…and washed the spider out

When I titled my last post, I had no idea what I was in for.

After I got home from my interview I was full of nervous, hopeful energy. It went pretty well for the most part -I enjoyed the conversation with my interviewer, he seemed very positive and I even got a penny tour of the building and some of the working tools I’d need to learn for the job. He said that he’d want to know by today if I could accept the position, and that he’d call after he’d finished his last few interviews. I’m up against at least four other people.

While yesterday’s jitters were getting to me, I started a compulsive cleaning streak in a room of our basement that doesn’t get much attention. The night before my interview I had gone to the laundry room in search of a shirt and found crickets, beetles and spiders hopping around on the floor. Apparently the silent lightning show I watched on my way home was the tail end of a pretty gnarly micro burst, and a number of bugs took shelter there. The memory of it was disturbing (although the Chinese believe crickets bring good fortune, so maybe it’s a sign?) and so I went down there to sweep and dust away my nervousness.

I found two of these. 

Brown widow?

Quickly, and with a bravery that surprised even me, I managed to catch them up in two separate jars with cork lids and study them. The first thing that struck me as I swept them from a corner and under a table was the body shape. That HUGE abdomen had me pretty freaked out -because it’s reminiscent of the black widow spider. Looking online I found these two possible identifications:

Brown WIdow Spider
Common House Spider

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve found pictures of this “brown widow” variety that vary quite a bit. Some are more brown with patterns of orange or black, some are more black and mottled with white or tan. So far the sites I’ve looked at have identified it as “not medically significant”. It isn’t deadly, but it’s bite can be uncomfortable. So now I’m a bit freaked out… but they are contained, at least for the moment.

Believe it or not, this site says that spiders are an omen of prosperity (or at least new clothes). “If you wish to live and thrive, let the spider run alive” is a saying from the middle ages, apparently. If they are common house spiders, I wouldn’t mine setting them loose in the backyard to feast on the bees and other pests that these brave little warriors like to eat. The brown widow, on the other hand, is just too intimidating to be living near a place where my children sleep.

Care to weigh in? I know a lot of people that kill insects on sight -and I’d rather make an informed decision before exacting the death penalty on any species. What would you do?

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