Monday, September 11, 2006

A Sad Way to Start the Day

This morning I woke up (at six-thirty, which is much too early if you ask me), got out of bed, pottied Pearl as usual. Then I went into the bathroom and emptied her potty into the toilet and pottied myself. Pearl tagged along as she generally does - like the cats, she is offended by a closed door. I stood at the sink and washed my hands and I saw her go out of the bathroom in the mirror, but I didn't see her go back in. I turned out the light and closed the door behind me and headed towards the kitchen for some of the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins I baked last night and I heard crying from down the hall. I went back and looked into the computer room, thinking she'd gone in there and gotten scared because it was dark, but then I heard banging on a door and thought she must be in the bedroom, when (duh) I remembered the bathroom and I let her out. She was okay once I turned the light on, but I hugged her and told her I was very sorry. I felt really bad, perhaps disproportionately so.

I didn't feel any better when an hour later I killed a brown recluse in that bathroom, right by the door.

I guess I haven't written about our brown recluse problem. I want to go back and time and laugh at the self who freaked out the first time she saw one in her home, because this residence is plagued with thousands of them. Well, perhaps not thousands. I stopped counting how many I'd killed after nine. I've seen them in six of the eight rooms in this house, and the heater closet. Once I was pouring rice into a pot to cook for supper and I saw one running frantically around the bottom as I poured and for a moment I thought the spiders were IN OUR JARS OF FOOD before I realized it must've been in the pot.

I'm hesitant to call pest control because I don't really want to spend a lot of money to fill our home with nasty chemicals. Similarly, I don't use bug spray like Raid. I do squirt them with a Seventh Generation orange cleaner but as it's non-toxic it doesn't kill them and I have to finish them off with a shoe. I've seen recommendations to keep them in check using sticky traps, but I don't want to do that because I'm worried that a cat (or worse, Pearl) would somehow end up with a card full of starving, pissed off venomous spiders attached to them.

But I also don't want one of our family being bitten one so I feel the desire to do SOMETHING about them. We have gotten rid of most of our cardboard boxes of junk and replaced them with plastic bins, and I'm trying to keep things from cluttering up as those are two things that brown recluses like. I console myself by remembering that 90% of homes in the area I lived are also home to brown recluses, and that they are so named because they are reclusive and don't bite unless they're feeling threatened. But those facts aren't going to make me feel any better if Pearl gets bitten by one, so I don't really know what to do.

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Anonymous Mama C-ta said...

Oh bugs, I mean hugs. I am of no help and the biggest insect-a-phobe. I did just find this, but I'm sure you've already done your research but it seemed to have some natural remedies (I only quickly scanned it)

9:02 AM  
Anonymous S said...

Yuck. I have a friend who swears by osage orange to get rid of spiders, although according to Wikipedia (, that has been debunked. I sure am glad there are not many poisonous things where we live. Now, if I can just remember to keep an eye out for poison ivy in the yard ...

7:06 PM  

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