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.
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.
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