Now I am not trying to drive away all future houseguests forever, but I did see a tarantula on the courtyard, very near the front door, on the brick wall this morning (today is the 7th of November).
I would not dream of killing a tarantula, but I hope he doesn't try to come in the house. I think he is too big to get in around the door, and I don't think they try to get in houses anyway.
I have only seen tarantulas in our yard a handful of times since we have been here. Usually they are bigger than this and light brown. You can judge this one's size by the mortar joint in the brick (which is about a half-inch wide).
Once I was rooting around in some loose dry leaves down by the west fenceline, and I picked one up by mistake. He was incredibly soft. Quickly I looked down to see what I was holding, and of course I dropped him instantly on reflex. He was about twice as big as this one and tan colored.
From tarantula.com: "If you do not feel comfortable having tarantulas around, please gently chase the spider into a jar with a paintbrush or other long object with a soft end, and deposit it as far away as you feel comfortable. Remember, these animals are completely beneficial to humans, feeding on cockroaches, crickets, scorpions, and likely mice and other rodents." -- Miep R. O'Brien
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