Posted by: canthold | July 20, 2007

Creepy Crawlies


I mentioned a million spiders in my last post and I’m not exagerating, at least not by much. Every day that I come into my new “office” I look into all the little corners and crevices for spiders and I probably find between one and four. Fortunately or unfortunately, these spiders are babies. On the plus-side, they are very easy to smush out with a tissue, but on the negative-side, it means that some bigger spider is procreating at a break-neck pace. Today I actually killed five of them. So far.

These particular spiders are cellar spiders, which I grew up calling Daddy Longlegs. They may be two different kinds for all I know. Just mentioning it now, I think that it may be the case as some deep dark speck of knowledge twitters a light in my memory. I vaguely recall that cellar spiders have a long body. In any case, I don’t care what they’re called, they’re quite plentiful in my house.

While I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to them over time, I still have an actual physiological response to seeing them. The hair on my arms stands on end and I get the shivers. I’ve been trying to hide my fears from my daughters so they don’t learn it from me, but they are afraid all on their own.

My kids will not use two of the three bathrooms in my house because they get spiders in them. The bathroom across from their bedroom, which, for all intents and purposes is theirs, is unusable because these cellar spiders – all grown up and huge – gravitate toward the bathtub. I always have to check inside before running the bath and then I need to get out the new vacuum cleaner that I got especially for this purpose. 

I assumed when I got married that my husband would be the spider killer in the family. Since he’s not afraid of them, he could take care of that for me. Wrong! Since we moved into this house, I had him get so many at the onset that I think he got a bit tired of my requests. He hadn’t killed one in almost a year until a few weeks ago when I think he did it to get something from me.  

The cellar spiders are not the only spiders that I have to contend with, either. Since these are the most familiar from my childhood, I’d prefer that were the case, but no. There are two other ones that really do me in. The worst, I think, is the size of a full-grown cellar spider, but instead of spindly legs, they’re thick. Instead of a tiny, skinny body, this guy has a thick hairy one. Just typing it makes the hair on my legs stand up – reminding me, of course, that I need to shave.

One of these particular critters got into my kids’ bathtub, only to be discovered as I was putting the plug in. As my body practically convulsed with shivers, I had to figure out how to get rid of this guy. The drain has a hair-catch on it so it was too big to wash down. I had to remove the hair-catch and then wash him down. The only problem (only!) was that in my panic, I accidentally washed him into the catch. I had to do some very brave maneuvering to get the catch over-turned and him down the drain. It was not easy for me as afraid as I was, let alone to do in front of an audience of two screaming little girls.

The other spider has been on the smaller size this summer. At least compared to last year’s version. I think the lighter rainy season we had last winter did a lot to curb the growth. (Thankfully!!!) But these little buggers cast webs across open spaces to catch flying things. I mostly find them outside when I walk the dog. One of the worst things ever for me is walking into spider webs. I’ve taken to walking through unknown territory with my arm shielding my face. I’m sure that I’ve been spotted many times by people who think I’m waving at them.

Now that I’m covered in goosebumps from writing this, I think I’ll move on to the next thing.


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