My widow friend...

okwriterMay 10, 2005

After the bug post yesterday, I happened to find a black widow spider on the bottom side of a rocker we have on our back porch. I always look at the top side of the seat before I sit down but never underneath. Guess I will from now on... I updated the creepy bug post on the Discussions side, too. DH thinks I'm a lunatic. (No comments from you folks, please.)

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Margerie

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the rocking chair.................

and the song continues folks............

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 10:14AM
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Mizzou_KX

... down sat okwriter and then there was despair....

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 10:19AM
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okwriter

Out came the fangs and she bit her on the butt... (or cheek, whichever the next person chooses to rhyme with)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 10:40AM
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Mizzou_KX

... now it's time to sue the pest control guy who obviously didn't do his job, as well as the manufacturer, distributor, and 18 year old sales girl at Pier 1 who sold the rocking chair, and the growers of the wicker used in the rocking chair. Obviously there are many places for said spider to hide in the chair and this should have been duly noted during the manufacturing process.

Congress will enable legislation to require Spider warning labels on all wicker furniture manufactured or imported in to the US and will also require 6 month quarantines at the ports of entry to check for and destroy any spiders. Later this will be expanded to include snakes and tigers. These can't hide in wicker furniture but, hey, when you're making new laws you can't be too careful.

The price of wicker will escalate do to the regulations and we will see more posts on the gardening and home building forum about growing your own wicker and DIY'ing furniture to save money. This will cut into the profits of the wicker growers in third world countries; the US importers will start raising holy H and regulations will then be passed to restrict wicker growing and furniture making to trained professionals only. GM and Ford as well as Microsoft and British Petroleum will jump on the bandwagon because they PROBABLY have a stake in this somewhere.

All this grief because okwriter didn't go to WAL-Mart and buy a darn can of spider spray.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:11AM
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Brittta

(mizzou cheated and didn't rhyme, so here's the rest of the story....)

"Out came the fangs and she bit her on the butt... (or cheek, whichever the next person chooses to rhyme with)"

Then okwriter hopped online to prove she is a nutt! ;)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:28AM
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Brittta

Just went back and re-read what you typed mizzou (couldn't lose the rhyme I had going on in my head though...). Too funny :)

I still say I'm SO glad I live in Michigan. We don't have much to worry about past brown recluse spiders.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:30AM
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okwriter

Mizzou, are you agreeing with DH that I'm a lunatic? I have spider spray but ~ well, I've just been too lazy -- errr, I mean too BUSY to use it!

As for the litigation, I will get my team of lawyers on that immediately. I have a team of them, ya know, not just one or two. The pest control guy had a clause in his contract that said he wasn't responsible if the poison didn't kill the bugs but I know from my own expansive legal background and from the advice of my "team" of lawyers that that clause will never stand up because ~ well, just because. I can handle buying more spider spray but I'm really ticked off because the pest control guy hung up in my face. (UGH! Did I say that????)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:32AM
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okwriter

Brittta,

Oh??????????

Here is a link that might be useful: Black widows in Michigan

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:34AM
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okwriter

...and another thing, Brittta... just google "Michigan black widow" and you'll be busy reading for awhile...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:36AM
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Margerie

DH is calling you a lunatic? Are we forgetting about his squirrel friend? Squirrel probably sent the spider on a mission.........

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:57AM
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Brittta

Ok... when they say "abdomen", do they mean the UNDERSIDE of the spider? Or the top side that I can see??? Because I have killed small black spiders IN MY HOUSE by the front door that have only a red "dot" (which describes the male perfectly), but never thought it was a black widow.

By the way, thanks okwriter. Remember... I am ALWAYS happier in the "ignorance is bliss" state. You needn't find articles like this for me again, ok?? And if you do, I'm not going to let curiosity get to me and click anyway.

Now... if this would have been more of an FYI instead of an "AH-HA! I'll show YOU!", I wouldn't be so crabby! :))

Kidding ;) Really... thanks for the heads up, but darn it!!!

Ignorance, people... ignorance. Give it a try :)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 12:34PM
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okwriter

It is not uncommon for black widows to have a pattern on their back side - the side you would see when you look at one on the floor or wall OR they may have no coloration at all on their back. But the famous red hourglass appears on the female black widow's belly so you'd have to turn it over to see that part. (In the one I took a pic of, I held the jar up and took a pic from the underneath side so you could see her tummy and the hourglass.) The one I caught yesterday had a red pattern on her back (top) side but it is not the same on every one. And the key to identifying a black widow is that they are a glossy spider. Once you see one, you will always recognize them again after that. There is a very common black spider with a red spot but it is hairy (fuzzy) and it's harmless as far as I know.

Only the female black widow has the hourglass on her belly but males or females can have a pattern on their back.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 12:42PM
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Brittta

I think the spiders by my front door are shiney, but I'm seriously going to pay attention now. Thanks for the heads up because I honestly didn't think they tolerated the cold we get here. The spot where we find them is where coats always end up, so you can bet I'll be shaking them out from now on!

Now don't go searching for info on snakes or bobcats or anything, ok? I'm cautious enough as it is without knowing the evils that lurk in the nature around me. :) The yellowjackets this season and last are enough to make me insane. I'm all for honeybees, but yellowjackets serve absolutely NO useful purpose besides annoying the heck out of me.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 12:57PM
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Mizzou_KX

How do black widow spiders get their name?

Females black widow spiders are shiny black when full grown. Since the females commonly eat their mate after mating (as do many other spiders) they often are widows.

SERVES THEM RIGHT. Stupid spiders!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 1:50PM
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okwriter

That line (the female eats the male) is actually more of a myth than anything, Mizzou. It happens but only on occasion. And I know you were tempted to say "stupid females" but thought better of it...
:-)
I'm not a lunatic. Just ask Margerie. I like what she implied about DH!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 2:11PM
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Mizzou_KX

well, well, since when did YOU become our resident arachnologist. Geez, she sees a spider, posts some stupid picture on the internet and NOW she's an expert.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 3:01PM
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okwriter

Alright then. YOU go out and capture one! YOU take pictures of it! Then YOU can be the resident expert.

okwriter (shaking her head and sighing 'coz we are so bored on the boards today...)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 4:30PM
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allison0704

Ya'll are gonna give me nightmares! (say "nightmares" with a loooongggg "i" sound!)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 10:21PM
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Brittta

okwriter... I pulled up this particular thread for DH to read. He didn't believe me, but when it came from his beloved Michigan DNR website, well... it just has to be true. He doesn't want to admit this, but it freaks him out. He hates spiders and bees. Anything else is just fine for him and he's all manly man about everything else. But those spiders and bees...forget it.

Then we were rereading some of the posts I wrote on here and made it sound like A)DH is plotting to divorce me; B)He doesn't want our DD and C)He's checking out blondies

Boy, I sure hope my dry humor and sarcasm are coming across ok! We are the most happily married couple we know :)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:11PM
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Happykate

Regardless of where you live . . . I bought a batch of red seedless grapes at a local supermarket chain, brought them home, dumped then in a collander & gave them a good rinse & dumped them in a bowl.
83-year old father & law & 6-year old son had their hands in that bowl all day; when it was almost all stems & bits little Jack was happy to see a spider. I took the bowl out to free the spider into Mother Nature's welcoming arms, and noticed the red hour glass on it's abdomen as it slid out.
Well, crap. Put the stinkin' thing in a jar and took it to this insect zoo at a local nature center (they were very happy to have it) & stopped by the supermarket just to alert them to the fact that there were venemous spiders lurking in their produce. Not to sue, or blackmail. Just let them know.
The produce manager asked me if I wanted the grapes replaced. No. No thank you.
The worst thing was that it put me off grapes for quite a while ~ but I surely give them a looooong rinse now.
And, who knows where it came from? The grapes came from Chili . . .

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 11:28PM
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housewitch

For all my fellow arachniphobes, I'll try to get my neighbor to lend me a copy of her photograph showing one of our local swamp spiders eating a green frog. Yes, they do get that big here. GAAAAHHHCK!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 7:38AM
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Mizzou_KX

Swamp spider eating a frog. Yeah, I'd like to see that picture.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 7:52AM
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housewitch

I found this online. We have several different types of fishing spiders here. They can get pretty big, and are known to catch and eat small fish, small frogs, tadpoles, other spiders, dragon flies, and other insects.

This link is to a six-spotted fishing spider, but we also have lots of other flavors around the house. Note the prey and predators list at the bottom of the page.

Oh, and lest you feel safe from these things, varieties of fishing spiders are found throughout the country. They aren't generally harmful, but can get plenty big and scary.

Here is a link that might be useful: mid-way down page

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 9:14AM
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Mizzou_KX

ok, I've had MY spider fix for the day. But it is better than talkin' about CATS. Are there any spiders that eat cats??????

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 9:37AM
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okwriter

housewitch,
I've had house envy for your place for a long time. It's over now.
:-)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 9:44AM
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housewitch

Oh, Rita, the good news is that they don't seem to like to come in our house. They MUCH prefer to lurk on the trees, the outside fireplace, and on/in the boathouse and dock. Nothing like reaching for a fishing rod early in the morning only to have what you thought was the reel scamper away from your hand.

Small spiders don't really bother me as long as they aren't on me. But I've seen grown manly-men scream like little girls over fishing spiders.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 10:23AM
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energy_rater_la

All this drama...what a waste of energy!

Being the efficient person I am I wonder
why anyone stops to identify spiders,
I just run!
My multi tasking does kick in.
As I run I scream for someone to kill the
spider.
I do return once spider is dead.
Have to inspect and assure myself it is
dead, and can not be resurrected.
This is assured by flushing after
wrapping in toilet paper.
The final step was added because I flushed
a spider and it came back up into the toilet.

To change the subject....
a friend of mine was doing some work on
his septic system. Once he hooked everything
back up & his wife went to use the toilet
there was a snake in the bowl.
I hope she looked before she sat!
Can we talk about snakes now???

I am not really such a chicken about spiders.
(Yes I am.) But I have lived alone and HAD to
deal with them. I generally do what I need to
to get rid of them and then get the shakes.
Something about the way they move just freaks
me out. Too many leg joints & legs!
They can move much faster than they should
be able to with all those legs!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 11:26AM
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Margerie

I don't like their eyes. A link for the brave only.........

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 11:41AM
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Mizzou_KX

kinda looks like okwriter did on the way home from the Willie Nelson concert.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 11:45AM
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okwriter

I was seeing multiples of everything that night...
:-)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 11:47AM
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tnlamar

you should call a structural engineer to inspect that chair and properly flash the whole area.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 10:51AM
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okwriter

No need. I called my attorney.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 5:33PM
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tnlamar

You know they wont harm their own kind. You should get a mongoose.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 11:29AM
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okwriter

We got a dozen guineas last week. Will they eat black widows?

We have a roadrunner, too, but haven't seen him in a month or so.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 2:10PM
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tnlamar

I think the guineas eat mosquitos, but I could be wrong.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 2:52PM
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okwriter

I know they eat ticks and snakes and june bugs. We're still learning what else they eat. Let's hope we find out before the creatures that eat guineas get full... danged old bobcats anyway! Had to grab the .22 this morning but didn't get outside in time. Luckily, the birds scattered.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 10:48AM
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Wetlands

I know I am coming in late on this thread but I just wanted to thank you on behalf of all arachnaphobic Michiganders. Got the chills just reading this thread...and hey! I AM a manly man, just share some phobias with Brittta's husband.;)

Wetlands

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 9:28PM
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Kristy_SC

I guess y'all wouldn't want to visit my house. I like spiders. I even leave webs up along the ceiling line as long as the spider is living in it. They're a great natural pest control. We get very excited when our golden silk spiders (aka black and yellow argiope, some people mistakenly call them banana spiders) show up in our yard in the spring, they weave huge webs that can even catch small birds (they don't eat the birds, the webs are just big and strong). The females get very large and one can have several males hanging around the edge of the web. The male waits until the female is eating a bug then rushes in to do his thing hoping she'll be too busy to eat him. Sometimes it works...

Sorry for the long post, I just had to stick up for the poor spiders :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 11:09AM
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demifloyd

With the exception, of course, of black widows and the brown recluse (the latter which I've not yet had the pleasure of meeting) I, too, like spiders. Last night I found one in the bathroom and scooped him up, turned off the alarm, and let him loose. My family thinks I'm nuts.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 5:04PM
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frances00

I'm also late to the topic, but wanted to share with y'all. Two wks ago shortly after our DD's study group left, a big outside roach crawled across the rug. Our resident pest control tech. (DH), naturally exterminated the bug.
Shortly after he calls me over for a consultation on something crawling across the floor remarking that it looks like a crab. Naturally I respond with "IMPOSSIBLE". To our astonishment we do confirm that it was indeed what looked like a small crab (maybe fiddler). While taking care of the crustacean, DD gives off a panic cry for her father to come exterminate another roach.
Now we do get the outside roaches coming in sometimes but this seemed kind of weird. I was so glad that this did not happen while the study group was there.
I couldn't help myself but later made some sort of remark about the size of that crab and any guest he might have had over...Bawhahahahahahahahah.
Well guess ya had to be there.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 12:09PM
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Kristy_SC

Demifloyd - I don't think you're nuts, just compassionate. I'm with you on the venomous spiders, they're not welcome inside.

Frances - we get a rise in 'guest' roaches (sorry - palmetto bugs) when it rains a lot. The crab is pretty good though! We get fiddlers and 'friendly' crabs (aka squareback crabs) in our driveway and road, but never in the house! Maybe they like your decor :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 1:28PM
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frances00

Strange thing is, no beaches around us only river. I'm going to have to ask around if these crabs are normally on the mud banks of the river. Don't recall ever seeing them there. Our neighbor recently aquired a boat, so maybe that's how it wandered over...but how did it ever get in the house is beyond us.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 3:08PM
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