Herself has a little "thing" about spiders.

There's nothing wrong with that.  It's not that she's a scaredy little wimp or anything, and in fact can reduce a grown man to tears or swing a rat by its tail and sail it into next door's garden.  She just doesn't like spiders.

Now this is rather unfortunate as being a rural dwelling this place seems to attract them.  She won't go into the garage at all as the roof is home to dozens of those fine almost invisible ones – they look like a tiny pea with whiskers for legs – which is great as that's where I keep anything that I don't want her poking her nose into.

The house itself is a different matter.  The whiskery ones don't seem to like the warmth, or maybe they are afraid of the big black hairy ones that live there?

ARF8NK Red-kneed tarantula Brachypelma smithii

This time of year is a bad time.  For some reason they all come crawling in from the garden to build their little [?] webs up in the ceiling between the old beams.  This is fine until one looses his footing and drops onto Herself whereupon mayhem ensues.  She has taken to scanning the room with her beady eye that can spot a spider at a hundred paces, before she'll even enter.  I'm on a permanent Borris Watch.

I don't mind spiders and used to catch them and carry them in cupped hands and fuck them out into the garden.  But then we found a Spider Catcher thingy which is like a stick with a cone of plastic bristles.  This yoke was fantastic as I could pluck a spider off the ceiling, bring it outside and with a swing and a flick, I could sail it across the garden.  I would love to know what goes through the spider's mind at this point or what he's going to say to his missus –

"Where the fuck have you been all evening?"

"I don't know.  I was just gathering a few flies for dinner when this big plastic hairy thing came at me.  The next thing I knew was that I was flying for the first time in my life.  Quite exhilarating, actually."

"You've been fucking drinking again, haven't you?….."

We now have three of those Spider Catchers placed at strategic points around the house so one is readily to hand should Herself scream.

Lately however she discovered a new trick.  She loves making potions and stuff [that I steer well clear of] and has come up with a solution [pun intended] that apparently does the trick.  She gets one of those spray bottles that used to be kitchen cleaner and fills it with water and then adds a few drops of eucalyptus oil.  She then sprays this everywhere she thinks a spider might appear, which could be anywhere in the house so basically she just sprays it everywhere.

Remarkably, this trick seems to work.  I have only seen a couple of spiders so far this autumn.  I admit one of them was an impressive brute [must have been a couple of inches across] but it was easy enough to send 'em flying into the holly tree.

The only drawback is that occasionally I am sitting half asleep and discover I am covered in quite a dense mist.

I'm getting used to the stench of eucalyptus though.

Next thing we'll be invaded by Koala Bears.

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Arachnophobia — 12 Comments

  1. "2 inches"  is that all?  I was chasing its bigger cousins 4 – 5 inches long with the hose on the vacuum cleaner last night.  Much more satisfying than squirting them  – they'd probably just think it was perfume anyway.  Otherwise our dogs try to eat them and as its difficult to tell from the half digested remains whether it was a poisonous one, up the vac they go. Prevention being better than cure and all that!

    • The bear traps keep the bigger ones at bay.

      A house we stayed in in France was full of spiders when we arrived.  I went around with a vacuum and sucked up the lot.  I then emptied the dust bag in a corner of the garden and never saw so many drunken looking spiders in my life.  They all scuttled around and not one could do a straight line.  That's a story for their grandkids?

      • Grandpere Spider: ” Zoot alors! mes petits, when I was leetle I was whisked off in a Dyson time masheen…. One minute I was dangling from zee ceiling and *insert sucking noise* the next I was dancing in zee field…”

        Spider Grandkids: ” WAAOOOOW!”

  2. eycalyptus oil you say? humm, thank your missus for me will you, I can't stand the 8 legged things and my Mr. has more fun catching them to release them after he's chased me with it to look at it. Fuck I hate spiders.

    • It seems to work remarkably well.  Just a few drops in a bottle of water and spray where they might enter a room.  Apparently lemon essence works also.  It saves me a hell of a lot of chasing around anyway.

      • ask the missus for me if there is anything for lizards or small snakes. Mr. enjoys finding them in the woodpile and bringing them in to show me…seems I married a 12 yr old in a 60 something body.

        • She suggests a prayer to Saint Patrick.

          She also says she has something growing in the garden that is excellent for eradicating 60 year old husbands.

          Now I'm even more worried!  It's one of the reasons I do all the cooking here.

          • Sulphur is a snake repellent.  Mothballs dotted round your garden also for snakes and they don’t like peppermint oil.  Use coffee grounds to repel lizards.  Some garden centres have snake repellents which you spray round the perimeter of the garden.  However, if there are snakes in the garden make sure they’ve vacated the premises otherwise the boundary spray will keep em in!

  3. Have the spiders taken over your home page? Apparently i'm banned from seeing it (intermittently) but don't seem to have a prob with posts. The little critters rule the web!

    • Something went a bit iffy in the engine room.  I removed the discombobulator and detached it from the grumble-switch.  There seems to be a bit of a hangover though, whether it's down to cobwebs or not I can't say.

      Hopefully it will sort itself out shortly?

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