Spiders Are Ruining My Yard

Spiders are out to get me! I fucking hate spiders! I had to use the harsh “F” word for emphasis because that is how severely I detest them. And lately I feel like spiders are trying to ruin my life, well parts of it at least. The last two summers have been especially bad spider years in our yard here in Idaho. I don’t see many in the house (just their annoying webs) but anytime I weed the flowerbeds (which I have many of and wish to enjoy) or work in the yard, spiders and their webs are everywhere. I kill as many as I can when I see them. But usually get grossed out by their presence and give up returning to the safety of the house. I wanted to have a professional come spray for spiders this year but my husband wouldn’t let me. He is a cheap skate who also happens to not be bothered by spiders and says let them live. He rarely gets the whole phrase out of his mouth before I am stomping the shit out of it with my shoe. I don’t let any of them live if I can help it. And now they are out for revenge. Let me tell about my freak-out experience yesterday.

This is the first year we’ve had edible grapes on our vine as it took three years to establish itself apparently. We now have eight delectable bundles of perfectly ripe red/purple seedless grapes waiting for us. We had tasted them for the first time the night before and they were delicious. Really small grapes, but very tasty. So I went out to our yard to cut some fresh grapes to have waiting for the boys when they got home from school. I cut a bundle, carried it in my hand, rinsed them at the sink briefly then set it them on a paper plate on the kitchen counter. After all these are organic, grown in my own yard with no chemicals, so just have to rinse off any dust. I grabbed a couple and popped them in my mouth while I rinsed out the sink. Then turned around to the plate to grab another grape but there was a white spider escaping the wet bundle right by where I was grabbing. Holy Hell! I rushed the plate back over to the sink and rinsed him down the drain. Yuck! I just ate some of those grapes. So I rinse the grapes again. Set them down on counter again. Look back to find two more of the white spiders, tinier ones, scurrying from the grapes. OMG! I rush plate back to sink rinse them down the drain, leave the grapes in the sink and take the high-power sprayer to them. By the time I was done I had found a total of 4 spiders (2 adults, 2 kids I think) and a very small white web/nest in between the grapes. There had been a family of these little fuckers living in those grapes. The nest had been hard to see. Now I had a full-blown case of the heebie-jeebies. Yes, that is a real thing. What is the heebie-jeebies? It is that feeling you get when you see a spider (or insert bug or creeper of choice here) and it freaks you out and the rest of the day every time a hair touches the back of your arm or neck you think a spider is crawling on you and you’re so paranoid about it you have to go shower to get rid of that itchy feeling. Now I don’t want to eat those grapes. Dammit, those were yummy grapes too. Damn you spiders ruining my appetite for the goodness of homegrown fruit. Now I’m pissed and feeling a little anxiety attack coming as I cannot think of anything else but the spiders on my food. 20130828_125257

I got out our book “The National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America” to see what kind of spider we are dealing with. Maybe there are certain spiders that hang out on fruit and they are harmless. Maybe they are not so harmless. I want to know but do not see any pictures in the book that look like my little white spiders. I live in North America dammit, why are they not in this book? Amazingly enough I made it through the night without nightmares of spiders. And today did a brave thing. I went outside with gardening gloves & scissors, a jar, and a giant bowl. I was going to cut another bunch of grapes, purposefully find more white spiders and trap them in my jar so I could find out what they are. I repeated yesterday’s process of rinsing and waiting for spiders to come out. Today I only got one baby one, but did see two other little web/nests within the grapes. They are so hard to see someone could totally eat the whole bundle of grapes before they noticed it. And these Mo-Fo’s are so fast that I cannot get a picture of it so I am waiting for the sucker to suffocate so I can then study it. It is all starting to feel a little scientific to me, but really I am just fuelled by hatred and fear.

I can barely go outside into my yard anymore I am so bothered by all the spiders. I have beautiful flowers, now overrun with weeds. I have a patio I could enjoy but I’d have to hose & sweep it everyday to keep the spider webs away. I don’t even clean the inside of my house that much. I just want my space back without spiders. I don’t care how people say they are good because they kill other bugs. Well they do a shit-ass job because my flowers still have aphids or some kind of little bug on them. Flies are still getting in the house if the door is left open. I really don’t think spiders make a dent in the bug population – maybe in the forest but not in my yard. And how come all these birds in my yard don’t eat the spiders?

So now I will have to research ways of killing spiders on vegetation without killing the plant and poisoning the food. I also need to find out what type of spider this is. It is not the only kind I see around here we also have the black hairy jumpy ones inside, and the brown garden spiders outside. But these little white assholes made it to the top of my most wanted list. And maybe, just maybe I’ll burn all my bushes to the ground this fall and start fresh next year. Now excuse me while I go shower the heebie-jeebies off again…I think there’s a spider in my hair.

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