July 27, 2015

An End to the Détente with the Spiders

Not long after we moved into our new home there was a ring at our doorbell. A local exterminator was handling a spider problem at a house down the block. Since he was already in the area he was offering to spray our house as well, even offering a discount. We declined. One thing you get when you move to a house in the suburban hills is bugs. We knew this when we bought the house. We’ll deal. Besides, the problem didn’t seem that bad.

The spiders we have were mostly harmless. Daddy long legs rule the roost in the garage. In the house the quick moving little black house spiders are the most common we see. I’ve been proud of how well I’ve handled them. I’ve even squished a few myself, though I tend to rely on Domingo to do the deed. Full disclosure, there was the one the size of my palm that I didn’t see in the doorway when I entered the bathroom. Domingo had to rescue me from that one. There was also a daddy long legs that dropped down from the sun visor in the car when I was driving. It was probably the closest a daddy long legs has ever come to being deadly.

Then came a relatively cool weekend Summer day. Yesterday morning we decided to take the girls to the Zoo. We figured we’d take our jogging stroller so Alexis could nap while Nicole ran around looking at the animals.

When I packed up the stroller into the trunk of the car I noticed a rather thick spider web near the foot rest. The feather duster I keep in the car made quick work of it. Once we arrived at the zoo and I unpacked the stroller and I noticed another spider web near the basket. The feather duster made quick work of that one as well. Domingo unbuckled Nicole while I took Alexis out of her car seat. As I extended my arms to place Alexis in the stroller I noticed one more spider web, this time with spider, in the head rest. I recoiled my arms keeping Alexis close and asked Domingo to squish it. Domingo leaned close to get a better look, than informed me it wasn’t just any spider. It was a Black Widow!

As a none native to any where black widows typically live, I know only know the venomous spider by reputation. Domingo assures me that the black widow in the stroller was too small to likely have enough venom to kill a seven month old baby. Still the symptoms of a black widow bite are non to pleasant and can last for a week, even in an adult. It felt like we only just survived the stomach flu.

The black widow had to come from somewhere. Its siblings may be still out there. I’m about to be on a first name basis with our local exterminator.

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Comments

  1. Ugh! I hate black widows! I don’t mind other spiders. In Arizona, I’ve seen my fair share of them. Definitely get those taken care of with babies around.

    • I’ve been in California for over a decade and this was my first encounter with one. I had no idea how common they are! We now have a guy coming to spray every couple of months.

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