Friday, October 05, 2007

Black Widow

Ew! Look what we found in our backyard last night. Yep, a BLACK WIDOW SPIDER! (Notice the distinct red hour glass on her belly.)

Ick! I get a chill just thinking about it. Especially considering where we found it. Hiding in the corner of the kid's playground.

Caroline, Bryce and I were engaged in a game of "Tickle the Daddy Long Legs" with a long blade of grass after dinner while Jason cleaned up dinner. We have OODLES of these Harvestmen bugs around right now and they are all over the playground. Fortunately, these arachnids are completely harmless and since we taught Caroline about them, she knows it's okay - under a parent's supervision - for her to "tickle" them with a stick or something.

So we were fully into our game when they found two of them under the clubhouse part. I was close behind and Caroline commented on the other black spider that came out. I'm sure that these two harmless bugs are what brought the Black Widow out of her hiding place and as Caroline describes it, the two daddy long legs immeadiately started hugging because they were scared. I kind of thought they were up to something else, but hey, I'm an adult and I can think those things.

But I noticed that black spider quickly and saw the red hourglass marking IMMEADIATELY. I shooed them away and told Caroline to go and get Daddy and to tell him "Black Widow." Jason came out, took one look and agreed with my diagnosis. He went and got a flashlight (it was sunset), bug spray, and long pliers. He shot the heck out of that thing with the bug spray - super powerful stuff - and that spider kept on wriggling around. I felt kind of bad killing it but I'm not leaving something like that out there. Particularly since we read that most Black Widows find a place to live and stay there. Not my idea of a safe place for my kids to play considering they are on the ground a lot. By the time Jason got it out of its little nest, it was almost dead and we put it in a plastic container to show his dad and brother since they have a lotof interest in that kind of thing.

We actually weren't that suprised to have found one since we found a Black Widow on the house not long after we moved in. But still, not something you want to find on your child's playground.


Katie said...

Ewww. I'm paralyzed just looking at that photo. I HATE, HATE, HATE spiders. They scare the crap out of me. Thank goodness you found it before the kids did. That could have been serious.

Mr. Lou is recovering from a mysterious infection in his ankle. He had swelling, loss of appetite, pain, and fevers. The doctors had no idea what was wrong with him. He had to have surgery. He is better now, and the doctors now think it was Staph infection OR a spider bite!

bracken said...

We have found tons of black widow spiders and brown reclous (spelling?) spiders around our house and actually Sydney got bitten by a spider a couple of weeks ago. We don't believe it was a black widow but we kept a VERY close eye on it. Thankfully she has recovered with no major problems. I hate spiders!!!