Monday, August 22, 2005

Spiders. Why did it have to be spiders?

I've spent almost every night for the last two weeks dealing with what has turned into a large-scale spider infestation in our new house. I've always had a pretty deep-seated fear of anything with more legs than our tasty friend the cow, but this August has taken my phobia to the next level. I encounter and destroy multiple spiders almost every night. The shoe, the broom, the vacuum, the aerosol can of toxic chemicals -- no matter what the method of termination, they just keep coming.

It wouldn't be so bad if they were the kindly daddy long-legs that used to get into my childhood home in California, or even the creepy-but-harmless furry house spiders that turned up occasionally in Alabama. What we seem to have are hobo spiders, which are extremely common in northern Idaho. Oh, and they're poisonous.

At least, that's what we think they are. The giant house spider looks virtually identical, and the only sure way to tell the difference by looks alone is to use a microscope. However, while the giant house spider loves to climb and can often be seen chilling with a 40-ounce on the ceiling, hobos are like the special-ed kid of the spider kingdom. They can't climb worth a damn, so they're almost always found on the floor or in sinks and bathtubs (which they fall into and then can't climb out). Incidentally, this is where we find all of our spiders.

None of the methods I've tried seem to keep them out. Bug spray only works when you hit spiders directly, and leaving their decaying, curled up corpses in the garden as an example hasn't seemed to slow their slow but determined incursion into our living space. I'm told that the first snow of winter will wipe most of them out, but having grown up in California and Alabama, I'm pretty sure an Idaho winter will spell the end of me as well.

The battle seems hopeless, and the more spiders I kill, the more I'm convinced that thousands of the little bastards are camping outside my window, waiting until I let my guard down so they can devour me in my sleep.

It's been nice knowing you.


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