spider, not any form of cricket. However, we do occasionally get a large light brown cricket that my son calls a "cave cricket" for want of a better name because he has seen them in caves. Would that be a camel cricket? Anyway, thanks!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I am not knowledgeable about spiders, nor do I want to be. LOL They don't freak me out like some people, but I'd rather not become close friends with them either.

Three inches across? That's big enough to gain my respect. :)

Great story, told with wonderful humor! Have a great weekend!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Thanks, Billybuc, they don't freak me out either, and normally I don't like spiders, but strangely, I've come to like this particular kind. They're so big, it's almost like having another pet in the house. I just wish somebody could tell me what kind it is.


KIANRO 4 years ago

LOVED reading about your adventure you do have the gift of the written word with a splendid sense of humour indeed!!! My spiders I have found these past 3 days in the litter unfortunately meet their demise minus the humour!!! :oD Cleaned the litter after litteraly (pun intended) boiling it in bleach so I'll see if these nasties return or not. I've killed six so far in two days so I guess the Brady bunch still has a few children of the corn left...the hunt is now on!!! Once again thanks for the fabulous chuckle's and have a fantabulous day!!! :o)


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Kianro, you write pretty humerous yourself. Thank you for the laugh. It seems to be the only way these quick little devils meet their demise is to sneak up on them and spray them.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Nope, no idea of the type. However, at 3 inches across, they could make nice snacks for your cats if they aren't careful :-p lol. A funny story, will share.

Up, funny, pinned and tweeted.


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa

MizBejabbers...i am pretty sure it is a wolfie. and yes they can get pretty big. i wrote a hub some while back called the lovely wolf spider, you should check it out. in it i describe my adventures with them and how beneficial they can be. i have never found wolf spiders to be aggressive. any animal or insect will defend themselves if they feel threatened, but to attack unprovoked is very rare indeed. about a week ago i went out one early morning and as i got to the end of the ramp, my eyes caught movement and i looked down to see a large spider racing away. i stooped to try to see it better and it disappeared down a hole the size of a dime. this hole went straight down, not slanted, and there were no webs. i have yet to look it up but i suspect it is a type of wolfie as well. there are over 2000 species of wolfie. great hub, voted up and across and shared.


livingsta profile image

livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

That was a funny and interesting Hub, I laughed all the way through! Thank you for sharing your experience :)

Voted up and funny!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

I thought maybe you had what we call dock spiders in your house but after seeing it that's not what it is. I have seen this kind before but don't know what their called.. Your story is very funny. We have three cats and have never caught spiders in their boxes. Strange that the spiders were living there. Enjoyed reading your funny story and voted uP!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Very cute hub! I can see myself chasing the spider with the fly-swatter! I hate spiders! They really creep me out. We have the same type of spiders here. I don't know the name of them, my husband just calls them garden spiders. If there is a spider in my house, I call it a dead spider! I enjoyed your hub! Voted up and funny! :)


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa

Wolf Spiders are a large family of active hunters.

They do not construct webs.

Will enter homes sometimes in large numbers.

Can be quite large and run very fast which people find unsettling.

While they may bite, there is no serious reaction.

http://www.edenpest.com/images/wolf-spider.jpg

http://www.edenpest.com/pest-library/profile/spide...

i thought you might find this site interesting...note the similar appearance of the wolf spider and the hobo spider...but the hobo spider is aggressive. it uses webs.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Brent: Snacks FOR my cats of OF my cats. LOL. Thanks for the comment and share!

tlmc: Thanks for your comments, and I do find wolf spiders interesting. At first I thought this was a wolf spider, but it doesn't resemble the pictures of wolf spiders that I find online. The mouth area seems different in addition to the color. But if there are over 2,000 species of wolf spiders, then they certainly all can’t be posted online. I am willing to entertain the idea that it is a wolf spider. And I will check out the websites you included. Thanks for the vote and share.

Livingsta: I appreciate your comment and vote. Glad to give somebody a laugh.

I am really surprised at the interest this hub is generating. If I get another infestation next spring, I may have to do another hub on my crazy spiders. Somewhere on my photos, I found a picture that one of us took of a live one. I’ll try to find it again and post it on this hub.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 4 years ago

What a great story! Spiders freak me out, every last one of them. I was once lying in bed reading a book, when all of a sudden, right in front of my eyes, dangling over my pages was a spider. My sudden reaction chased him right back up the web he came down on, thank goodness. I also don't like killing bugs, as annoying and ugly as some of them are. As a child, I did my best to never step on an ant. Even at work, two of my coworkers freak out over the occasional spider, and they call me over because they know that even though I don't like them, I don't want them to be executed. The spiders at work are very tiny, so I simply let them crawl on a sheet of paper and I take them outside.

This was a fun read, thanks for sharing :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

My bet is on a wolf spider. I have plenty of them here. From what others have shared in the comments, given the variety of wolf spiders there are and your pic, that's my guess.

I found your hub because of trish1048 and her understanding of my love for spiders. I'm not an entomologist, I just admire spiders. They do a bang-up job of ridding the house of silverfish, centipedes, even fruit flies and fungus gnats, and more. I don't live in an underground house like you do, but my house is on a concrete slab, and spiders make their way in through open patio doors and those holes in the house that utility services providers make, like access for cable or electric. I've never been able to rid my house of spiders, and so I decided to be their friend, catching them as I can and releasing them to the outside of the house. I wrote a hub about catching and releasing spiders a few years ago. You and your readers can find that on my profile here on HP.

What I find so amazing about your hub is the respect, or something, with which your cats and the spiders live in the litter box. Clearly, there's an advantage the spider has there.

I have a dog and two cats in the house right now. The dog is fantastic at catching flying critters (like catching flies with chop sticks), but no good at spiders. The cats consider the spiders great toys and dispatch them in the middle of the night. Sometimes I wonder, if the spiders bit the cats on the way down their gullets, what havoc would that wreak, but so far no cats are complaining.

Yours is a super hub...voted up, funny, interesting, and all those things.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Thank you, Sally’s Trove. I know what you mean about spiders. I used to despise them, but since dealing with these big ones I have gained a new respect. We have been replacing our stairs and mini-decks in front of the house, and this weekend a brown spider about the size of a quarter was on one of the boards we were using. I told my husband to watch the spider and don’t hurt it. He said okay, and he removed it to the grass alongside the house. That is a whole new outlook for us. My cat (my only one due to a recent death of my 19-year-old baby girl) eats the bugs and spiders in the webs he finds in the house, but I have never seen him interested in one of these big ones.

Maybe he’s like my children when they lived at home. Many years ago in a duplex, our elderly neighbor found a tarantula in the back yard and wanted one of my kids to kill it. My son came back in the house after a while and said that he had captured the tarantula and turned it loose at a nearby creek. He said that he just couldn’t kill something that big. He compared it to killing a cat or a small dog. I just have a respect for all of God’s living creatures, and if they don’t try to harm us, we leave them along or remove them to another place, if possible. Thanks for your comment and your vote.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

If you don't mind my saying, I think there's a karmic, spiritual aspect about cats and you and your family and spiders. I get the feeling, live and let live. I think that's the message, or at least one of them, for assuring life on this planet going forward.

Your son has your respect for life. So glad I found you on HP.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Well, could be. I've been into metaphysics since 1976, and Mr. B practices shamanism. We both have Cherokee blood, he's close to 3/4. We are also magnets for stray homeless animals, so there may be that aspect with insects and other varmits. Thanks, I appreciate that.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 3 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

I really didn't wanna read a hub on spiders after all of my experiences with them, but I had to read about why a spider would take up residence in a litter box. :) Great story!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

Well, I still don't know why a spider would take up residence in a stinky ole litterbox. It is also a mystery to me why Tas would tolerate the spider there. Maybe I'll find the answer in a new book of poetry written by cats that I intend to purchase. It's called "I could pee on this". (Seriously, LOL) Anyway, thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

We call them wolf spiders here. Don't know if that is the appropriate name, be we have way too many! Some are pretty shy, but others not so much. we had one chase our cat across the living room one night. She was "hunting" the spider, and got more than she bargained for. It put her on top of the couch, where she sulked for an hour. Later she killed it, but it sure was funny. Sounds like your adventure was hilarious...well, maybe not for you. But it was fun to read!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

That is so funny! How big was this spider that chased your cat across the living room? Our big Tas just ignores them, but we have a new ocicat that chases bugs. I guess she'd better watch out. Ours get pretty big, but I haven't seen any this year so far. These have a different mouth area from the photos of wolf spiders I see online, but the rest of the spider is very similar, so I just can't say. Thank you for the read and the funny anectdote about your cat.


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

They are about the same size as yours , 2-3 inches, here. When I lived in SE Oklahoma, (it was much warmer and buggier) they grew up to 4 inches. Sometimes it was hard to tell them from the tarantulas without getting up close. I know they don't build real webs, but they do leave a sticky residue wherever there are several of them. On the farm they hung out around the barns and here they like the shadier flowerbeds. Maybe they are hoping the cat litter will attract flies or gnats. They certainly seem clever enough think of something like that!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

I have suspected that these were wolf spiders. It's just the matter of the mouths.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

You have a humorous way of telling a tale and I had to laugh at this one. Your drawing at the top is adorable. BTW, that story about your son and the tarantula is a great topic for a hub. That example of moral fiber and respect for all living creatures is a valuable lesson to share.


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 2 years ago from south dakota, usa

i just had a thought...not all brown spiders are wolfies...you should look up images of the brown recluse, so that you do not run into one thinking it is the gentle wolfie. the brown recluse has a very nasty bite that can cause skin to die. while working at a vets office i witnessed the horrors of a dog that had been bitten by one, the whole left side of his body (he was a large black lab) was dead, and with each treatment they had to cut the dead flesh away until they reached healthy living tissue. they are recognizable by the shape of a violin on their backs that starts behind their eyes and stretches towards their waistline. the violin shape goes from the stem or neck of the violin behind the eyes, to the base near the waist.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago Author

Peg: Thanks for your comments. I like to doodle and I couldn't find a suitable photo. BTW, my son is just an ole softie at heart.

tlmcgaa70: Thanks for the tip, but these are definitely not the brown recluse. I did find a brown recluse in my bathroom one day, and she didn't escape my spray. We are very careful to inspect the brown spiders because my aunt was bitten by one years ago, but luckily she was given treatment before it could turn into a tragic thing like the poor dog. Thanks again for the insightful comment.


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

I like cats a lot, but I we don't have one at the moment, and I don't miss the litter box at all. :)


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

That's a freakishly enormous spider and like you there is no way I could live under the same roof with it, gone green or not. All I can say is that he is a very polite arachnid, because he gets out of the way so the kitties can do their business. Very entertaining hub!


DEBRA 2 years ago

I just found this site because we have a spider in our litter box RIGHT NOW...from your photo it looks like same type too. It freaked me out when I was scooping and it popped out two days ago. It doesn't seem to want to leave the litter box. My son thinks it a gas, I just want it GONE! I bury it with litter and it pops back up. This morning it was sitting on a turd. What up with that? I was trying to find out if spiders eat cat poop or something. Glad to know it's not just me with this problem. I have to get rid of that thing before it gives me nightmares. I found a dead one in there in the past, and now I know it was probably lurking there prior to that. Gives me the HEEBIE JEEBIES.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago Author

Dear O and Mel. I wrote replies to your comments and they disappeared from here. I know I replied because my approval button has been activated, and I remember replying. I don't understand why, because I try to follow the rules. I'm so sorry, and I don't know what happened. I appreciate both your comments and reading this hub. Miz B.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago Author

Debra, I had to laugh when I read your comment. I know these are funny, crazy spiders, but they seem harmless. Apparently they are some kind of ground spider that don't spin webs. I think I've only seen them in the bathrooms, so they may be attracted to cat poop or even water. I sprayed my bathrooms, mainly for waterbugs, and I think I've seen maybe one small one since then. I suggest completely dumping the litter box and spraying the room with a good household bug spray. Good luck and thanks for the enlightening comment. LOL


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

it must have died due to stinky litter.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 22 months ago Author

Peachpurple, I think it was actually enjoying the stinky litter, especially since it returned to the box.


Ahw1021 18 months ago

I laughed out loud reading this story as I am currently doing similar research to figure out what type of spider has taken residence in my cat's litter box. Wolf and Grass spiders most closely resemble this fast little critter. But his behavior makes me think I've got an immature Wolf as well. Super fast, he avoids me and I avoid him (I can only hope he has the same relationship with my cats). I think they like to burrow in the sand, and cat litter made a convenient option. Happy Scooping!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 18 months ago Author

AWH, does the spider look like the photo I posted? It sounds like the same spider, harmless and very shy. I really don't mind them and neither do the cats. I now think mine are a type of wolf spider, but most of them are big and not immature. Thank you for reading and your comment about your similar experience. Interesting.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 16 months ago from Oklahoma

Very enjoyable read. I love all the animals in the world, just not always in my house:-)


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 16 months ago Author

Same here, Larry. I got a bad spider bite about six months ago, but I'm not going to blame it on this shy racer. I think one bit me while I was asleep, but I've never seen one of these in the bedrooms. Thanks for the comment.


yecall profile image

yecall 9 months ago from California

That particular spider is quite frightening and I would drop dead if I saw it. Usually I like spiders though.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 9 months ago Author

Yecall, this one was so shy that I don't think it would scare you. They seem to be gone now, and I don't know what happened to them. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Elizabeth Fox profile image

Elizabeth Fox 5 months ago

Thank you for your post. I googled 'spiders in litter box' and your fun read was a match. For the past week, since the introduction of a new high sides corner litter box in my garage with pet door access as well as record heat in our area, I am finding one and at times two large grass spiders in the box! I read online they are members of the wolf clan. I do remove, as I don't see how they can climb back out, but they are fast and not too sure of the scoop as their mode of exit. I have three cats so empty in the morning as well as after work, and the lovely spider greets me both times of day. After reading your post and other replies, perhaps they are there hunting for the bugs drawn to the cat's leavings. I actually have always enjoyed watching spiders in my garden and try to catch those in the house to release back outdoors. They are master gardeners but fail at housekeeping. Thanks again, I'd post a pic of my visitor if I knew how to do so!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 5 months ago Author

Elizabeth, what a coincidence. I've come to the conclusion also that they are a type of wolf spider. Your litter box is in the garage, which would be near the outdoors, so I don't find it too unusual that they would come in. Perhaps they are looking for bugs drawn to the cats' leavings. Our litter boxes are in the farthest reaches of the house.

I've seen only one recently so I'm hoping that they have decided to leave. However, I may change my mind if they are after bugs. We have an infestation of fruit flies that came in either with bananas or cantaloupes, and we just can't seem to get rid of them. They congregate on the leavings in the litter box, so right now I would welcome the return of some of these spiders if I knew for sure that they would rid the house of these fruit flies. Thank you for reading and your very interesting comment.


LGFranklin 2 months ago

I think it's a box spider, seriously. Not because of your litter box. I had one too. The spider, not the litter box. We have dogs, so that would be a scary litter box. Which brings me back to scary, which brings me back to spider.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 months ago Author

I'm not familiar with a box spider and will have to check it out. LG, I had a friend who trained his two chihuahuas to use a litter box because he was gone all day and didn't want them going outside through a doggie door. When I marveled about it, he said that "nobody told him he couldn't do it," so he trained them like a cat. Of course now if you have Great Danes, that would be scary. Thanks for the reply.

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