Friday, July 9, 2010

The Sinister Recluse!

When I grow up, what I really, really want, is a big house chock-full of brown recluse spiders, with bites that never ever heal, decaying through all the layers of your skin until you’re left with a gaping open wound. Well, my friends, I am living the dream.

I’m not from around here. I’m from Chicago, where there are a lot of spiders, but not of the giant, lurking, lightning-fast, blanket-loving variety. Though I had heard of the horrors of the brown recluse, I had never seen one, and had no idea I was moving to one of their home states two years ago.

Imagine my joy as I started unpacking in the 100+ year old home that I would soon share with my husband. This home had been renovated but not lived in for a while. It wasn’t very long before I starting seeing these big, fast spiders. I had an instinctual fear of them. I remember one day I looked under my bed. There were two of them, looking back at me.

I would call my fiancĂ©. “Sweetie, there are a lot of spiders in this house.”
“Well, it’s an old house, it’s bound to have them.”
“But these spiders don’t have webs. They are just walking around on the floor.”
“Do you want me to take care of them?” It amused him that I was so scared of them: at our wedding, one of his vows was to kill all the spiders we encountered.

We got married and were living in bliss, and whenever I saw one of those spiders, my husband would kill it. We probably saw one a day, sometimes more. I was still afraid, and I started to suspect that they were something on the level of a black widow spider.
So one day, I sprayed Spider-Not on a large one on the stairs. After it twitched its last, I took a glass jar and scooped it up so I could look at it closer. I went to the internet. I almost died. I had identified the mysterious spider. This discovery led to hysterical screaming, a nice big exterminator bill, and me checking the sheets, pillows and covers before climbing into bed every night.

Since then, I have become a kind of brown recluse evangelist. Whenever I meet someone new to this part of the country, I warn them profusely. We are still hunting them in our home, but thankfully no one has been bitten.

So I hope no one who has or will stay overnight with us will be reading this! Don’t worry, we’ve taken care of most of them. Mostly.


  1. eek! my cat takes care of most of my spiders, its his rent! very afraid of them... so, wait, Pulse is at your house right? hmmmm, might have to really pray before coming! j/k

  2. Ha ha ha yeah, you'll have to be careful when you're at Pulse! Usually they are on the walls though.

  3. Oh scary! I had a classmate in grad school who got bitten by one of those on vacation and was out for like a month. Her stories were horrendous.

    Now I'm worried, since our spiders are large, fast, and don't have webs either, but the husband's out of town this weekend--I'll wait until he gets back to explore further (or maybe not).

    Enjoying your blog!

  4. Thanks Angeline! I would look up on the internet for the parts of the USA they live in. I have read that if the climate isn't right, they won't live there, like in California. So sorry to hear about your classmate. I am so fearful of getting bitten!

  5. This gives me serious heeby jeebies (sp?). I'm TERRIFIED of spiders. I simply cannot imagine encountering large, dangerous ones on a regular basis. I would lose my mind.

  6. Thanks for reading my blog, Jilliebeanie! Yeah, it's pretty rough. I just look on the bright side of things, like I really do like our house.


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