Note: This post does not have surprise pictures of spiders. I don’t like that and I won’t inflict it on anyone else.

Arachnids are not my friends. As I’ve said before, if they are outside killing mosquitoes and gnats, as long as I can see-and-avoid, I’m pretty cool. If I walk into a web I do a pretty good kung-fu master impression, flailing and waving my arms. Inside the house? Different story—out comes the Sneaker of Doom. But even outdoors there are limits, and one was reached last month at Redquarters.

I went into the back yard to see if I needed to pick anything up on my way back from a staff meeting. My parents were both staring at an empty plastic flowerpot, from a safe distance from said grey-colored pot. This is not normal. As I got closer, Mom backed farther away and Dad turned to go indoors.

TxRed: “Problem?”

MomRed: “Yes.”

About this point I could see the matted, tangled mess of a web filling a good portion of the top of the flowerpot. I stopped coming closer, because I know exactly what kind of spider makes that sort of web, and why my folks were giving the pot a very wide berth. Indeed, as I watched, a large (OK, good sized) shiny black spider with a very large abdomen and a red hourglass made its way to the top of the pot.

Yup. Black widow and it looked nothing like Scarlett Johansson, believe me. Dad Red returned with the bug spray and proceeded to spray the living daylights out of the thing. Mom got father away. Once the spider seemed dead, Dad tipped the pot over with a long stake and crushed the remains. No, they were not taking any chances. Black widow stings are something you don’t want to have to deal with. Normally my folks are live-and-let live with spiders, but this was a massive exception.

I really don’t like spiders.



12 thoughts on “Spider!!!!!

  1. But but… Spiders are God’s Creatures as well!!!!! [Kidding Grin]

  2. My mother also suffered from arachnophobia. She had a very distinctive **cough** yell when she saw a spider in the house. **sg** I learned at a young age to corral the beast (usually in a tissue) and evict it. Outside, they were God’s creatures and were admired – from a distance; inside they were her mortal enemy.

    While I am ‘cautious’ around them (as in, I try not to do something stupid to get myself bit) I can’t say that I fear them. People yes, spiders no. Heh, I’ll deal with a spider before I’ll deal with a crowd.

    I was under the impression that the believe that a black widow spider’s bite was fatal was not wholly correct. I’ve been lead to believe that small children and some elderly people might be at risk, but an otherwise healthy adult would only get sick; death was rare. ((As opposed to say a brown recluse and let us not mention the infamous funnel web.)) Did I misunderstand? I ask because I have never actually seen one, and am wondering how ‘cautious’ would I need to be if I did.

    • Toxicity is in the dose, and adult can cover big guys. If their biochemistry isn’t sensitive, big guys have a lot of mass to lower the effective dose.

    • I don’t know much about black widow’s, but I know multiple people who have been bit by brown recluse. Their bite is not fatal, just nasty.

      • I have heard that the major problem with recluse bites is the venom causes tissue necrosis. A bite only as large as a large bore needle can leave a scar the size of a silver dollar. Yeowch.

  3. I will admit to having kept spiders I found in the yard as pets when I was young. That being said, I have also shot spiders with air rifles (outside only). Spiders aren’t supposed to be bigger than my hand.

    Camel spiders and scorpion spiders, of course, are best dealt with from a distance with pistol or shotgun, indoors or out. An industrial strength can of spidercide (per event) will do if you value the furniture.

    • I was told that camel spiders are to North American tarantulas what Arnold Schwarzenager in his prime is to me. (Or “Camel spiders are what tarantulas dream of growing up to be.”)

      • 8′ vertical leap, 15′ sideways. With the attendant attitude of something that preys on camels. Yes, that’s where they get the name. Tarantulas are small, frail creatures that can only dream of being that buff and threatening. I sincerely hope I never, ever see another one again.

        So there I was, in Iraq in 20mumble. I saw an entire SF Alpha team freaked out and terrified of one that found its way into the living room of their safe house. It leapt from the floor to the ceiling when one guy got near it, and then started acting aggressively. The only reason nobody shot it is that the house was made of reinforced concrete – guaranteed bouncers. They were still considering using a pistol on it when one guy came back from the pantry with a can of spidercide spray with a 20′ reach. He emptied the can onto the spider from max distance. The spider was obviously confused and trying to bite the stream. It didn’t fall off the ceiling for 5 minutes, though. After that, they hit it with a shovel, then shoveled it into a bucket and took it outside and set fire to it.

    • One Summer we had a “pet” spider – but we left it in the pine tree in the front yard. It got rather large as we saw to it that it was well fed with the bugs that were pestering us.

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