Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Ordeal is Over for Now

I posted on this topic about a year ago. Everything was fine for a while, and then some time ago I noticed a silhouette at the corner of the house when I'd pull into the driveway at night. It was small and light brown but shaped like a black widow. But since it wasn't black or big enough, I left it alone.

Several months later, that small, brown spider had grown and turned black. It really was a black widow, after all. I went in the house, got one of my sneakers with a smooth-ish sole, and whacked the shoe against the spider and the house so hard, the sound probably woke the dead.

Life was much better after that (once my heart palpitations settled down).

But then I started noticing a familiar shape hanging under the electric meter at night when I'd come home. Unfortunately, this black widow couldn't be obliterated against any hard surface. I sprayed the heck out of it with Raid, but it just crawled up into the nether regions of the meter.

I didn't see it for a while, and then it must have recovered, because it came back again. Understand, my can of Raid only promises to kill ants and roaches (which I don't have), but not spiders.

I mentioned it to some friends, and one of them brought me a can of Ortho Ant, Roach, and Spider Killer, complete with a picture of a black widow on the front.

So, Saturday night I grabbed the flashlight and the deadly toxin and went out to the electric meter. I sprayed at the spider, but a lot of the spray stayed on the web. The spider ran up under the meter again, so I sprayed under there (getting more on another part of the web), then went back into the house, the adrenalin still running through me.

Sunday night I had my daughter over to share my diet plan's dessert with me (Peanut Butter-Banana Dream, makes 2 servings), and when she was leaving, she saw the black widow hanging on its web but to the side and back of the meter. I must have only winged it on Saturday.

I grabbed the can and doused it good this time, until I saw it fall and DIE!!!


Monday morning (Garbage Day), I took a dustpan out to get the carcass in the trash, because I didn't want it lingering a moment longer than necessary in my driveway. It was still dead, and I got rid of it without having it touch me or my clothes, then I took the garbage can out to the curb. I also grabbed (with a paper towel - this can has more spiderwebs) the garbage can I keep my recyclable paper in, and when I pulled it away from the house, there was another black widow hanging on the wall of the house with three of what must be egg sacs. Eeeeeewwwww!!!

Again, I grabbed the can and sprayed until the spider fell and died. Then I sprayed the egg sacs and smashed one of them. Then I got the jet-spray nozzle on the hose and hosed down the garbage can and the side of the house, and I washed all the debris back toward the part of the yard where I never go. I was almost late for work because of that stinkin' spider.

Last night, when I came home from work, there was the same black shape under the electric meter again. But when I looked more closely, I could see that it was dead and hanging from a web. So I really had killed it the first time, and that spider on the side was another one.

Today I had to go into the shed to get another one of those stupid twisty light bulbs (I got them before the powers-that-be announced that they're deadly), and I was afraid to open the doors for fear of what evil black menaces I'd find lurking in the dark. That can of Killer was at the ready by my side. But other than a few non-black-widow-looking webs (BW webs are "disorganized" in a particular way (there are one or two benefits to having been married to a guy who liked spiders)), the path between the doors and the bag that held the bulbs was clear.

By then, the dead, dangly one had fallen on the cement, so I scooped it up into some recycling papers and dumped it into the garbage can, where it made a thump when it landed. It'll be gone Monday afternoon.

I think I'm ready to return the spray can to its rightful owner now.


Bekah said...

My heart was racing just reading that. Snakes and spiders are NO WAY's on my list, so it's good that it was you instead of me. I'd have had a heart attack on the spot.

Christina said...

Time to call the exterminator.

Seriously, the spiders could have the shed and light bulbs...I'd be buying new ones.

SkyePuppy said...


The spiders DO have the shed. I only open it up in broad daylight. But the bulbs were near the door and did not require me to step inside. I used the broom to sweep away any spiderwebs (I didn't see any, but just in case...) and to pull the bag of bulbs closer to me.

Times like this are when it REALLY would be handy to have a man around the house. Bug Patrol is man's work.

Malott said...


Let me say this as encouragingly as possible... The deadly spiders you've killed have relatives all over San Diego, and no doubt they're thoroughly p_ssed. I just hope you're not dealing with something like the "Gambino Family" of Black Widows.

Hope this helped.

SkyePuppy said...


Thank you ever so much!

I went to a pseudo-interview (receptionist) yesterday at an assisted-living place, and on the way in, I spotted a black-widow-looking web underneath one of the benches by the front door. So I alerted them ("I've been battling black widows lately, and that looks like one of their webs out there."), and they had the maintenance man come and take a look. When he finished, he told me I was right, and the spider was DEAD!

Think of the lives I saved. The Gambinas will really be after me now...

Tsofah said...


I'm very proud of your life-saving efforts during your interview.

I like harmless house spiders to be outside instead of inside - so you can imagine how I feel about BW's!

Did you get the job?

SkyePuppy said...


They showed me around, and I sat down with the receptionist I would NOT be replacing, who showed me everything she does. They acted like I'll have the job if I want it.

The only problem is that the receptionist they want to fire (and who is already looking for another job because she's not happy there) just got diagnosed with cancer, so that throws the whole job opening thing up in the air for now. Naturally, the first concern is for her health.

They'll call me when they're more definite about the job.

janice said...

Oh my goodness, Skye!

You're much braver than me, I was itchin' and looking around for spiders while reading this post.

SkyePuppy; The Exterminator!

CG said...

Can you believe how hard it is to kill those things with spray? It's like they have super powers. By the way, have you watched Charlotte's Web lately? Not in the mood?

ChuckL said...

Don't worry about the gambino society of black widders. Expect protests and pickets from peta.

ChuckL said...

And sensitivity training session.