House Spider Question

Asked March 24, 2019, 4:12 PM EDT

Hello, I live in a basement suite in Coquitlam (a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia) and routinely find spiders inside. When I was a kid growing up my friends and I always called these types of spiders as “Wolf spiders” but it was only recently due to my own curiousity I did a little research on Wolf spiders to learn the common basement dweller I was so use to seeing at all was not a wolf spider. In fact, while I’m no spider expert, I am now fairly confident that my “roommates” are European house spiders/Giant house spiders and/or some relative. I know this is a big range but I probably see 20-40 of them (maybe more) throughout the year from April-November; which is a given living in a basement suite. I definitely see more the later into the fall it gets but I have seen 3 so far in the last week and these have been the first 3 of the year thus far. I’ve read they’re more or less harmless and I try to relocate the majority but I do kill the odd one if my wife finds one yelling late at night. I do have a question about these though and this is something I have yet to be able to find through my own research. Every once in a while I/my wife will find one of these in one of our 2 kitchen sinks. They always seem to be unable to crawl out of the sink. My question is how/why are they in there? Are they coming up from the drain? In all of my years I’ve only ever seen 2 giant house spiders that I can remember on the walls. Every other encounter has seen them on the ground either when I pick up something off the ground OR scattering with their speed like a missile on a mission across the ground. It seems they’re way more common on the floor so are they in fact crawling on the counter to get in the sink? Are they coming up the drain pipes which seems unlikely since it doesn’t seem like they’re able to crawl out the sink? Thank you so much for taking the time to read and answer this I’m excited to read your answer. Take care, Mark

Outside United States

1 Response

Thank you for your question, Mark. You seem to have done a great deal of research on this topic, and, since you are comfortable with your spider identification, I will go with that to answer the drain question. You'll recall that the gangster Willie Horton was asked why he robbed banks, and he replied "that's where the money is." Arachnids are hardly gangsters, but they are attracted to sinks and drains not as a place to come from but as a source of a necessary element of their lives: water.

Here is an article which explains about the more common spiders in your area of the world, and why you will find them in the places you've noticed:

Hope this is helpful. Keep encouraging their existence. They have been around for 380 million years, and will (hopefully) outlive humans. Good luck!