How we came to purchase our home.

WPA Photo

A Works Progress Administration photo offers a glimpse of our home's past.

Reproduction Windsor Chair

Finally, a dining room set.

No Power, No Heat.

Our first snow storm and it's aftermath, October, 2011.

Lead Poisoning

Updates to our son's lead levels.

Bit By Bit

My wife's blog on being pregnant, giving birth and raising our first child with all the complications, hardships and joys that life throws our way.

Friday, October 19, 2012

You Are Never More Than 10 Feet From a Spider.

Ever since I was a child, I've hated spiders.  This angst could have been from my mother's fear that I inherited or perhaps my own experiences over time.  Regardless, the truth still remains that I hate spiders.  They are quite horrific looking and with thousands of species on our planet, there are many different nightmares to go around.  There are big ones, small ones, hairy wolf spiders, jumping spiders, hanging spiders, spiders that have many eyes, some that have only a few and then there are colorful ones, some with patterns that if  anywhere else could be considered beautiful.

During our home inspection, we discovered that the previous home owner had our home sprayed annually for spiders.  This was the reason she cited as why there wouldn't be any bugs (in general) in the home.  Not that it mattered since obviously this home had a bug problem in the past (see here).  It really did not sink in as to why she would've sprayed for spiders only... until our first summer.

After our son was born, we kept seeing a spider here and there.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  It's bound to happen in any home, but we started to notice that we weren't killing spiders on monthly basis, it was daily.  Actually, throughout the day.  Walking down the servant staircase, we would walk though thin cobwebs.  Sometimes an eight legged arachnid would swoon in mid-air in our path.  We would find them on our ceilings constantly, around the windows, throughout the kitchen and even in our cars.  We killed these pests quickly and often.

The culmination of our experience wasn't until a couple short weeks in August.  While my wife was breastfeeding our little one, a spider descended onto her breast.  Imagine her surprise!  This happened a couple of times.  Shortly after, in the middle of the night, I felt a pin prick on my leg, waking to the itch, I rolled over and went back to sleep.  The next morning, my wife freaked out when there was a rather large dead black spider squished on my back.  That's it!  I called an exterminator.
Our baseboards were filled with various mammalian hairs, dead insects and egg sacks.
Spider sack safely secured between fins.
First came the exterminator... then came Dyson.  The exterminator showed up and sprayed a mist on all the baseboards and used an aerosol in the attic and basement.  He made a total of two trips.  Though the exterminator's misting killed many of the adult spiders, the egg sacs are protected by their silky enclosures.  Hence why cleaning out the baseboards was necessary.  For the next couple of weeks, I spent nights and weekends opening up the baseboards and vacuuming out all the dust, cobwebs, pet hair, granny hair, dead insects and their various egg sacs.  We were warned by the exterminator that by October, the sacs would hatch and to remove them as soon as we could.  So I went at the baseboards.  I rotated off the cover panels by pulling the bottom outwards revealing a disgusting tangle of hair and dust.  Our Dyson vacuum was well used.  It's powerful suction pulled out all of the debris with exception to the spider egg sacs.  I used a paper clip that I had un-bent to poke at the silken sac while the vacuum was on.  The babies had no chance.  Just of note, the mother spider is a protective beast.  It's best to ensure you've gotten rid of her prior, that's what the exterminator did.

One last bit regarding spider removal.  We've found out that spiders hate lemon scents.  Apparently, in the movie "Arachnophobia," lemon scented Pledge as well as a heat gun were used to move the spider actors.  This method was used by a "bug wrangler" called Steven Kutcher who was hired for most Hollywood films involving insects until most recently when the digital age took that need away.  I used lemon scented pledge on all the baseboards and their coverings as a deterrent for spiders.

All fins are now clean and shiny!
When questioned as to how we're to cease the large population of spiders living in our home, the exterminator suggested we get rid of all our mature tress surrounding our home.  Spiders live in the trees and vegetation during summer, then descend to the roof and eventually inside the home as the seasons change.  Removing these beautiful trees is not going to happen!  Of all the retarded things to suggest... we joke that this exterminator has been sniffing to many of his chemicals.

Yellow Sac Spider
My wife did photo comparisons and identified the eight legged monster invading our home.  The yellow sac spider is a hunter.  It scurries around the home searching for prey.  It doesn't create a web to catch an insect, instead, it prowls like a lion, except being the size of a dime.  It's bite is said to be poisons yet spider experts claim otherwise.  Its two front legs are longer than the rest, for what I assume enable it to scurry faster than I can jump onto a chair.  Spider lovers (yes, they do exist) claim that a spider will capture more insect pests than birds and bats combined.  That sounds really fascinating, if your an arachnophile, but I'm more of an anti-Christ when it comes to bugs.  So, if you're a virgining arachnophile, then get your kicks out of this:  Wikipedia and Discover Magazine, I'm done.