Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Arachnophobia Development

Before we got married, I would talk to Phillip about my fears of living in Australia quite a lot. Mostly they centered around crazy dreams I kept having that involved swamp or prairie-type land with a very narrow path through it. The rest of the land would be SWARMING with snakes.

And spiders.

I don't really dislike snakes. They used to be one of my absolutely favorite animals. I loved them. I still find them absolutely fascinating. It's just that here, they have the possibility of killing you. Spiders... not so much. I hate them. Ok, maybe hate is too strong a word, because, again, there are some breeds I really don't mind, and still find fairly interesting. And, as a kid, I was the weirdo who would play with Daddy Long Legs and freak out other girls (the benefits of having a dad who loved nature and taught me a lot about natural...stuff).

I knew snakes weren't really going to be a problem. They generally stay away from you. Except, you know, last year, when I or people I knew kept stumbling on them (remember my brother-in-law's adventure?).

Spiders, though? I wanted those not in the house. Especially the very venomous ones. And huntsman. Ew. Ewewew. They're big, nasty, and hide everywhere. They are, of course, not as bad as say, a Red Back, a small spider that can make you pretty sick if you get bitten by it. Huntsman are actually good to have around because they eat those nasty spiders. But they are big. And hairy. And squash themselves flat enough to hide behind picture frames and clocks. And squeeze through cracks in poorly set screens.

I told Phillip when he was choosing a house, that I didn't care so much where we lived, as long as we didn't have a spider problem. Moving here, I made sure I developed habits that keep the nasty spiders away. Things like, not letting piles of clothes or blankets accumulate on floors or chairs, keeping most cob webs at bay, and letting some of the nicer spiders (here it's Daddy Long Legs) live because they will eat the nasty spiders. We also sprayed Baygon (a nicely potent pesticide)  around windows and doors every 6 months. Until I got pregnant and I couldn't do it.

And last year? No problems. The only time we had nasty spiders in the house was when we brought home a box that had been stored in my in-law's shed for several years. Apparently, it had been the home of a Huntsman and a House Spider.

This year has been another story.

I have found Huntsmen every few weeks.

Mostly in our bedroom.

And I risked my gag reflex to take photos of a few of them for you, dear readers. Phillip recently informed me that he's taken care of at least a few I didn't know about. And sometimes I was too busy gagging and acting like a scared child to grab my camera.

I found this in the shower. AFTER I had already showered.
Thankfully, it was on the outside of the door.
I just had to yell for Phillip to get it before I would get out.
Came home, went to close the curtains, look over at the clock, and BAM, this guy!
This is how Phillip caught him.
Remember, if you smash something this big, there's a bit of gooey clean-up...
He's not scary. I let these ones stay and live.
Know where I found this one?
Behind my pillow.
When I made the bed the next morning.
It was only 2 or 3 inches wide though.
Tea anyone?
Phillip captured this one in our bedroom. I think...
There are a few others I just didn't get photos of. Like, on Valentines Day, I found a White Tip on the front of a cupboard. Kind of a terrible ending to my day, since, being all hormonal and hating spiders, I flipped out and made Phillip kill it with fire (ok, maybe not with fire, but I made him kill it really well). It was kind of a bad ending to our "I made you lots of really delicious steak and veggies and sour cream apple pie" celebration.

Most of the Huntsmen that we find in the house, I try to get Phillip to just release back outside, since really, they ARE very helpful spiders. I just... I just really don't want to find anymore in the shower with me, or behind my pillow, or sitting on a light switch or anything. 

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