Thursday, July 23, 2009

killing arachnids

John doesn't kill the wolf spiders in his desk.
(Yeah, that's not what the post is about, but he does mention this fact. And it's a good post, you should read it.)

Here I must try to expunge my guilt.
I kill the spiders.
The big hairy ones.
If they stay in the garage, they are okay, I let them live.
But if they cross the threshold (well, if i see them that is)...

Just the other day it happened and the pacifist in me, the person who values life tried to reason with the arachnophobe in me: "Just catch it, let it go back in the garage"
The arachnophobe in me tried... she really did, but catching it requires getting so much closer to the big ol' quick-crawling eight-legged thing than just killing it.

After a few heart-pounding attempts to capture it in a jar, I gave in and killed it. Not in a nice way either. It took almost a minute for it to slowly writhe it's way to death after I sprayed it with Raid.

I feel horrible every time I do that.
Killing a spider. Especially when I use Raid (poisoning the very home I live in.)
Every single time I do this, I get this horrible thought in the back of my head, that his spider is actually one of my friends who has somehow been TURNED INTO a spider and has crawled their way to my home in the hopes that I can help them turn back to their human form.

(As I watched this latest one die I am thinking "oh, please don't be Mel, Please please please")

The thing is, spiders ARE our friends? Even if it wasn't Mel (she's still alive, it wasn't her), this eight legged eight-eyed thing is my friend, right? (/Cringing!) Right?
And harsh chemicals are Not our friends.
And I respect life...

I'm working on it.

Anyhow, for your viewing pleasure, here's the Camel Spider (ironically, not even a spider but a solpugid, but close enough) who thought my casa could be it's casa. (And who died in a spray of nerve destroying gas.)
Camel Spider


JohnR said...

I'm actually quite selective in which spiders I let live. Larger than a dime or shiny and black and they die, no questions asked. No guilt, too. It's kind of a "them or us" situation. :P

If it's any comfort, I think that many phobias: heights, spiders, rodents prevail in humanity because people who avoid these things live a lot longer than the ones who court them.

G said...

oh, but it's when the spiders approach silver dollar status that I really begin to wonder if they are a friend transfigured into an arachnid!

(weird. I know.)

and thanks, it's nice to find some comfort in my phobias. :)

Chandelle said...

I have a major phobia of roaches...nothing can convince me to live with them. They scare the bejeezus out of me for absolutely no rational reason. All careful contemplation of ethics and morality goes right out the window when one of those creatures goes skittering across the bathroom floor.

And spiders? We do try to peacefully coexist with spiders. We get a lot of irritating lake insects around here, which provide delicious meals for our spider friends. So by and large, if I see a spider, even a big one, I'll leave it alone - IF she stays in her own corner, in her own web. If she starts wandering around, I get nervous, mainly because we have a LOT of spiders in this area and not all of them are friendly. I definitely will not coexist with a dangerous spider. Most of the time I will catch a wandering spider with a glass and take it outside. I admit that this may be dooming the spider anyway, but at least I'm trying to give it a chance. I also admit to leaving REALLY scary spiders for Jeremy to catch with a glass and deposit outside, even though my feminist self cringes when I do this.

I do struggle with the "vermin" issue because I do believe it's wrong to wontonly destroy life. When we had mice in our house last winter, we started out trapping them. We'd take them on our bikes to a field about a mile from our house and release them. I actually like mice a lot, and rats, but I realize that they can cause a lot of damage in a house, plus they reproduce at an incredible rate, so I don't think it's possible to live with them. The traps were pretty effective; we saw fewer and fewer of the mice over the weeks. Nevertheless, our landlady came in and set out electric traps. A few times we heard the traps zap a mouse while we were eating dinner or something, and I'm such an ol' anthropomorphizing softie it would make me cry.

This was rather ridiculously long, wasn't it?

adamf said...

Ewww. I used to smash the gokiburi (cockroaches, I think) in Japan with the giant Japanese language book they gave us... did you have that book John? It was usually an effective weapon, although sometimes they'd survive after a few beatings. Definitely a them or us, although in the end I'm afraid it WILL be them. ;)

G said...

gah! speaking of cucarachas, we just smashed two within the last hour! big ones. Crunchy ones!


R. John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brooke said...

Oops, I mistakenly posted a comment signed in as my hubby (above). Here it is from me.

I can tolerate certain spiders in my home (if they are out of the way and rarely visible and keep to themselves. But if it's bold enough to run across the floor, it's welcome has worn out. I usually don't feel guilty about smashing them with a tissue and flushing them down the toilet.

But once, when I still lived at home with my parents one summer, I trapped one beneath a drinking glass in my basement (probably a wolf spider--it was BIG) and forgot about it (probably because I was too scared to do anything with it). I found it a few days later, sluggishly circling inside of the glass and felt guilty about nearly starving it to death. So I let it outside. Which made me feel even more guilty when I thought about it trying to spin a web and catch some food in its lethargic state. Poor thing. But I really don't like them. My worst nightmares always have spiders in them. {shiver}

G said...

the worst part of the Lord of the Rings series was shelob.

The worst part of the Indiana Jones series was in the Raiders of the Lost arch at the beginning, where Indy and his compadre get covered in tarantulas.


(on the other hand, I LOVE snakes. we had a big boa constrictor when I was in HS. loved to get all wrapped up in him! so I got that one up on Indy)

Brooke- ack! slow death by starvation, you're heartless!

(BTW, I forgot to add scale to that pic on the post, seriously, guys, when [s]he was alive, legs active, [s]he was larger than a silver dollar. Honest)

angryyoungwoman said...

I am a spider fan. I've had two pet tarantulas, but I will not let a hobo spider or brown recluse live in the same house with me. Those things get smashed--and fast. Other spiders may come and go as they please.

I've never had rodents (besides my pet rat), but I'm not sure what I'd do if they became a problem.

mfranti said...

i couldn't stand the sound the mice made when they were caught in the traps and i just didn't have the heart to dispose of them.

so i bought a trusted mouser and it has been great. no rodents in our home but we find lots of them gutted on the porch.

as for spiders and other creepy crawlys... i will make niel kill them if it's late at night but during the day, i will do my best to catch them and throw them out back. the girls love em. ( i even go on snail hunts now because i know the ladies will go nuts over all that protein)

so. i have a problem with death if i'm doing the killing but i have no problem with my death if it's my animals doing the killing. chandelle would be ashamed of me.

Chandelle said...

I'm not ashamed of you. It's natural and healthy for chickens to eat bugs and snails and for cats to chase mice. :)

galendara (G) said...

mel, our cats would do the same thing- they'd gut AND skin them for us too. so considerate :)

Erstwild said...

Silver dollar size spiders? Go to the South! I served a Mission in Georgia, and they have Daddy long legs of 6 inch diameter often. I had a companion who would cringe some around the real large ones. I didn't blame him, for I cringed around the many wasps they had there. Roaches & mosquitoes were also very common there.

Back here in San Jose, they have black widows. We had a mouse invasion just in time to "celebrate" the birth of my youngest, a mouse popped out from behind the stove on the day my wife & new son got home. We used a "tin cat" to catch them alive, & just threw them into the dumpster.

Our current cats are MUCH better hunters.