We moved into our new house about a year ago, since then I have seen 3-4 very large spiders around the house (one in the bath tub, eek!). About 1/3 of our yard is a wooded ravine with a creek in it, I assume thats the reason I'm seeing spiders bigger than I knew lived around here? I really want to plant some fruit trees, maybe a potted climbing plant on the deck and other potted plants, and generally make our yard lovely, but I am so afraid of those spiders. I am okay with most small spiders, but these are like the size of my palm with their legs extended. Thats just too big for me. I'm getting better, but the first one I saw I had to have my mom come over to kill it!
We got a cat, is there anything else I can do? Only one has been in the house (that I know of - scary thought), but I don't want to be afraid to use my new yard! Please help me!
Only one in the house in a year? That really doesn't seem bad at all! When we've lived in houses surrounded by woods, we'd get the big wolf spiders in the house weekly. You just put a cup over them, slide paper underneath and let them back outside.
Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids , living the dream on our urban farm
Spider expert here :)
I'm assuming you're in N America. From your description it sounds like Tagenaria gigantea, a harmless spider that eats woodbugs and other small insects. It doesn't bite humans and seems to keep the poisenous hobo spider at bay (probably eats it too) and that's a very good thing. If you have one in the house, leave it alone and it will leave by itself. To keep them out of the tub, leave a bathmat, towel, string or something draped over the side to it can climb back out by itself before you ever see it.
Just to reassure you - it wont bite, if your house is dry (ie, bug free) it will also be spider free*, and your garden plans will not attract them. Honest.
*although males will accidentally wander indoors in the fall, looking for females.