Our basement windows are in terrible shape. They are the kind that swing up and inward, attaching to a hook in the ceiling to stay open. They are as old as the house and completely inefficient. Many are broken or rotting and they leak like nobody's business. They were never meant to seriously hold back the elements, and it gets quite cold down here. And while the previous owners installed heavy-duty security bars that do keep people out, they also prevent us from using the windows as any sort of egress. Although we can't turn any of the basement rooms into bedrooms unless we create full-sized egress windows, we do have our offices and workshops down here, and we'd like to stay warm and be able to squeeze out in case an emergency of some sort prevents us from using the stairs to the exterior.
But the biggest problem with the windows is that they let all manner of bugs inside.
We fought a long, valiant battle this year against the spiders that infest the basement of The Box House, ridding ourselves of thousands (I'm not kidding) of egg cases. How did the previous owners stand it? By summer's end we were definitely down to a handful of the creepy crawlies. I suspect we'll see a reemergence in the spring, but it can't be anywhere near as bad as it was.
In the last few months I've (reluctantly) squished or tossed outside more spiders than I have in my entire life up to this point. Ick. I've found them walking across my keyboard, sitting next to me on the sofa, peering at me from the rim of my coffee cup, and popping out from behind the washing machine. It's like some seventies b-grade horror film. Attack of the Basement Beasties, or something. Some of the spiders are quite large, too, big enough to put up a good fight as I try to scoot them out the door.
But none of The Box House spiders are anywhere near as big as this Golden Orb Weaver, photographed in Australia recently:
Yes, that's a bird. The spider is eating a bird. You can go to the original story to see more of the gruesome pictures.
I will never complain about our arachnids again.