Spiders. This week has been arachnomanic. With my better half away this week I thought I’d be spending five days at home, working alone. Not so, we share our house with several spiders.
On the first night I was woken by a rustling sound, really close in my right ear, accompanied by a strange tickling sensation. I leaped up, quickly turned the light on to see the back end of a spider retreating across my pillow. Laughing. Out loud.
Enough is enough! I thought, and then reconsidered that dubious fact that on average each one of us will unwittingly swallow three spiders in our sleep over the course of our lifetime. That fact states on average, which means that some of us will eat no spiders at all while others, it appears, just can’t get enough. All I know is that when I awoke the next morning I didn’t feel particularly hungry.
It was time for action. The big black spider under the fridge was the hardest to get rid of, he didn’t want to go. He’d been living there for over a month and claimed squatter’s rights. That didn’t wash with me. After a short broom-handle tussle I sent him packing. He was a chunky customer but the harder they come, the harder they fall. You could hear him hit the gravel outside. I didn’t know that spiders swore. I’ve since boxed up his stuff and taken it down the charity shop, his web-based paraphernalia was of no use to me. Good riddance.
He wasn’t the biggest or scariest spider I’ve ever encountered. No, that honour (or horror) goes to the brute that took up residence in the ficus tree outside the house when I was living in Spain. The Wasp Spider. Now there’s a combination of words you don’t want to hear too often. Especially if it’s preceded by AAAAAAARGGGH! Which was exactly the problem, it was putting off people from coming to our house.
So, I took my life into my own hands: using a cunning loop of wire on the end of a very, very long pole, I took him and his web wholesale, relocating them to the viewing point garden near the cliff edge. Several tourists subsequently went missing.
But are spiders really that difficult to live with? After all, they are one of nature’s good guys. They don’t mean to look scary. And how many times have you ended up in the bath after a particularly big night out?
Don’t squash spiders or flush them down the plug-hole – embrace the glass/paper method of expulsion. Remember not to throw the glass as well, or use a plastic cup instead. Most people need help to conquer arachnophobia. HELP! coincidentally was also the title of the Beatles’ second film which was provisionally called ‘Eight arms to hold you’ – hmm, what did they know?
Many thanks to Richard Bullock and WWT for the Wasp Spider image.
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