Black Widow - She Must Know I'm a Man Eater, too.

I live in Arizona.
You know that.

There are all kinds of very creepy crawlies running around out here. Most of them will only hurt you a little but a few will hurt you pretty seriously.

With all the rain that we've had, this is a amazingly ripe year for bugs, leading to a ripe year for everything on up the food chain.

Spiders are one of the first to get in line for some bug eats and there is no shortage of spiders in at my place. That's cool, you know? I found out that purchasing a bat is illegal so since they're supposedly the next-best thing to deal with a Mosquitoe Uprising, I'm all for spiders.
Although I am going to catch a lizard and set if free behind my sink.
I'm not even kidding.
Nature is not vegan.

Now, when I say I'm down with spiders, I certainly don't mean that I'm up with the ones who bite you and release powerful neurotoxins into your blood stream, sometimes causing your skin to die and leave that nasty grayish-black hole of a wound.

So the other night, while I was watching Big Brother, I noticed that there was a spider under the table that all 13 inches of my TV sits on. A very black, very big, very round spider.
With a cob-webby web.
And a....
Lemme get down her a little.
I wish I had a flashlight.... maybe my cell phone?
Shit I hope that's not what I think it is. Correction, what I know it is.
Get away!
Dammit! I'm not down here to play with you - move dog!
It is.
I knew it.
Panic Mode: On.

A Black Widow.
In my house.
Which is not common. They are hidey-spideys. You're pretty hard-pressed to come into contact with them and despite their reputation, better a Widow than a Recluse. Which, now that I have dealt with the Black Widow, I hope my spider karma is in tip-top shape and there's never a run-in with a Brown Recluse.

So I identify the little darling and get the Dustbuster and am all-in-all very proud of myself that I've been able to successfully get this close to a bug.
If this story was about a roach, it would have a very different ending, something along the lines of, "And then I died."
Insects travel in packs, spiders live alone. You see an insect and you know there are more of them but if you see a spider, you know you've met a true competitor.

And so it goes that the Battle began.
In terms of points, Spider kicked Sarah's ass.
The final victory was awarded to me, solely because I have opposable thumbs and a human brain.

I tried to DustBust her from her original spot and when I nervously dumped the canister, there was nothing spidery in it.
I tried to scrape my broom along the corners of the TV stand and hope for the best and that failed to bring her out.

Although I hoped for the best, I knew the worst was yet to come. She was in my house and that was that.

So I came home from work and I see her new spot. It's not an easy spot. Once again, I do a little dance and lose.
No dice on spider parts when I dump out the canister.

"Hi. this is the weirdest call you're gonna get today but I have this spider?
And I can't get her out."
"Well... spiders are very good for insect control."
""Yes but is it a good idea to leave a venomous female in your house."
"I guess.... no. It would be a service call if we came out."
"Duh. That's why I'm asking you what I need to do."
"Get a broom and sweep her out but sweep her all the way down your driveway and seal up your home with duct tape because if you don't she'll be back by sundown."

I hoped that she would rebuild in the same spot and as luck would have it, I got home from practice and there she was.
And then there she wasn't.
I literally fretted about this, actively, for an hour last night.
Until I had a stroke of genius.

I am constantly giving an assist to those stupid scarabs, June Bugs. they're pretty but they're dumb.
I decided that for as many as I've helped out of the prone position, I am owed.
I got one and released it so that it would walk into her web.
Which it did.
25 minutes later?
I spot her working on the June Bug.
I get the broom and as stealthily as I've ever been able to be, I catch her and the sacrificial beetle on the end.
I walked them way the hell off the property and wished them Godspeed and good luck and that was that.

Any more defending in my home, though, and I am going to burn out.

You can only be a brave hero for so long, you know?

arizonasarah at 4:06 p.m.

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