Sunday, September 30, 2012

Arachnophobic Angst

On general principles, I'm a "leave-me-alone-and-I'll-leave-you-alone" kind of gardener (except, of course, when it comes to snakes).  Spiders, insects, newts, and crawly things of all kind get a pass in my garden until they cause me bodily harm or inflict horticultural havoc on my plants.  I haven't, as I recall, used a single dose of insecticide, organic or otherwise, in my perennial garden all year (although I'm not quite so innocent when it comes to my vegetable garden).  You can see the evidence for my benevolence frequently in this blog, since many rose photos hide an insect or two visible only for their protruding legs or antennae. 

But truth be told, the situation is different when it comes to the domestic side of the household.  Mrs. ProfessorRoush and her diminutive clone have an irrational fear and hatred of spiders in and around the house.  I've been summoned from as far as a mile away by screams emanating from trapped female humans in showers, laundries, and basements.  Sometimes, I can't even hear them but I see the dog startle at the hypersonic pitch.  Consequently, as free as my outer garden perimeter is from insecticides, inside my house there exists a toxic chemical wasteland of armageddic proportions.  If it scuttles, it gets sprayed.  If it hides in corners or along baseboards or in the ceiling, it gets sprayed.  Sometimes I think the spraying commences at the merest extrasensory wisp of a chitinous thought of invasion.  I'm expecting the EPA to declare my house a SuperFund site at their first examination.

I naively thought, with the development of long-acting insecticides promising "year-long" residual activity, that at least my own fears of neurologic side-effects might be alleviated, but alas, after spraying only a couple of months ago, I was recently informed that the spiders have returned.  Not in live form, mind you, but as crinkled skeletal remains. Evidently, dried carcasses with eight appendages are viewed as evidence of a marauding population and mass genocide is immediately implemented.  My feeble attempts to point out that dead spiders are an indication that the toxins are working are for naught.  The Huns are at the Wall.

That's why I feel sorry for the little fellow pictured on this page.  I'm no entomologist (or is it an arachnologist?) so I can't identify this individual other than lumping him as a "house spider who spins webs," but I doubt he intends any mischief other than catching a few random flies above the barbecue.  Unfortunately for him, he chose to set up shop, as you can see at the right above, in the window above our kitchen sink, where Mrs. ProfessorRoush has to stare at him daily as she tries to appreciate the view of the valley towards town.   If he'd asked me, I could have told him that such "in-your-face" politics were not a wise move when there's a madwoman nearby with her finger on the nuclear trigger.  This guy's days are numbered and I'm sure he's going to disappear soon to rest next to Jimmy Hoffa, with only me to mourn him between my bouts of spastic twitches.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with Mrs. R on this one - if they're in the house, they're dead meat! And for some reason, spiders seem oblivious to the fact that they are building a web right at eye level! But that's the level they always seem to choose!


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