Friday, October 02, 2009

This is war

I like to think of myself as a peace loving person, someone who tries to tread gently in this world. I'm nice to people. I recycle even though my city doesn't offer that in its garbage collection options. I don't litter. I'm kind to animals, even the crawly ones that I'd prefer to not share my living space. However, I do have my limits.

The recent rains have brought bugs out in force. The flies I can handle, but there is a spider who's made my list. The other day as I was trying to leave my carport, there was a huge web that ran from ceiling to floor and covered half of the opening. Covered with morning dew, it was gorgeous. Thinking of Charlotte's Web, I almost hated sweeping it away.

The next day the web was back and fell victim to my broom again.

Day three, it was there again and even larger. I got out my broom and the spider, deciding it was time for a stand-off, came out to stare me down. My "Charlotte" was the largest brown recluse spider I've ever seen. I think it was a pregnant female because the body while bearing the distinctive fiddle back markings was very round and the size of a nickel. Most brown recluse spiders fall into the long and lean category of arachnids. The leg span had to be an additional three inches. I had the willies from my scalp down to my toes. Brown recluse spider bites while relatively painless are extremely toxic and actually eat away the tissue around the bite. They leave gaping wounds. I went to town with my broom again, but the spider got away.

Today was day four. This morning, I tried to head out my front door, and there in front of me was another web that reached from my gutters to the railings by my front steps. I think it's trying to conduct a siege. It's very persistent.

I'm grateful I'm bigger.


Blogger gigi said...

Oh, the hell with it. I'd get a gun. ;)

October 02, 2009 2:21 PM  
Blogger emmapeelDallas said...

Oh, it has to go! They're really, really creepy. We have them in Texas, and when I was finishing up my undergrad work, the library, a new building, became infested with them. It was shut down and treated, but one night shortly after that, while I was studying late in a carrel, I looked down at my feet and there was a huge brown recluse, maybe 3" across. It was too big and creepy to consider stepping on. I ran and got a box and the cardboard backing from a tablet from a librarian, and managed to get the thing into the box, which we then sealed with tape and discarded. I still shiver thinking about it.

October 02, 2009 11:00 PM  
Blogger Nelle said...

PLEASE be very careful. I would deffinitely try to kill it or get a good spray on it. My neighbor got bit by one and she got cellulitis and it was very difficult. I hate spiders.

October 03, 2009 3:27 PM  
Blogger Virginia said...

Hey Cynthia, The good news is that I think there is a good chance this is NOT a brown recluse. Although you definitely live in naturally occuring range of the brown recluse, the web you are describing would be all wrong for a BR. They make small disorganized webs (an inch or two) as their little "homes" but they don't make large webs for catching prey. They actively seek and hunt their prey (vision based hunting) - very different from say an orb weaver who makes large beautiful webs. The "violin" pattern is a tough way to identify a BR, not because they don't have it but because so many other spiders have similar markings.
If you can get her on a broom and carry her to a distant place, you may be able to permanently translocate her.
And for those that don't really like spiders, don't forget, without them we would be up to our eyeballs in all the other "critters" they eat, so they are good at keeping balance in an enviroment. :-)
I used to be terrified of spiders and snakes when I was young but I am working hard to appreciate "all that is" . . . while still admiting, if I found a spider in my bed at night, my hard earned composure and respect would be out the door.
If you can send a good photo of her, I know some spider experts that may be able to identify her.



October 04, 2009 8:57 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I believe Virginia is absolutely correct. They are called "recluses" because they hide in dark corners. They do not make webs of the kind you describe. Generally speaking, orb web spiders aren't as venomous as "hunting" spiders because their venom does not have to immedieately disable their victims. their webs provide that service...

I don't particularly love spiders, and big ones give me the willies, but I find, the older I get, the less likely I am to terminate the existence of another creature unless it poses a real threat to me.

October 05, 2009 8:33 AM  
Blogger Tressa Bailey said...

I dunno...I bomb my house twice a year whether it needs it or not.

I'm no nature girl. If it doesn't pay rent....I kill it.

October 13, 2009 5:32 PM  

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