I’m not an exceptionally violent person. Wait…I probably shouldn’t use the word exceptionally.

I’m not a violent person, but when I encounter spiders, I turn into a villain. Specifically, a cartoon villain named Gargamel. I am hilariously ineffective at achieving that one specific goal of destroying the spiders. Unlike Gargamel, I don’t have any plans to collect spiders for any sort of experimental procedures (anymore)*.

Today I saw a tiny spider on my backpack and how did I handle that? I THREW my backpack angrily at the floor because ‘the backpack had failed me’ by allowing a tiny hitchhiker to enter my home. Then I stormed off to gather a disproportionately giant wad of paper towel to capture the spider and show him to his new trashy home.

Once I saw a small spider (slightly larger than tiny) jump out of my laundry as I was dumping it into the washing machine. Thankfully the laundry room was empty because I yelled at him/her, “WHERE DID YOU COME FROM AND WHY ARE YOU IN MY LAUNDRY BASKET?!”

He just sat there on the precarious inner edge of the washing machine while I backed away and located the giant spider loofah (paper towels). I continued to interrogate him about any other spiders he may have left behind in my condo. I asked him several times if he rode into the laundry basket on the towel I used to sit out by the lake earlier.

These questions were never answered, but I had to ask them. I like to think that somehow I am communicating clearly and at least he’ll know the reason I’m removing him from his current position to that of the trash can. “You did this to yourself, buddy.” Although…could this particular laundry incident be spider payback?

These tiny and small spiders aren’t really as scary to me anymore. And there’s good reason for that.

Crying WOLF

When I was living in a house with a basement (much different from my mid-rise condo now), I dealt with a variety of issues.

Any lady with long, dark hair knows that it’s inevitable that some giant tumbleweeds of hair are just going to be rambling through the house sometimes. Men hate it – sorry, guys.

One day I was in my brown carpeted kitchen (it was a 1970s ranch house that I hadn’t fixed up yet), and I reached down in front of the stove to pick up one of my hairweeds that had escaped the bathroom. Then it moved. I squinted my contact-less eyes and squealed as I realized it was a wolf spider and he SAW ME COMING FOR HIM.

Well, I don’t know if you know this, but giant wolf spiders don’t take too kindly to screaming women, so he just bolted under the stove like an Olympic sprinter. I didn’t find him.

Until later when he crawled out of my pants.

Dustbusters Aren’t for Dusting

Living in that situation made me pretty resourceful. I have used many methods to disarm wolf spiders. Now…I know some of you will recoil when I talk about killing an innocent spider and I hear you, I really do.

However (and I take this very seriously), I don’t go set up my sleeping bag or look for food in spiderwebs and if I did, I strongly believe the spider would take MAJOR issue with that. So, it’s my duty to train and reprimand the small, out of bounds spiders and send them back to report to their friends. “Hey guys…these human nests are totally OFF LIMITS. They will seriously kill you, FYI.”

I think that the other spiders are probably just being jerks to the scout spiders I send back with this information. “Yeah, right, Lenny…that’s what you ALLLLWAYS say. We know that’s where the GOOD food is.”

One tool that is helpful for capturing a scout is the Dustbuster™. Oddly, the Dustbuster is not so great at picking up actual dust – mostly just crumb-sized objects. That makes them perfect for capturing spiders. This process keeps them alive, so you still have to deal with dumping them out into the trash (or outside if you’re friendly).

Wolf Spiders though…they are NOT scouts. Wolf spiders are physically TOO LARGE to fit in a Dustbuster. In fact, if you even try, they would just resist the magical sucking force and climb up the long wand to stare you in the eyes. Because these guys are big enough to have clear, large EYES.

They are the colonels of the spider world. Is Colonel a pretty high rank? I mean, obviously tarantulas would outrank them. In any case, these guys require stronger tools. Like Formula 409 sprayed from a distance, a shop-vac maybe.

I spent many hours staring at spiders, crying, yelling questions, and determining new methods for destroying them. The most effective method though…was selling the house.

That story I alluded to above with the *
When I was in elementary school, my sister and I used to play in the basement. One of the fairly amazing toys we had was a battery-operated washer and dryer for Barbie. It looked like this:


Now that I think about it, that’s a very odd accessory, but it seemed pretty normal to us. Barbie has clothes, they are going to get fake dirty, so it’s completely logical to fake clean them.

Anyway…one day, my sister and I managed to seduce a spider into crawling on a makeshift ramp into the Barbie dryer. Then we SHUT the door and started it spinning. I don’t remember what happened to him (besides being fake dried). I can only assume we left it shut until he starved or maybe we took it to Dad so he could sort it out. I’ll have to ask him about that.