SAN DIEGO -- A Scripps Ranch family got quite a surprise when they found a tarantula on their kitchen cabinet Tuesday night.
“All I wanted was a snack," said 19-year-old Hannah Dafferner, who first came across the spider. “It didn’t move at first. I thought my sister put a Halloween decoration there or something. Then it moved its leg. I screamed bloody murder."
It was no decoration, but the real deal. A three to four-inch male tarantula was hanging out on the side of the family's kitchen cabinet.
After a lot of screaming, dad came to the rescue by using a pitcher to capture the spider.
“It really cooperated. I think it was afraid of all the screaming,” her dad said.
The tarantula tale quickly spread around the neighborhood after they posted pictures of it on a Facebook page.
“It’s really cool… but I really don’t want to keep it.”
The Dafferner family received a message Wednesday asking about their 8-legged intruder. They said a 9-year-old girl in the neighborhood is excited to take ownership of the giant spider.
“The private message was ‘can we have it?’ Who am I to say no?" Hannah's mom Alli Dafferner said. "Happily.”
Tarantulas are known to live in San Diego County and throughout Southern California. According to several websites about the eight-legged creature, they are members of Aphonopelma, ground-dwelling hunting spiders.
The California tarantula is nocturnal for most of its life, leaving its hole at night to hunt for beetles, grasshoppers, lizards, mice, scorpions, spiders and other insects. Male tarantulas require 7 to 10 years to mature before emerging to roam the area, looking for females. While the male tarantula only lives a few months after it reaches maturity, females may live up to 25 years.