Isn't this spider horrific-looking? Its abdomen is only 3 or 4 mm wide, so it's not big, but it still makes me shudder. It lives in my apartment, behind my front door. It usually hides right by the door frame.
Unless I shine a flashlight on it (or use my camera's flash), it looks dark brown or black, and its markings aren't very visible. Its shape made me think, at first, that it was a black widow spider, but I eventually realized the coloring was wrong.
Anyway, I posted pictures of the spider on BugGuide (an extremely awesome resource, although not something I'd recommend as an authoritative source - if you really want to scare yourself, do a search for Granbury). The general response was that it's probably Steatoda triangulosa. S. triangulosa is nifty, in that, from what I've read about it, it eats things like fire ants and brown recluses. However, I will probably either kill or remove it in a few days. I was told that it's a female, and I don't want to risk an egg sac in my apartment. Also, even though I haven't ever seen it move from its tiny space behind my front door, I'll be sleeping in my living room while my mom is visiting, and I'm not sure I can sleep peacefully knowing that a spider is only a few feet away from me.
If I'm going to have "natural pest control", I'd rather that the gecko living in my dining room window either invited a few friends over or had babies.