Angry Spiders

The view from the front stairs has not been so great lately, largely on account of our pretty much never cleaning off the old spider webs.

I'm not sure why, but it seems like some people really freak out about these spiders. I mean, not spiders in general, which I kind of understand, but the specific spiders we have here on the island. They're what's sometimes called Mock Black Widows, which is to say they are a spider which looks like but is not a Black Widow, and they are pretty much completely harmless, if a little dirty (they leave messy webs around like teenagers).

To be clear: this is a totally non-poisonous spider that is afraid of humans and stays outdoors, and some people are talking about mass spraying to try to kill them because... well, I guess because spiders freak them out. This is me rolling my eyes at how afraid of nature some people are.

Anyway, I leave them be outside, because of my whole "let anything that wants to live outside as long as it doesn't make the dogs insane" policy. Which is how we now have TWO cats living in the front yard. Anyway.

Lots of spider webs

I'm not completely insensitive to the spider webs, but the ceiling of the porch is at least 12 feet high and in places 13, so it's not like I could just reach up and knock things down easily. I've been looking for a particular cleaning tool for several weeks now, and this weekend I spied a single one at our local grocery store.

The new implement

The benefit of this type of "duster" -- they are totally useless for actual indoor dusting, in my opinion -- is that it can be hosed off easily. It also has a nice long extending arm so even somebody as small as I am can reach the ceiling.


The process was not quite as painless and easy as it seemed at first. First of all, the webs are very very sticky. And dirty. And they wanted to stick to everything, except maybe my duster.

A spider the size of a nickel

And, you know, as I knocked down old webs I was also knocking angry spiders onto my head. This was not entirely what I was hoping for.

Mostly cleaned up

On the other hand, a short session of angry spider dodging later, I had made some decent inroads. I'm leaving the egg sacs there because I'm fine with having more spiders, and also they are very hard to remove from a distance and I don't really feel like climbing up and scraping them down.

Doesn't look as bad

The view from inside is considerably improved, I must say. Though my hunt for an appropriate and attractive light fixture continues. Part of the challenge is the narrowness of the section where the light is mounted.

posted by ayse on 08/26/13