Photo by jpctalbot
So, I opened up the closet door to get my sweeper out, and a giant, hairy, grayish-black spider came jumping out toward me (WHY is the person in the pic HOLDING it????). I almost wet my pants – I kid you not. Needless to say, I decided sweeping was NOT that important today and quickly closed the closet door. I have been known to resort to sucking up spiders with the sweeper hose & extension attachment (I don’t want to get too close, you know) as an alternative to picking them up to flush them or simply squashing them (Gross! Who wants to deal with THAT mess??). I figure karma is coming after me again, because one of those tiny spiders that I once sucked up didn’t die, but instead fed on the tasty crumbs and morsels that were also residing in my vacuum and then decided to climb out once it had reached fighting size. Sigh.
We live in a house built in the 20s, so you might think I should expect hordes of crawlie things. I’m happy to report that, since we completely gutted our house (down to the studs), we have had very few problems with any kind of creepy critters. An occasional ant, a tiny little spider, or maybe a fly or ten (arrgh!). Until now. In the past few weeks, I’ve had an encounter with a centipede (blechh) and an ear wig (AAAACK!!!). And now, this spider.
I used to be completely terrified of spiders. Now, I’m only moderately creeped out. Although, looking through all the pictures to identify my jumping guest didn’t help anything. Anyway, I credit my improvement to involuntary psychological flooding. Flooding is an exposure therapy used particularly for phobias. The victim patient is exposed to excessive amounts of the feared stimulus. Afraid of snakes? They’ll lock you in a room full of harmless snakes. You will panic, pee your pants, vomit and maybe faint, but you’ll learn that the snakes didn’t kill you and that you don’t need to be irrationally afraid of them. Controversial, but highly effective.
My flooding experience? While on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic, I had to sleep in a loft where I couldn’t even stand up straight. There were open rafters above my head. All night long, giant banana spiders, seriously the size of a large hand, strolled around, inches above my head. There was no where else for me to sleep. I might have considered taking my sleeping bag outside, except I had seen the same spiders and worse (snakes, scorpions, giant roaches, etc.) out there. So, I laid on my cot and literally cried in terror the whole night. I didn’t not sleep a wink. I was convinced that if I closed my eyes, they would come down and crawl on me. After two nights of tears and sleeplessness, I collapsed into fretful slumber. When I woke in the morning, I realized that nothing bad had happened, and I slept (relatively) well the rest of the week. Yes, the spiders were there every night. They liked to taunt me. Yes, I was still creeped out, but the abject terror had abated.
ANYWAY….the giant spider that jumped out of my closet momentarily restored that terror, but I’m proud to report that I recovered quickly. Mostly. Here is my confession. I’m going to have a little, some, extreme problems with putting on a coat from that closet when it gets cold enough to warrant one. I am absolutely certain that he’s living in one of them.
So, to the giant spider dwelling in my closet – Here’s the deal: You can live in the corners, behind that box of unknown contents that I haven’t touched in a year, or clear at the back of the shelf. You may NOT live in any coats, hats, scarves, mittens or umbrellas. If you violate this agreement (Yes – I know you didn’t have any part in the terms of the agreement, but since you’re living under my roof and I pay the bills (and you can’t talk human-talk) I’m making the rules), there will be dire consequences. DIRE, I say!!
Although I don’t know what they’ll be since I don’t want to get near you, I’m afraid to get the sweeper (I may not vacuum for months, people), and it may be an ineffective weapon anyway if you survived it once. Sigh. Maybe I just won’t wear a coat this winter. And you’ll all forgive the giant dust-bunny tumbleweeds rolling around my house, right?
I did find this recipe for a spider deterrent/repellent that I’m adding to my arsenal:
- 1 quart vinegar
- 1 T warmed coconut oil
- 1 T dishwashing soap
Mix all ingredients well and pour into a spray bottle. Spray around doors and windows or any other spots you know the little (or big) critters are coming in. Apparently, spiders won’t cross a line of this stuff. I don’t think I want to rub it on our coats, but I might consider rubbing it all over my body if I’m ever in the Dominican Republic situation again.