Spiders- Identification

Q: I heard you talking to a radio caller about a huge spider in Florida. When I lived there, people would let very large spiders live in their houses because they helped control insects. They called them “housekeeper” spiders.

A: I had never heard of housekeeper spiders but when I used your clue to look them up, I wondered why they aren’t called “guard dog” spiders. Also known as huntsman spider, ^Heteropoda venatoria^ is HUGE! The leg span of females can be as wide as five inches. Thankfully, it is not poisonous, but its mouth is large enough to inflict a painful bite. It is a tropical spider so you won’t be seeing any of them around your house in Atlanta. Although I could use some help picking up after myself, a housekeeper with eight legs might be more than my family could tolerate.