Don’t Read if You Love Spiders

I know I’m in good company when I say I hate spiders. I see one, and revulsion explodes within me. I have been told often enough that the horrible critters are good for the earth and that I’m rebelling against God when I kill one. God forgive me, but that does not change the inner workings of my gut.

As John was driving our garbage to the collection center, I found a spider crawling in the tub, unable to get out. There was no use screaming, because no one would hear. I didn’t panic until I knocked my clean clothes into the tub. That would have given him a ladder of escape. Quick as a wink, I got the clothes back where they belonged. If I’d been thinking straight, I might have thought of something to kill it. As it was, the spider was out of reach. That’s when the phone rang – John telling me he was at the garage, leaving the Honda for repair. It was useless to moan or squeal. My thoughts: “Quick! How can I contain that monster while I pick John up? The dustbuster! Get the hand-held vac and suck it up. Great! Now what? I can’t see it. Don’t put it outside, because rain clouds are looming. Put the spider, dustbuster and all, in the tub. I am reasonably sure it can’t escape from the tub, even if it gets out of the vac. Now go get John.”

Later I tiptoed in the bathroom and peered into the tub. Nothing was visibly crawling except my skin. I fetched the camera for documentation.

031918 Dustbuster.JPG

I never thought to wonder if fear or curiosity would dictate my actions. Either curiosity won, or I was afraid of what might happen if I left that wicked spider to its own devices. Making sure there were no legs visible on the outside of the little machine, I picked it up. Turning it on seemed like a good idea. Spin the spider to oblivion. I couldn’t see it at all, but I did spot a lady beetle crawling about inside. Just what I needed! Not only was the spider most likely still inside, it now had a live lunch waiting for it. John and I needed to have breakfast, so I replaced the dustbuster in the tub. You will note that even though John was in the house, I did not seek his help. His spider rescues always start with laughter. Not a good sign!

After telling myself sternly that I had to deal with the spider, I checked the tub again after breakfast and picked up the dustbuster. The vile spider was inside with lots of dust bunnies. If you have arachnophobia, close this message immediately. Go on! Nothing to see here! Click on something pleasant!

I could deal with a dead spider, or even a stunned one, but this was an Iron Man Spider! Nothing seemed to faze it.

031918 Spider inside dustbuster.jpg
Wicked Iron Man Spider inside the dustbuster

In a scared little voice, I said, “John? Will you help me?”

After laughing, he said, “I can’t even see it. I’ll turn on the vac. There it is. I’ll thump it. Now it’s in the lower section. I don’t know how to empty this thing. Take it apart.”

We went on the deck as I told him to check which way the wind was blowing. He claimed there wasn’t any wind. Yeah! Right! There wasn’t any wind until I pulled the innards out of the vacuum. A gust blew dust back at us. By rights, I should have let out a blood-curdling scream. He picked up the two sections and shook them. The spider was gone then, but where had it gone? Had it blown back onto my jacket? I wish I’d thought to pull off the jacket and flick it violently in the air. For all I know, it latched onto the garment and is hunched down in terror, waiting for me to be still and quiet. I am typing on the computer, telling myself the spider should not be poisonous. If it’s waiting to get me, I should survive a bite. If you don’t see another message from me in a few days, you could check the obituaries for either John or Anne. If the spider were venomous, look for me. If John continued to laugh, I murdered him.

57 thoughts on “Don’t Read if You Love Spiders

  1. (Maniacal laughing as I scan the area for spiders) a fellow sister arachnophobe taught me to sprinkle scouring powder on or near a perpetrating spider then vacuum up both the offender and the powder. And of course empty the canister (because of course spiders are the motivation behind bagless vacuums – right? ). It’s part of the price of living in the country.

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  2. I was with you throughout this story- I am an arachnophobe- roachphobe to be precise. Spiders I can bear. In the tropics we deal with them all the time but roaches are my Waterloo.
    I liked how you put the vaccum in the tub and went calling for John and John laughing and still laughing even while you were typing up the story. The drama element was very high through this story.
    Susie

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  3. Oh, Anne! This was a great story, I’m glad you got that harmless daddy long legs sucked up in the vacuum! They don’t bother me, but if ever I see another scorpion it will be too soon! Roaches are disgusting and I will make David spray if I see any. Usually in Texas what we see are water bugs but I know the difference. Roaches are small and though anyone can have them, I associate them with being unclean. That is not always the case and I am VERY clean. I think it comes from a certain family member who had them very bad, and she was not. Anyway, you handled the whole sitch very well.

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  4. Spiders are icky and I have no qualms about squishing them. I have never thought to vacuum them up, although I’ve vacuumed a stink bug or two. Good job, Anne. You’re safe and got a story out of your travails.

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  5. This was just what I needed to end my day and I was laughing the entire time – not laughing at you Anne, but, laughing at myself as this is what part of the routine I have gone through or currently go through. I used to have a “Bug buster” and it had a trap door to suck the spiders or centipedes up and the opaque canister had a sticky flypaper -like substance inside of it. My mom used to change the canister for me when it got filled – I couldn’t bear to do it, not because I could not bear to see the dead spiders, but because ones that were in the middle of the canister, away from their brethren that were stuck to the flypaper substance were still merrily marching inside … it freaked me out. After my mom was gone, I unplugged it from the wall and that was the end of it. It had another bad feature … if the spider was in the corner of a wall/ceiling, you could not hone in on it. My mom used to pull them down from the ceiling or a wall with her mop. This stressed me out as I said “it gets in between the pieces of yard on the mop and it can walk away wherever it pleases” … she said “I TRY to step on it as soon as it runs away” … try being the operative word here. She did not get every one. I am absolutely paralyzed with fear when I see a spider, or a centipede (especially the latter as they move faster than me). Ugh. In the basement, I always keep a full can of paint – oh brave me, if I see one on the floor. I lower the heavy paint can down and squish it. Then leave it a week or two until I know it is as flat as a pancake. I hate the Winter, but the Spring will bring those spiders out. I am already dreading it.

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      1. I have not gone to bed because there was a spider “at large” in my room. My mom would deal with it for me, but now that I’m alone, I have to deal with it. I wish I was not like this because I break out in a cold sweat and heart palpitations … as for stepping on them, I stand there frozen because I’m afraid they’ll run up my leg. I’ve got it bad! Now out to walk, in the spiderless cold – it is 27 degrees and 12 degree windchill – brr.

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      2. That is nice and warm compared to here – good thing you weren’t walking alone in the thick fog. It was cold, but what made it bad was the 20 mph NE wind. We were originally supposed to get snow overnight and into this morning, but it went further south to Toledo. That was fine with me. Then they said we’d get it Saturday into Sunday – it seems to be fizzling out as well. Hope you don’t get that snow.

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      3. I’m with you on that – go to bed and everything is green, wake up to a snowy vista. It is still very cold and the NE winds have ramped up and I can hear the house making squeaks and noises with each gust.

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  6. We used to play with spiders when we were kids. My brothers and I put them in match boxes. We let them cross the line of a single broom stick, the one which falls is the loser.

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  7. Ha! I’m one of those who likes spiders – in their place – like a garden spider who helps keep pests away. In the house? Not so much. I just trap them with a plastic cup and take them outside. Of course Pete says I’d feel differently about spiders and snakes if I lived in a part of the country where some of them are poisonous.

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  8. LOL Anne! I also hate spiders! I have a daughter in law who hates them with the same passion you do…so I am sharing this post with her! She will totally understand.
    I laughed like crazy over checking the obits!!

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  9. I dont mind spiders but I hate crickets in the house. One time there was one in a kitchen cabinet and when I opened the door it looked me in the eye. I slammed it shut and called for Jim. Another one got in our bedroom and i made Jim tear the bedroom apart until he found it and got rid of it. Here im more concerned about rattlesnakes and coyotes.

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      1. When I was newly married, I saw a spider and screamed for my hubby. He came with a piece of paper and gently scooped the spider up and released it outside while talking lovingly to it. “Ok, Mr. Spider, my wife doesn’t want you in the house so you have to go back outside now.” When he was done, I just stared at him and said, “WHO ARE YOU??” LOL

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      2. That is amusing!!! John used to come to my aid, make the motions of killing the spider, and let it loose when I wasn’t looking. I learned early on that the only good spider is a dead spider — killed by me.

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  10. I’ve always thought of using the vacuum but then I worry the spider will stay in there and somehow have babies and I’ll have a million spiders in there😖

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  11. I don’t like spiders either Anne. I would have smashed it then flushed it down the drain with water. Sorry folks…H, on the other hand, would have picked it up with a paper towel and placed it outside where it belonged. ~Elle

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  12. Aggghhhhh!!! I just saw this post now – and almost with I hadn’t! Always a pleasure reading your blog, Anne! Well, almost always! LOL! I totally share your spider misery! I’m another arachnophobic lady!

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