Monday, January 24, 2011

Black Widows and more...eeekkk


I wrote this over three years ago...I still have the same paralyzing fear of black widows and there is one in my garage now. Read on and you can see why I have this fear and you'll know I will be dreaming about her coming to get me over night....because I know that's what her goal will be.

I am done hosting the bugs of Firestone. You are no longer welcome here. I understand when we moved in here, we were moving in on your territory. However, we did not build this comfortable warm house for you. It is our house and you've have several months to relocate. Now please leave.

According to Wiki, houseflies live from fifteen to thirty days. We've been here almost sixty days now and we are down to one super fly that refuses to go to fly eternity or wherever the little fly souls are that were once attached to the millions of fly bodies that litter my basement floor. Oh, yes…little dead flies everywhere…that's why you've never been in my basement. They will be gone soon…as soon as my husband decided to sweep them up for me.


We went through this cycle of bugs. When we moved in, it was the month of the spiders. I was capturing…yes, capturing…and flushing, but not squishing, spiders all day long. Each time I would go into the garage for a box to unpack, I'd have to battle a black widow. Yes, I capture and flush and I battle black widows. It's all true. Spiders really bother me. I've mentioned the little eight year old girl that still lives somewhere inside me and hordes this memory of a giant black widow coming to get her while she sleeps. That's a memory I have from childhood. No, I can't remember too much from back then, but that huge black widow trying to get to my room is so vivid it's like it really happened. It was just a dream, and I was so lucky that she was so large she couldn't fit down the hall to get to my room, otherwise, that little eight year old girl may have become spider food instead of the mom and wife she is today. So battle…yes, that's what they are; battles. If you were to witness them, you may call them stare downs or anxiety attacks that force me to freeze and say out loud and over and over, 'what do I do, what do I do, what do I do?'

But to me, they are intense battles. I usually win because I have to and because somewhere inside I know I am the bigger and smarter species. It's that small child that is dwarfed by the red spot on the spider's belly that can't seem to remember this fact.

So the black widow invasion ensued. But they seemed contained to the garage. After a few days, I just didn't go out there any more. Jeff was instructed to check every box before bringing it into the house and I stayed away from any open box because I just knew I'd peer down inside only to find my shoes have been eaten by a new colony of red spotted spiders whose mission was to take over my belongings and my home. I know now that's not a rational thing to think, but to keep those thoughts at bay, I just stayed away from it all.

Then the big freeze hit. Days of freezing weather, snow and ice. Our house was cozy and warm. Our garage was still full of boxes and bitter cold. Jeff told me he was finding little frozen bodies out in the garage. The black widows had lost the battle and I didn't have to fight anymore. The weather got them. I win!! Right?

In the middle of the garage spider invasion, the flies begun taking over my house. I was thinking about pitching a tent on the back yard for a bug free haven in which to sleep. I learned quickly the flies liked hanging out in the kitchen. I think I threw more food away in that month than I had in the year prior. If it didn't get eaten or wrapped quickly, the flies would swarm then hover over it and I'd have to toss it. They slowly met the end of their fifteen to thirty day lifecycle and many succumbed to the suction of my vacuum cleaner.

Somehow at the start of what we would think of as winter, the mosquitoes took over our house. The flies were dying off, the spiders were about to freeze, and the mosquitoes were discovering the bright yellow house on the corner of two country roads. It was like a big mosquito trap. Only they were trapped in the house suddenly. The morning after Thanksgiving, I walked into the kitchen to see the few dishes we didn't bother cleaning the night before. On the counter was a water pitcher and inside the pitcher was a bit of water and about seven mosquitoes. A new bug invasion. In the weeks since, I have managed to captured and flush about one a day. Yesterday I saw one sitting on a wall. I can only hope that one can't reproduce alone like some oddities in the animal kingdom. I don't know the lifespan of a mosquito, but if I can catch him, I can only say it won't be much longer.

So we were swimming in flies that were literally dropping, dodging mosquitoes that are thinking this is their new home and quite certain the spiders are gone. Until Jeff goes into the basement to set up our exercise equipment. He came upstairs to tell me he killed two black widow spiders in the basement. I guess the dead flies were probably good food, but since they no longer fly, the red bellied spiders had to go find them. Now I'm freaking out again. My first time on the treadmill was exhausting, but not only because it was a great workout, but because I kept searching the walls and ceiling for black creatures with eight legs. That's way too many if you ask me. Maybe that's my problem. Four legs I can deal with, when you have six or eight, you need to stay away from me.

Later that week, I asked Jeff to show me where the spiders were in the basement. Turns out one was not in the basement, but nesting on the staircase. She was coming to get me. I just know it. Only she was small. It a matter of weeks, she could have made her way up the other staircase and down the hall into my bedroom. But my husband got her! My husband is a great man indeed. Spider killer and garage fairy. Well, I don't think he'll like being called a fairy. But during Christmas, I kept throwing wrapping paper and boxes and adult proof toy packaging out into garage and magically it was all cleaned up. I kept calling it the garage fairy, but like Santa Claus, I know it's really my husband that cleaned my huge mess. He also cleaned the rest of the garage. Enough so that we could put both my van and his truck in the garage…along with Arwen's jeep, Zoe's car, countless tools, strollers, yard tools and Jeff monster motorcycle. While he was doing that enormous job, Jeff told me he found and squished three black widows. He said one was a fat one.

I'm back to not wanting to spend any time out in the garage. It would seem the freeze didn't get them after all. They just got smart and stored food and hid from the warrior. No, I'm not really a warrior. Let's just call me box slammer. That's the only way I could deal with them. Drop a big box of books on them. Now what will I do since all the boxes are gone?

Spring is on it's way. Let the battle begin!

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