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Spider-Mom Strikes Again

She fears all things creepy-crawly, and this local mom has passed the trait on to her kids. So, you image the challenges of Seattle's spider season. Read about her recent interaction with an arachnid.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, a load of laundry was spinning and I had just settled into the couch for a “Friends” rerun.

All of the sudden there arose such a clatter; a loud scream emerged from my daughter’s bedroom. Hearing jettisoned objects and uncontrollable sobs, I flew up the stairs to see what was the matter.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a 12- year-old girl, red-faced and in tears.

“Mom!” Pea yelled. “There was a SPIDER in my bed!”

I wrapped my arms around her frail, shaking body, and tried to calm her.

We re-entered the war zone together, and sure enough, a black spider – roughly the diameter of a #2 pencil – lay dead on Pea’s fitted sheet. I was amazed that she had actually made the kill, and told her I was proud of her bravery. She was not in the mood.

I once knew a girl who was a lot like Pea. Several decades ago, this child screamed at the sight of beetles, ran from mosquitoes and bees and stopped eating raisins after finding ants in a Sun-Maid box. She wore the same pair of socks to bed for two straight weeks at Girl Scout camp, because she was sure that bugs were crawling inside her sleeping bag. She lay awake for nights in college after finding a roach beneath her bedcovers (the nuclear-resistant creatures smartly congregated in the dorm-floor kitchen, which was right across the hall).

I guess we know who passed Pea the “I’m afraid of creepy-crawly creatures” gene.

Fortunately, my husband has no palpable fear of arachnids. He does have an aversion to birds and rodents (thanks to Hitchcock) and an unfortunate slingshot incident), though, so we made a deal many years back: I’ll clean up the cats’ fresh kill – mice, moles, sparrows and even rats – if he can handle all of the fur-free pests. 

However, when Miss Charlotte tried to spin a web in Pea’s bed, my husband was out of town. So, I had to put on my Spider-Mom cape and brave face, and deal with the situation at hand. To learn how the night unfolded, click here. And if you would like to receive our posts directly, email PermissionSlips1@gmail.com.

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Marilyn Hendrickson September 28, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Funny blog Linda! I can't say that I'm overly fond of spiders either, but...we really do need them! Without spiders, we would be in big trouble. An acquaintance of mine, Rod Crawford, is somewhat of a spider expert. He wrote an excellent article a few years back...hopefully it will make you feel a little better. Here it is: http://seattletimes.com/html/outdoors/2002074336_nwwspiders28.html
Shaun Ivory September 30, 2012 at 06:07 AM
That is a picture of a female European garden spider, and is, of course, completely harmless. I adore this time of year, because the females are everywhere. Soon they will create their egg-sacs and die, just like in the timeless story of Charlotte's Web. If you pay close attention next spring, you may find the newly hatched babies in dense clumps of adorable spiderlings that scatter if you breathe gently on them. Spiders. Are. Our. Friends! :)
Greg Johnston (Editor) September 30, 2012 at 04:00 PM
What harmful spiders do we have here Shaun? People say they see black widows now and then, but I always thought we have only brown recluses and/or hobo spiders. My son loves all bugs and creepy crawling things and as a kid used to catch flies to put into spider webs. After a camping trip once with friends to Eastern Washington he brought home a scorpion.
Kendall Watson September 30, 2012 at 07:06 PM
We find several spiders a week in our house this time of year and always try to gently usher or trap them and put them back outside. We do like our spiders, but not in our bedroom!
Shaun Ivory October 02, 2012 at 02:49 AM
We don't really have any harmful spiders here. There are no black widows, and no brown recluse spiders. As for Hobo spiders, even they are probably not harmful, if you ask our regional expert (Rod Crawford, whom Marilyn already mentioned): http://www.burkemuseum.org/spidermyth/myths/hobo.html Rod Crawford's website on spider myths has become the single best resource on the Internet for debunking common spider myths, and we are lucky to have him in the Northwest! http://www.burkemuseum.org/spidermyth/
Greg Johnston (Editor) October 02, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Great links Marilyn and Shaun! I've chatted with Rod Crawford myself, but never met him in person.
Jeanne Gustafson October 02, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I just went to take a drink from my morning mug and a spider literally tickled my nose--from inside the cup! I tell you, that woke me up faster than the coffee could ever, ever hope to do!
Marilyn Hendrickson October 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Rod Crawford is a great guy! He also used fo foster kittens for MEOW Cat Rescue!! =^..^=
Linda Williams Rorem October 03, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Marilyn, Thanks for the link. I did appreciate reading more about the value of spiders!
Linda Williams Rorem October 03, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Thanks, Shaun. Yes, I realize my fear is irrational; most spiders are harmless! I appreciate your words encouraging me to look at the beautiful cycle of spiders' lives. I will try to view them in a new light.
Linda Williams Rorem October 03, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Oh, Jeanne, I'm not sure I could ever drink from that cup again....
Linda Williams Rorem October 03, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Thanks for alerting me and other readers to the work of Rob Crawford. He sounds amazing.

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