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.
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.