Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Spiders, Man

After mentioning fleas infestations yesterday, I realized that there is a different infestation that all people in the Pacific Northwest seem to have at one time or another and that would be spiders. Sure I know of people with lady bug, or carpenter ant, or even termite infestation, but I think more people have spiders than anything else.

Oddly, the only place I ever see spiders in my house is in my bathroom. Never is the other bathroom or any other room in the house. I don’t know what they find so attractive in there. I have an exhaust fan in there that is so strong that the door nearly bulges if it is switched on. I get the feeling like it is the air-lock on a space ship and sometimes fear I will be sucked out and land on my roof one day. Needless to say there is absolutely no residual moisture in that room that is causing any little critters to grow and feed the spiders. Shower as hot and as long as you want and the mirror will never fog.

It’s not that the room is dark. There is a window. It’s not they are coming from beneath the house. Everything is really well sealed.

On a side note, this bathroom was once the entrance foyer to the house until the doors were relocated after additions were built. This area of the house was part of the original structure built in 1925. With each renovation the floor has gotten thicker over the years. I moved all the plumbing in there a couple years ago and when I had to drill holes through the floor, I found the floor was now over three inches thick.

Most of the time I will relocate spiders that end up in there. I have no idea how they get in there in the first place, but they always get a new chance at life outdoors. There are certain times of the year when the spider population explodes here. All out buildings are covered with web silk. I remember once I had some excavation work done and the following day when the sun rose I could see the ground had been covered by a carpet of webs, overnight. One might think there are a lot of insects here to feed that sort of population, but this isn’t a real buggy area. I just don’t understand how a population that size can sustain its self.


Blogger MissKris said...

As long as they're no bigger than a dime I can handle them but spiders are not some of my favorites. Like you - if they're small enough for me to 'handle' - I relocate them to the outdoors. I once got yelled at by a vice principal for harming a yellow jacket's 'karma' when I killed it at school. Well, I'm not too concerned about karma, so to speak, but I don't kill anything unnecessarily. We lived in a house in my teens (a different one than yesterday's - I lived in a lot of houses!) and my bedroom up under the eaves used to attract HUGE spiders. Not one of my favorite places to live, needless to say.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Colonel Panic said...

spider behavior is weird. Their is an element of randomness to the arachnoids that i find a little disturbing.

Thats why it was so satisfying to feed them to my son's two praying mantis bugs that he aquired independently, one from a banana box in a produce department and the other that dropped out of the sky into his car seat one day last summer.

The spiders never react the same to being stalked by the mantis, some will play dead, others will run and hide in a panic and yet others will turn and attack. The mantis is fun to watch because he cocks his head to look at the spider on the other side of the cage and then stalks over there and then crouches like a cat, never hurrrying, always studying. The spiders know what's going on, they arent stupid, but they seem to lack the right escape mechanism for dealing with such a predator.

Or maybe its the fact that they cant get out of the cage and they know it.

In case PETA members are reading this post: there are actual spiders harmed in this process.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recall reading something in Scientific American or National Geographic years ago that really stuck with me. Of course it was written by or compiled by a leading expert on spiders and the gee whizzer of it was.

"A human being is never more than 6 feet away from a spider in the life span of the human. Whether you are indoors or out, there is always going to be a spider around."

Makes sense, those little buggers are everywhere. They're in the grass and bushes, under the sidewalks, in the barns and sheds. In the rooms of your home, in the walls, in the basements and attics.I also recall some statistic about how many spiders a human swallows during his lifetime. The little fuckers crawl in your mouth when you're sleeping away and sometimes get swallowed when their doing their little tapdance on your tongue.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

My rule: if they come inside, they die. If I see them outside, I respect their space. Of course, I'm too afraid of them to kill them myself (usually), so I will trap them or hairspray them in place until someone else comes over to kill them. Pretty sure I'm going to hell for that, but a dead spider is a good spider in my book.

I'm not scared of spiders for no good reason, mind you: I've been bitten four times. The bites were all harmless, but still... four times in twenty years.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous g said...

I'm scared of spiders.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Since we've no poisonous types native here, I figure it's a trade-off. Bats and spiders can stay as long as mosquitoes, black flies, and all their nasty buddies get eaten.

11:19 PM  

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