Googling Spiders

We are in the midst of a spider invasion. Last night my oldest daughter found two, super creepy, shriveled up, cream colored spiders precariously hanging above her bed in their own individual little web sacs. Anyone who knows my oldest daughter knows that this was an emergency of epic proportions. Although she will officially have a bachelor’s degree in biology on May 14, and despite the fact that she did her senior research project with an etymologist and doesn’t mind insects, she is super-duper freaked out by spiders. My very tall husband speedily came to her rescue wielding a rolled up magazine and a wad of tissues, but even after these awesome arachnids were pronounced dead and given a proper “burial at sea,” my daughter still continued to fret over the possibility of spider relatives coming to seek their revenge on her as she slept. Her litany of worries began with “What if there’s an egg sac hidden somewhere in my room waiting to hatch?” to “What if they’re poisonous?” I assured her that they were most likely the only two spiders in her room, but after remembering my own ordeal with a brown recluse bite, years ago, I decided that the best action was to Google the little beasts to see if they were capable of any real damage. The only problem was I had only seen them smooshed up and dead, during their brief tissue viewing before my husband flushed them down the toilet. My daughter attempted to describe them to me as I typed their attributes into the search box in Google images: cream colored spider, looks shriveled like it’s dead even when it’s alive, builds a little web sac around itself. My first search yielded many spiders that looked very similar to this one:

Not the one!

My daughter is certain that this isn’t the right spider.

BUT, it also yielded this:

Not a spider, but super good!

Mm, I remember delicious ice creamy, chocolate chipity, Chipwiches from my childhood. They were the first ice cream novelty to break away from the traditional ice cream sandwich mold and feature chocolate chip cookies. (At this point my daughter shook me from the dessert-of-my-childhood reverie and reminded me that there was a potential killer on the loose.)

I tweaked my search: sac making spider, plays dead, cream colored. I ended up with this:

Eeewwww!

It’s definitely creepy, but still not the right creeper, so my cowardly daughter decided to sleep in the family room.

Late this morning she attempted to re-enter her bedroom, this time with her very brave younger sister holding a rolled up magazine, just in case. Before she could finish yelling, “OhmyGodMom! It’s another one!” and before I could yell, “Let me take a look at it!” her sister whacked it to death with a Woman’s Day.

So far the status is Spider 0/Humans 3, yet even after she thoroughly cleaned her room and inspected it for egg sacs, she’s committed to sleeping on the sofa again tonight. I, on the other hand, armed with a rolled up magazine and a digital camera, am on a quest to find out what type of spiders we’re dealing with! I promise to post pictures if I’m ever able to spy this elusive critter!

Happy weekend, everyone!

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12 thoughts on “Googling Spiders

  1. I think blogs hence-forth should be referred to as ‘web sacs’.

    …because they are like our very own little sacks on the web where we can store our thoughts and delight.

    Yes?

  2. Okay, I’m with your daughter on this one. Just two nights ago, there was a bug in my bedroom and it creeped me out all night long. Even now as I type this, I’m starting to feel like every little thing that touches my skin is a bug! I turn into a 6-year-old girl whenever it comes to bugs or spiders.

    The worst one ever was one that my boyfriend and I saw in the shower a few years ago in Slovenia. We call it The Spider That Ate Cleveland. It.Was.Massive. He looked me in the eye, said “I’ll take care of it”, then went in the bathroom and closed the door. Didn’t come out until the thing was dead and down the pipes. I love that man! 🙂

    Good luck with the Great Spider Hunt of ’11!

    • You’ve gotta love a man who rescues you from creepy crawlies! I’m actually only really creeped out by centipedes and millipedes. Their undulating leg action gives me chills! If they invaded my house, I’d have to move! 🙂

      • Yes! Those things are awful. My arch-nemesis has always been the palmetto bug. Thankfully we don’t get them in the Northeast, and partly because of those bugs, I will never again live in the South. I hate those things like poison.

      • Palmetto bugs are terribly invasive. Usually we don’t have to contend with them, but about 10 years ago they were thick around the school I worked at. Now, we’re dealing with stink bugs and they’re just as bad, plus the cats won’t go after them like they will most insects that enter our domain. 🙂

  3. I tend to be a bit of a philosopher. Pythagoras, of the famous theorem, was someone who didn’t believe in killing anything, even insects. I’m like that. I don’t believe in killing any living thing that doesn’t result in a good meal. The only other exception to this is roaches. They make it on my property, and they’ve had it. Period. I don’t whack the ants on my property, even though the little bastards have bit me a couple hundred times.

    Well, that leads me on to the spider part of this story. I had a few of the creepy crawlies here and there around my place, and I knew it. But it didn’t bother me having them around and I figure, what the hell, live and let live.

    The only flaw in my plan was overlooking reproduction. With human beings, when two come together one to three are usually brought forth. With Spiders when two are joined together, hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, offspring emerge: and by-golly, they are ready for business.

    A came into my place one day and it looked like a real ninja invasion. All these dozens of spiders were repelling down from the ceiling on self-made silk lines. Once they hit the floor, they went into hiding.

    From there on out it was the same ritual. Every evening they’d launch a sneak attack upon me when I was typing at my computer. After several days of having dozen annoying bites on my back, my hospitality ended, and I got the Raid.

    It was genuine massacre. Pythagoras would not have been pleased.

    • We usually scoop up and release most insects that we find in our house; luckily, we don’t find many! My oldest has always been freaked out by spiders, so they usually have to die. I should be afraid of them, because I was bitten on the calf by a brown recluse years ago. Fortunately, I sensed that it wasn’t a normal bug bite and sought medical help quickly. I only have a quarter sized scar from it and not a lost limb!
      My daughter is moving away for med school in July,and I dont’ know what she’ll do when she finds a spider in her house. Hopefully, her housemate is braver than her because she’ll probably have to do the killing. 😦 Pthagoras wouldn’t be too proud of me either!

      • Haha. Well, like the saying goes: If it’s a choice between him or me; it sure ain’t going to be me.

        Jiminey Cricket!! A quarter-sized scar. Yikes. That’s a clear cut case of justifiable spidercide, if I ever heard of one.

      • We identified the little bugger as a long-legged sac spider.

        Yes, luckily, my grandmother urged me to go to the Dr. less than 24 hours after I got the bite. I was running a fever and the bite in a very short time looked pretty bad. Luckily, some really strong antibiotics healed it. I’d never even heard of a brown recluse before that. Yuck! How’s your blog coming along?

  4. Ba.D. (whose actual name I should email you sometime!) and I shared this while driving home from the grammas’ house yesterday. Oh, how we giggled!

    I’m not totally terrified of spiders, but they do make me squeamish in such a way I think my urge to smack would’ve overwhelmed my thirst for knowledge. This is so despite my mom’s many lessons in the merits of spiders, which she was rather fond of.

    o.O

    • Well, we’re up to spider #4 right now, and my daughter got a few good pictures of it, before its demise. I’ll post them tomorrow. We’re pretty sure that it’s some sort of nonpoisonous sac spider, at this point, but it will never hurt to have the aracno-experts on the internet look at it for confirmation! The funny thing is, that my daughter has spent the past 2 nights on the family room couch and guess where we found spider #4? Yep, in the corner right by the couch. I told her she’s like one of those people who move from their haunted house only to discover that the next place they move to has ghosts too, because she’s some sort of spider medium that they’re attracted to! I’m glad my post gave you a laugh! 🙂

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