Spider Bomb Day!

“Oh my gosh! Giant Spider!”

As soon as my son, Ben, posted this photo on Facebook—before the squished spider was even cold! (thank you, smartphone camera)—opinions came rolling in. Basically, they were variations of the following and provoked much discussion:

“Dude! This is so obviously a Brown Recluse!”
“Their venom, like, rots your skin or something.”
“Atta boy at killing it. They’re FAST!”
“They live in our part of Oregon. And they survive for years without food or water!”
“Eeew. I bet your house is, like, infested with them!”

I think it’s a plain old wolf spider, but what do I know? My second son, Nathan, says he saw one of the crumpled legs “unroll” and it was HUGE. So obviously, being a large spider, it has to be the most deadly kind.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider


These two sons hate spiders, all kinds of spiders. I did not raise them this way. I loathe insects so much that I see spiders as allies, not enemies. I catch harmless spiders in the house—a tricky maneuver using a cup and piece of paper—and release them outside. But my sons’ revulsion seems to be an unlearned instinct.

So today we are fogging our house with spider poison, at probably twice the recommended dose because…Spiders Must Die! And I must work in my shaded “outdoor office” (beneath trees laced with orb weaver webs) until it’s time to open the windows and ventilate. Tomorrow I will begin the chore of cleaning everything.

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21 thoughts on “Spider Bomb Day!

  1. Is it possible you have a budding forensic tech in the family? But I suppose our kids have grown up in a world where it is second nature to use a quarter for perspective when taking a picture of a corpse. (Let’s hope this doesn’t go viral and you wind up with Brown Recluse Advocates And Tree Savers picketing on your sidewalk.

    • As far as Insect Rights Advocacy, we humans are double-minded. Were you living in Tigard the two years the Tualatin Valley cities decided not to treat ponds for mosquito larvae? Like a biblical plague, clouds of mosquitoes invaded neighborhoods…and residents were hopping mad. Not much use of the barbeque those summers!

  2. My husband and you agree. He won’t kill spiders either. I am more like your sons – the only good spider is a dead spider.

    • But Gayle, you live in South Carolina which, compared to the west, is a breeding ground for capital-“I” insects! So your spiders are probably bigger (and therefore uglier) than ours. And are you far south enough to have alligators? I hope not.

      We have bear warnings in our more remote campgrounds; bears I can prepare for. Unless food is left out, bears amble through at night without causing harm. But friends of mine who wanted to camp in (I think) Florida or Louisiana saw alligator warning signs. Alligators? Wandering through the campgrounds foraging for food? With all those teeth? No, thank you!

      We don’t have tornadoes here either. Give me bears and rattlesnakes and earthquakes any day!

      • There are not just Insects here in SC, we also have bears, cougars, and Russian boar — in the woods behind my house. Two weeks ago, my MIL saw a black bear in her garage! After opening the refrigerator and foraging for food, he ambled on down the road. So that was, maybe, 300 yards from my house. I’ve also removed copperheads from the pool skimmer and watched other snakes slither through the grass. I don’t panic as long as they’re not poisonous. I’m not afraid of spiders — I just don’t like them. But I do recognize their function, and I only kill them if they’re inside.

        • Snakes…in the house?

          And wild boars? Like the ugly snaggle-tooth kind?

          Well all right, then. Makes our skunks, opossums, and raccoons seem tame. Susan Kaye has a resident herd of elk …

          • No snakes in the house! I draw the line right there. But the boars? Yep. Somehow, in the 1980’s, the wildlife commission thought that would be a good idea. They released them here. My personal opinion is that someone who loved to hunt greased the palm of someone who was willing to sell us all out in order to let them.

            • Your boar issue sounds like the nutria problem here. Farmed in the 30’s for fur, when the market collapsed a decade later thousands were released into the wild. They look like beavers (with the lovely orange teeth—ick!) but have a pointed rat’s tail.

            • And boar breed like, well, pigs. In Texas they have a bounty on them because they are everywhere. SC may be next.

  3. Bill watches the nutria gliding around the unused dock at work. They are not to be disturbed, so he make a meditation out of how he might best dispose of them.

Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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