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There is a black widow spider living in our garage. I am not pleased. This may be the first time I've seen one "in the wild," and it has unraveled a lot of the progress I had made toward liking spiders.

Ever since moving to California's Sacramento Valley a couple years ago, I have pretty much walked through a spiderweb every single day. The little suckers get busy spinning at night here, and in the morning you go outside and get those invisible sticky strands across your face. But I almost never saw the spiders when this happened, and when I did they were very small and unassuming, and anyway they eat all the OTHER annoying bugs here, so I began to relax my hatred for spiders and let them live. Since they theoretically ate mosquitoes, the aphids that munched on the roses, and the sugar ants that periodically invaded the kitchen, then fine, their lives could be spared.

The Northwest had worse spiders anyway--these huge, gnarly "aggressive house spiders" (their actual name), a couple inches across including leg-span, dark-colored, spindly and sinister, who had a habit of running across your carpet or appearing in your bathtub at unexpected times. They liked living in houses. We did not like to have them in our houses. It was something of a war.

Here, I was pleased to see, there weren't really any of these. Just a myriad of daddy long-legs and small garden spiders. Oh, and yeah, people mentioned that black widows live here too, but they're shy and don't like being around light and noise, so you won't see those unless you dig through woodpiles, probably.

Or maybe you'll just open your garage door someday, and notice an evil little bulbous-bodied, long-legged, shiny black spider hanging in a web under your husband's project sportscar. And maybe, when you get closer, you'll notice some interesting red markings on its belly. Oh goodie. And then maybe, like me, you'll attack it with a long-handled scrub brush (the nearest and most viable weapon available), but it will skitter with lightning speed into some hidden crevice in the car, where you will never find it.

So yeah. That's where we stand: something that is most likely a black widow, most likely still alive, lurking in the garage.

I no longer feel kindly toward spiders. The war is on.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kenshi
Jul. 1st, 2002 09:48 am (UTC)
Game On!

By the way, Agressive Brown House Spider mating season is about to get going up here, so you have that to look forward to on your visit. I ran across one three days ago that was the biggest I've ever seen in a couple of decades living around here. Fortunately for me, it was OUTside. I haven't yet run across one INside the new house. Oh, and it's dead now...
mollyringle
Jul. 1st, 2002 11:15 am (UTC)
Stealth attack at dawn. Black widow had ventured too far out on web under car. Was snoozing and very vulnerable to repeated blows with said scrub-brush. Noted that red markings did indeed resemble hourglass, before knocking it out of web. Soundly squashed on garage floor. A few extra blows just for good measure. Left there, curled up in death pose, as warning to other spiders.

Come to think of it, they eat each other, so maybe that will just attract them. I'll sweep it out next time I'm there.

OK, Aggressive Brown House Spiders may not be poisonous, but I'm still not looking forward to sleeping on any floors at BP.
hollinelf
Jul. 2nd, 2002 11:06 am (UTC)
Gah, a friend was telling earlier this year about how when she went to a foreign country, she was in her hotel room and this huuuuuuuge giant black flying cockroach thing crawled on her leg. When she jumped up, this bug started to fly around and it was making really loud and vibrating 'click click clicking' sounds. I had to shudder when she told me that. *shudders again*

Anywho... :*)
mollyringle
Jul. 2nd, 2002 12:28 pm (UTC)
Eeeks. See, that's the kind of story that has kept me from venturing into the tropics. I mean, really, who needs that on vacation?
:)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )