Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fricken' Big Scary Spiders

I am sort of obsessed with figuring out what the heck kinda spiders are infiltrating my home. I really can’t tell if they are Wolf Spiders, Huntsman Spiders, Grass Spiders or even the terrible Hobo Spiders; all live here, and basically look EXACTLY THE SAME! Look at them up there!! And I don't have the time to trap them, kill them, preserve them in alcohol, and then stick them under our microscope to check their carapaces and eye patterns! In case you're wondering, in order from left to right, we have the Rabid Wolf Spider (nasty bite where your tissue dies and falls off, but you'll live), Hobo Spider (VERY dangerous, seek medical attention!), Hunstman Spider (not dangerous but beneficial), House Spider (not dangerous and quite possibly the actual culprit) and the Grass Spider (will find this one mostly outside in huge webs, not dangerous). Yes I know about the Brown Recluse, and I know my spiders are NOT those. Seriously.

So anyway, we go through the same phases every year. Spring comes along and the first itty bitty spider we see causes us to levitate, ever so slightly. A few weeks later, yellow-ish-clear, alien-looking spiders, a little bigger, show up EVERYWHERE, and we are totally creeped out while we use books and magazines to reach them, in the corners of the ceiling, to kill them (you may not want to borrow any books from us). Then out come the Orb Weavers, which cause your heart to stop as you scream “BLACK WIDOW!” but actually they are not; these are low to the ground and usually have a pill bug or two in their webs, which isn't a bad thing. Then there are the gum-ball sized, mother-lovin’ Orb Weavers that make their way in and perch in those hard to reach places, and, after a while you consider them a pet and become quite offended, if not concerned, when they pick up and move elsewhere. Then comes the hardest phase to get used to, the friggin’ big and scary, I-cannot-identify-without-a-microscope-and-entomology-degree-spiders, up in those pictures, which from here on out I will simply identify as the, AAAAAAAA! Spiders.

These AAAAAAAA! Spiders have a way of making an entrance, usually darting out from a closet onto the wall, or sitting next to you as you use the toilet at 5 am. AAAAAAAA! Spiders are incredibly fast, and in the early days, hubby had a problem trying to smash or trap them, as the kids and I screamed and darted frantically about him, beating our bodies for fear that one of them was on us. Because of this, they usually ended up getting away, and you could tell they were TOTALLY ticked off from the encounter!

So see, at about mid-spring or early summer, the AAAAAAAA! Spiders filter into the house at the rate of about 1 per week, at least. Imagine this: You’re sipping your coffee and something catches your eye as it darts across the living room floor. At first you think it’s a toy terrier your hubby bought you for your birthday, but no, it’s just another AAAAAAAA! Spider. So after freaking out for a bit, you manage to grab a glass and your daughter’s recent drawing that is laying on the floor, and your mad AAAAAAAA! Spider skills kick in, and you trap the darn thing and slip the picture of a pretty meadow scene underneath. You ask the kids to open the front door so you can set it free (a sort of karma if you will, even though I don’t believe in karma, I still am pretty sure they will gang up and try to destroy you if you destroy them) but this is the tricky part. They are so frickin’ fast that if you lose sight of them as you violently shake the glass, there is a great chance the AAAAAAAA! Spider could land on your head, which will inevitably land you in the hospital, either from the poisonous bite or from your self-inflicted injuries…

You repeat this dance with death about 25 more times over the course of the summer, and by summer’s end it’s more like this:

An AAAAAAAA! Spider saunters in and you’re all like, “ooooooooh no! you ain’t livin’ another DAY in MY house!” so you walk over and smash it with your foot. Or, as my daughter does it, you sit on it. And kill it. Then get up, look at it, and laugh about it.

Their size no longer intimidates you, and you realize that if you attack from above, and always tap out your shoes, check your sheets, turn on the light at night to go potty, wear gloves when you pull clothes from drawers, and stash a hefty supply of AAAAAAAA! Spider venom antidote, you’ll be ok! Besides, there are other things, like rabid bats, ticks with virulent diseases and mosquitoes with West Nile to worry about.

Then winter comes.

You become lazy. You feel safe in your own home again, like you’re in a soft, cozy bubble. The kids forget what spiders look like, and, for the most part, so do you. And every time the thermometer dips below 32, you laugh triumphantly, thinking, yes! AAAAAAAA! Spiders will SO not survive this year!

But see, the toughest, biggest ones DO survive, and every year it gets scarier, and harder, to fight for your life in your own home. See this one? It's bigger than the robust and still healthy Chilean Tarantula I bought my dad for Christmas about 6 years ago (don't ask why, just deal).

I am never visiting Australia, and if something even REMOTELY this big is EVER in my house, that I did not purchase for $19.95, I am moving to Barrow, Alaska. and locking the door. Excuse me while I freak out now.


Stacy Uncorked said...

I scream like a girl whenever I see a imagine my hubby's surprise when I opened your post...(grin!!) All of them creep me out... ;)

Wishing you a Happy Mother's Day! :)

Jennifer said...

Just so we're clear, I'm dead now. Dead in my tracks.

I. Hate. Spiders.

Thanks for sharing that stupid poster with us. I WAS planning on visiting Australia some day... I will now plan on visiting SAFER places. ;-)

Hope you're having a great, spider-free Mother's Day!

Insanitykim said...

I am from Alaska, and had I known all of this was here in Kentucky, before we got here, I might not have gotten on the plane!!!

And sorry, but really I am just doing everyone, except the Australian Travel Industry, a favor...go to New Zealand, Jennifer, very similar and NO dangerous creatures!! Seriously!!

Amy @ Six Flower Mom said...

icky! icky! icky!

w said...

aaaaa mother's day!


this is a really long post. and i'm going to put "how cute". so you know what that means.

it doesn't mean i'm not your friend anymore. so. that's a plus.


Banteringblonde said...

O. M. G. I hate spiders so much that I have a contract with the Orkin man and he comes every 3 months on the dot. There is NOTHING worse than spiders in my mind. they make my skin crawl and I have no desire to ever visit Australia...

Kearsie said...

I knew Australia wasn't the place for me when I saw that discovery channel special that said there are Scary Spiders Who Live In Bubbles In Swimming Pools that can kill you.

No thanks. Also, I don't want a dingo to eat my baby.

The Retired One said...

I have only ONE word: YUCK!!

Ramblin Mama said...

I definitely suffer from arachnaphobia. It was difficult to even read the blog with pictures of spiders. I killed a wolf spider using one of hubby's size 15 Nikes a few years ago. Only I never figured on the "bounce back factor." That shoe flew back at me and tore a ligament in my thumb! Had a cast on my hand for 6 weeks! See, they really are dangerous.

G.Dowell said...

Hi Kim. I'm with you...never moving to Australia because of the spiders there. I've hated spiders all my life, but I hate spraying chemicals in my house even more. So, I've had to live with the creepy-crawlies and have developed a wicked stomp reaction to those I find on the floor. I still have problems with the ones on the ceiling and save those for hubby.

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