Splat! Goes the Spider

Spiders have bitten me, stalked me, and performed trapeze acts on silken drag lines above my horrified face. These creepy crawlers have even become entangled in my hair! So, I have morphed into a squealing, spineless, and skittish arachnophobe. Since there’s no Bible passage that forbids justifiably killing pests, my mantra is eight legs and you’re flat.

Only spiders that are squatters in my home are squashed. If they’re strutting their stuff near me, I grab something suitable for swift and humane extermination. I drop it, jump on it, and trash it–unless it’s my husband Michael’s shoes. I’ve created lots of freestyle art on the soles of his sneakers with the little buggers.

Just the thought of spiders makes me squeamish. The lightest touch on my skin causes me to spasm into an electrocution-style break dance. I madly slap myself wherever I can reach in case one is prowling my flesh for a juicy injection site.

And, good Lord in Heaven, if I a spider ambushes me, I’ll scream, “Hurry, it’s M-O-O-V-I-N-G!” Michael will saunter over, take note of its size, and squeeze it between his thumb and index finger.

To which I respond, “You may never EVER touch me again!” But I’m relieved there’s one less spider in the house, one less spider in the world, and one less spider reproducing hundreds–maybe thousands–more spiderlings.

But the spider is truly one of God’s amazing creatures. Spider experts agree they’re incredible engineers that spin extraordinary webs that trap destructive insects. They devour disease carrying pests like flies that frolic in poop before trudging through your oatmeal. Spiders balance the ecosystem and make houses bio-diverse so they’re not overrun by other pests–just butt-ugly spiders.

Their four pairs of alien eyes, their fury fangs, and their turret heads make them look like freaking monsters. Since many have such poor vision, they’re intentions aren’t to attack people. Yeah, right. They won’t bite unless provoked. Uh huh. The world is a better place to live because of their presence. Yup. So, can these mostly harmless house spiders live in my underwear drawer? Nope.

I’m a compassionate arachnophobe and catch nonthreatening spiders in a container. Before its fragile hydraulic legs overpower my death grip on the lid, I sprint to the door and fling it outside. This act of mercy allows the critter to bear it’s proper place in the food chain: spiders eat bugs; birds eat spiders, etc.

But then I learned that this isn’t always the case. According to arachnologists, most house spiders will die quickly when exposed to the elements and outdoor predators. So, eat hearty, you soft and fluffy little song birds!

Certain spiders are cannibalistic, so a few lurking in the shadows feasting on young tender spiders and snacking on dead crunchy ones is tolerable. Some spiders will devour their mates and their offspring, and the offspring may eat one another–or their mother! Hopefully, only one morbidly obese spider will prevail.

If I make my house an unfriendly environment for these bloodthirsty cannibals, it will discourage nesting. Cobwebs, clutter, and debris must be removed. Wet towels should be hung to dry so as not to attract thirsty spiders. And regularly vacuuming carpets will reduce their banquet of bugs. I tried. I failed.

I had eased an upright vacuum over a web in a corner with an arachnid slurping liquefied bug contents. But it didn’t rattle up the hose. Instead, the beater bar flung the armored beast through the air. It thudded off my terror-crazed face, catapulted across the room, and galloped away. I will live in filth.

Some cultures are blessed to have spiders to eat. The Piaroa Indians of Venezuela feast on steamed Goliath tarantulas and use their fangs as toothpicks! Cambodians eat fried spiders. Mexican street vendors sold tarantula tacos before it became illegal. If drive-thrus offered spider sliders, fast food junkies would likely scarf them up with fiery hot sauce.

Sometimes I startle spiders and they hide. Sometimes I dodge spiders dangling on silken drag lines and they scramble back up. And sometimes vibrations confuse spiders and cause them to dart in all directions. They have anthropophobia (fear of people) so their mantra is surely two legs and I’m flat! Aw….

“God made every kind of wild animal, every kind of tame animal, and every kind of thing that crawls on the ground. God saw that it was good.

(Genesis 1:25, NAB)

Stripe Knee Tarantula

The handler for this “gorgeous spider with a calm personality” was kind enough to hold it for a pose. Then it pounced toward me and I fell backward. The tarantula had a justifiable reason to protect itself from squatters in its home.

Nancy Homlitas

Spider Slider

I posed this one. Ha, ha! To make this delicacy for the refined palate of the fast food aficionado, add generous amounts of hot sauce, mustard, onions, tomatoes, pickles, and cheese. Toast with a blow torch.

Nancy Homlitas

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Published by Nancy Homlitas

I'm a grandmother, mother, and wife well-seasoned with decades of humdrum yuck smothered with pure joy. The narratives and photographs I plan to share are meant to brighten moods and spawn smiles. There's nothing more hilarious than a true experience, especially in hindsight! And there's nothing more uplifting than a pleasing picture, particularly if it enhances a story. As a feel good bonus, blog posts will have a relevant bible verse included.

5 thoughts on “Splat! Goes the Spider

  1. I live in New Mexico. We have black widow spiders, I’ve killed 3 in recent weeks, also red-backed jumping spiders, I killed one just a couple of hours ago, and hoards of tarantulas. We also have to get our house sprayed by an exterminator several times a year for the toxic Arizona Bark Scorpions, who apparently don’t know that they are on the wrong side of the state line.

    My stepdaughter, who works as a sergeant in a large jail, is terrified by even the most innocuous spider. She screams and cries, runs and hides. But let a 300 pound convicted killer come at her the wrong way, and she’s got him tazed, on the ground, and handcuffed, before he knows what’s hit him. I’m proud of my awesome stepdaughter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Last night, shortly after I left this comment, as I was taking our dogs outside I saw 2 black widow spiders!! I smashed them both. But oh my goodness. I have never seen so many as I have this year.

        I did a search online and found that no human deaths from a black widow spider bite has been reported in the U.S. since 1983. But I also found several articles online stating that the black widow spider is 15 times more toxic than a rattlesnake’s venom. Yikes! I found a rattlesnake in our yard a couple of years ago. I would love to move to Washington state, to live near my daughter, who works there as a licensed therapist. But my dear husband isn’t willing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Do you have to deal with any brown recluses? You can not have a faint heart and live in New Mexico! How do you sleep? Every little thing you felt would telegraph: SPIDER! Growing up, I lived in a spider house. It had no ceiling, just rafters. I’d wake up and they’d be dangling over my face or crawling up my arm! You are brave, Linda.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. My goodness, how horrible that must have been for you, waking up with spiders crawling on your arm and dangling over your face! Yikes!! No wonder you hate them so. We don’t have any brown recluse spiders here, thankfully. Where I grew up in Missouri, we had a few of those.

            I need to get off of here and get ready for church. God bless!

            Liked by 1 person

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