Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spider Hunting

It was 11:37 pm Friday night, I was about 10 pages from the end of the engaging The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, when I saw something move on the floor opposite my bed.

It's not that bugs make me squeamish.  I have no problem getting rid of small bugs and spiders.  However, I've moved to Nashville, land of the Brown Recluse Spider. I took proper precautions when I first moved in to my house.  Kelly and I cleaned it from top to bottom, finding only small house spiders.  Of course, I don't want any type of spider in my house so those had to go too.  Then I laid out some glue spider traps just in case.  Until last Sunday, I thought that maybe, just maybe I would be safe.  Then I came out to work on my scrapbook on the kitchen island.  There was a spider.  Right along the edge of my scrapbook.  I tried to see what kind of spider it was but it is SO hard to look at one of those things and detect special markings!  So I just killed it.  I swear those spiders sense when people move in and have furniture and objects they can hide under. Then Wednesday morning I found one high above the shower- thankfully the steam and humidity immobilized the bastard until I could smash it.  I do admit to relish in crushing those bastards.

But back to Friday night.  I was in bed.  As in, I wasn't wearing any shoes to step on a poisonous spider.  And I didn't have my handy Ace Harware fly swatter I got for free at my hometown 4th of July parade a few years back.  I did have another book on my nightstand, one I cared less about than the Guernsey book, so I tossed it at the spider but missed.  I swear that spider and I spent a few minutes looking at each other.  It was a face off for the ages.  Finally I decided I had to do something or I would never go to sleep.  As I carefully got out of bed, my shadow fell over the spider and it went scampering off towards the other wall, under my bed.  It of course steered clear of the glue trap under there.  I couldn't see where it went.  I hiked up the bed skirt (apparently bed skirts are a no-no because the brown recluse will crawl up it in to your bed but I really like my bed skirt so I wasn't going to get rid of it until I knew for sure there was a problem.)  Then I sprayed lemon scented (apparently spiders don't like this smell) cleaner all around the bed.  I noticed that the baseboards on the wall by my bed had some gaps underneath so I wondered if the brown recluse went under there.  I can only imagine the comical sight of me scampering around, trying to get to my shoes, grab the flyswatter, and wage war without getting bit.

I had a serious heart to heart with God and did my best to sleep.  It was not my best night's sleep to say the least.  In the morning, I carefully peered underneath the bed and found the glue trap had nabbed it after all!  Thanks God!  Of course, it still wasn't dead so I had to smash it with some paper.  Then I just threw the whole trap away.  There might be a way to kill a brown recluse on the glue trap and reuse it but I don't feel like risking my well-being to figure it out.

I had a few things to do yesterday but spent the rest of the afternoon and evening brown recluse-proofing the house.  I have some spider repellent spray on order and I'm trying to locate chestnuts, something else spiders don't like.  Then I caulked the cracks under the baseboards and in the floor.  The office needs more spider proofing but I can't do more until the maintenance man fixes the problems with the closet.  The piece de resistance was washing the floors with lemon-scented cleaner.  Hopefully that will be last brown recluse spider sighting in my home!

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