I've said it before and I'm saying it again. The South is full of bugs. Spiders, caterpillars, creepy crawlies of all kinds. It's the weather. The extra moisture and heat combine to make bugs grow and grow fast. I've pointed out in previous posts that we've had a lot of problems with bugs in my area especially since the flood. Now I need to take the time to point out what living in the south with my wife (and said bugs) is like.
You see, my wife is Native American. This is not the problem. The problem is that she abhors killing anything that may be beneficial. Like spiders. OK, so let's get it out in the open, I'm one of those guys who hates spiders. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, but to me the only good spider is a dead spider. That whole thing of "They're more scared of you than you are of them" is hogwash. If they're so scared why aren't they screaming like me? Spiders. Shudder.
My wife on the other hand, reveres them. Case in point:
Recently we found this spider (above) out front of our house. It is approximately the size of a small dog. OK, so maybe it's not that large, but as spiders go, this is a big one. At about the same time, we found three (3) more of these around the house. (THREE MORE...I thought for sure they were going to invade, and barricaded myself in the bathtub with a can of Bug Spray.) They are, in fact, Golden Orb Spiders and benign, non venomous, blah blah and blah. I will refrain from any glowing descriptions of webs or beneficial actions other than to say they are big, fast and an evil looking day-glo yellow on black. Yeeesh.
My initial response (other than running and screaming like a little girl): Smash it with a brick. Burn the carcass and put it on a stake as a warning to all the others. And then, spray the entire house to make sure there are no others.
My wife's response: Feed it. That's right, hunt down and catch things to put on the web. Big fat juicy grasshoppers, water bugs, small rodents and stray dogs. (Yes, that's right, I'm joking again, I wouldn't catch rodents...) Toss them in the big web and watch the spider wrap them up to eat later.
Now, I have to admit, with all this attention over the past few weeks, I've grown rather fond of my wife's little 'pets' but then something strange happened. One day, they all just...disappeared. No, they are not hibernating under the leaves nearby, they are not laying around on the ground. They just stopped being there. No evidence, no forwarding address. Now, the screaming little girl in me figures they have gone into the house and are planning to abduct me in the middle of the night. (Cue the bad dreams, cold sweats and aforementioned barricading in the bathtub.)
I cannot find anything on the Internet which says actually where they have gone, it says they just are gone. Dead. My research also says that they die with the first frost and and this is the bad part: leave behind a sac of eggs.
Oh. Joy. Eggs.
If you need me, I'll be hiding in the bathtub with the bug spray.