It is the time of year again that always puts our family on edge. Our first autumn in the country house brought the most unbelievable, creepy experience we have ever had. It started when I was working in the flower beds. I found several large, hairy spiders crawling around in the dirt. I figured it was because the chickens were no longer roaming all over the yard, eating everything that creeped and crawled, and wrote them off. A few evenings later, Husband took the trash out. I heard an odd noise, like he was hosing something down. When he came back in, he explained that there were a bunch of large, hairy spiders on the side of the house. He actually did hose them down. The next day, they were gone, but were back that night, plus more of their friends. Each night the spiders got worse. I called around, but the earliest an exterminator could get here was a week and a half away. By the time a week went by, we had thousands upon thousands of these things crawling all over the outside walls of our house. It looked like the walls were actually moving. A Cub Scout meeting was held at our house during this time, and children had nightmares. Friends came from far and wide to see if we were embellishing the story. We weren't.
The worst part of the whole thing was leaving for school in the morning. School starts at 7:30, when it is still dark. Before we opened the door to leave each morning, I made sure everyone had shoes on and was completely ready for battle. Spiders completely covered the door and the door jam. When I disturbed the spiders by opening the door, they didn't simply run away. They jumped off and then ran. My children were 3,5,6, and 7 at the time, and they were troopers. As soon as the spiders hit the ground, the kids were stomping away, trying to get as many as they could. "Spider juice" as they called it, was all over my floor every morning.
Finally, the day of the exterminator was upon us. We purposely did not clean up the spiders that morning. I needed him to see exactly what we were dealing with. He took one look at the carnage, and plainly told me that he had never seen them that bad, nor that type of spider that big. He sprayed the outside of our house, and for the first time I didn't care in the least what it was doing to the environment. Later, we learned that we were being visited by wolf spiders. These creatures do not build webs, but hunt for their food during the day. When the fields were harvested all around our house, the spiders came to our house to stay warm.
Every once in a while we see a wolf spider. We get the shivers every time. We have not had another onslaught of them since that first year, but every year we worry that it could happen again.