This is a story of how I nearly had to hand in my man-card a few years ago. It came up in conversation so I thought I’d write a post on it as sort of an archive. It happened when my wife and I moved into our new place and we had no idea that we were invading a spider colony.
This was I guess because the neighborhood was a bit new and our house was about a year old and had been left vacant for a month after the previous tenant moved out. Because of this, we had the everyday run-ins with the spiders as they were used to living free of humans.
Personally, I do not like spiders, much as they help us get rid of other pests, I think they could do this better outside. Anyway, most of those we’d seen were small harmless beings. Or so we thought…
When we first moved in we saw a couple of the wolf spiders and thought we had seen the last of them. A wolf spider looks like a small tarantula and I am generally not one who minds killing pests in the house, but large spiders are where I draw the line. This was confirmed on our last trip to Hawaii where large insects love to hang out. It is also highly unlikely that I’ll trap one and take it outside.
My wife is a workout enthusiast. The kind who never misses a day, she works out including holidays and even gets up early during tax season when accountants are doing overtime. One morning, while I was still sleeping and probably dreaming of the latest episode of Vikings, I awoke to my agitated wife yelling about a big hairy spider on the floor. When I finally woke up, she pointed at the wolf spider almost as big as Texas on top of her gym shirt.
It was then that I realized that we might have to burn the house down and move. It also occurred to me that my wife was waiting for me to do something about the huge monster in the room. She must have realized that I had no intention of dealing with the spider in the closet in the near future.
Upon realizing this, she had the brilliant idea to call her dad to come and deal with it. In that instant I couldn’t help but think of how I would have to hear for the rest of my life the story about how my father in law had to wake up in the middle of the night to save us from a horrid monster while I hid under the covers. This would reinforce the idea that I did not have a real job as writing and psychology are not ‘real men jobs’.
I realized I had no choice but to face my fears. I dragged myself out of bed and looked into the closet. Then I saw it, huge, hairy and imposing… daring me to come any closer. I could feel a thin trickle of sweat down my back. I even considered letting her call her dad. They wouldn’t even miss us at the family functions. But that wouldn’t work.
My wife trusted me to deal with the beast and I was not going to let her down. I picked up the first thing I saw which turned out to be a shoe and suddenly wished I had bigger feet. Just as I was about to end the spider’s life, my wife yelled that it was a wolf spider and they jump (oh c’mon!).
Note: Since the incident, I found that wolf spiders are pretty much harmless according to https://www.ridmycritters.com/how-to-get-rid-of-wolf-spiders but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get one as a pet.
This must have scared the spider because it decided to run and hide further in the closet. We both breathed a sigh of relief before we realized that we now had to look for it. By now I was very spooked out and did not trust a shoe to help me kill the monster.
I had with me the arm of our vacuum cleaner. This would ensure that I did not have to get so close to the spider to kill it. Once we had located the spider, I turned the vacuum cleaner on and sucked the spider up like our lives depended on it. We then put the vacuum cleaner in the garage for a couple of days to make sure the spider wouldn’t come back.
Luckily, we have not had any other spider related close-shaves. While I still hate spiders, I’m educating myself a bit more on the RMC site I mentioned above and their Facebook page.