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Spider Slaughter

29 Oct

I had (hopefully it is in the past tense!) a spider infestation. And by that I don’t mean more were coming in lately because the weather is changing and I had to squish a couple more than I am comfy with. I mean I was getting bit by them, finding swarms of them hidden under things (the cats bed if you want specifics), having them drop down from the ceiling, waking to find them eye balling me from the top of the wall above my bed, coming home to massive webs in my bathroom that are covered with a freakish amount of baby spiders, sharing my showers with them, finding them crawling on my bed…basically they were everywhere and I was losing the battle!

One of me. Endless amounts of them. You do the math for who is going to win…

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I read everything I could online about what to do. Common results were that spiders hate citrus and to use lemon scented cleaners etc so that is what I did. I took everything out of my bedroom (minus the heavy furniture I couldn’t move) and scrubbed every surface down with a liberal amount of hot water and Mr. Clean lemon cleaner. It seemed to help a bit, but it isn’t like it is a permanent solution.

I waited to go to my landlord because while I knew I was seeing, and killing, a lot of spiders, I had never caught one in the act of biting me, the bites were mysteriously appearing, or when I got bit my arm (or leg, or torso etc) was leaning against something, or covered by something, basically not visible, so I’d feel the pain of the bite, yank the assaulted body part away, but not see what did it.

Talk about annoying.

Well,  that all changed when I was vacuuming, I lifted the cat’s bed up to move it and decided for some random reason to lift it high so I could look underneath. The bottom of the bed was a dark brown and I’m looking at it, thinking I’m being a nutter when I see a dark brown spider moving along the bottom of the bed. I’m holding paper towel so I squish it, then I see another, so I squish it, then I see a third and I start to worry so I flip the entire bed upside down and boom! Swarm of dark brown spiders! Everywhere! They are everywhere and moving fast! I moved to the kitchen, I was worried if some of them leaped to the carpet I wouldn’t be able to see them to kill them and the kitchen floor is pale laminate. I’m not able to kill them fast enough and the creepiest of all creepy things happened, one got on my arm! Made a beeline for I dunno, higher up my arm? All I know was I was trying to get the entire bed in to a garbage bag so I can tie it off and get it outside and one of the little bastards got on my arm so I do the totally grown-up thing of freaking out and I start swatting at my own arm like that is going to magically make things better…all while trying desperately to not shake any of the other spiders off the bed on to the floor. I did manage to kill the spider that was on my arm but not before I felt a sharp pain and a new bite mark appeared on my body. sigh.

In case you are wondering, spider bites hurt, for days. Highly unpleasant.

That was my breaking point. Up until then I had been trying to deal with the situation myself but nope, no more. The next night when my landlord was home I went and knocked on his and his wife’s door and explained the situation, explained I was up to over a dozen bites, that I now knew for sure they were spider bites, I had done everything I could think of to do and now they needed to fix this situation.

He swore he’d call for pest control the very next day, and I did get a text from him saying he called a couple places but all were booked up for the next two weeks, so he brought me some cans of raid and this weird contraption that I was supposed to use to try to trap a spider so the pest control (when they finally got here) could see what kind of spider was inhabiting my place.

Couple problems with that…one, I can’t use Raid, I have a cat who I am not actively trying to poison so yeah…can’t spray that stuff in here. Two, no way in hell am I taking a chance at catching a spider, missing, and having it run off. I see a spider and I immediately kill it, there is no pausing for an attempted capture. Three, I have so many different types of spiders in here, I’d have to capture one of each for this idea of showing the spider to the pest control people plan to be any good and there is no way I am going to attempt to make a collection of the different types of spiders. Nuh-uh.

I made nooooo attempt to capture any of them. I just killed them.

I went to DC, came home, hadn’t heard from my landlord about the spider situation for a while, managed to take a picture of one chilling on my ceiling when I woke up one day so I could text it to him and that is when I find out he was sort of hoping the Raid had magically solved everything and he wouldn’t have to call for pest control because it is pricey.

Well duh, of course the Raid hadn’t done anything! Even if I had been using it daily it doesn’t go and find the spider eggs and nests and whatever the hell else they have, the spider has to walk through it or be sprayed directly by it to die. The house in infested! Someone has to kill them at their source!

So he finally calls for pest control, and pest control calls me to arrange a day to come, which I thought was really nice, letting me pick the day, most landlords would arrange it to their schedule and screw it if the tenant is working or not.

I had to pack away a whole lot of stuff, move all furniture 12″ from the walls, and arrange for my houseplant, the cat, and myself to be gone for the day. I chose for the spraying to be done on one of my days off, dragged a friend to help move the furniture and pack stuff the night before, and spent one of my precious days off at work in the staff room with the cat because where the hell else am I going to take a cat for the day? Not like it is a dog and we can just go on an epic hike…

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Cat Logic: If he can’t see anything then the scary visit to my work isn’t reeeeally happening, right? He spent most of the day hiding underneath that cushion or my hoodie.

Happy note: everyone at work loved the little furball, which isn’t surprising considering how awesome he is. 🙂

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See how cute he is when he isn’t feeling terrorized?

As soon as we were home that evening, same friend in tow to help me put the furniture back, I opened all windows to air the place out (as per instructions) and what do I find but a spider, alive and well, on my bedroom window frame.

Crap.

I texted my landlady to let her know, and remind her the company has a 100 day guarantee, and her response was to keep an eye on things and see if I see any more in coming days. sigh.

My friend and I got the heavy furniture put back, and some stuff put away, but not really unpacked, just moved around to make my space more livable, I drove her home, then came home and washed all my bedding (cause hello, poison sprayed everywhere, I wanted clean bedding!) and all my clothes that were out, towels…you get the idea.

I have confusing information from the pest control people, I am not supposed to come in to contact with any of the sprayed areas but am also not allowed to clean or use any cleaning products because that will lessen the effectiveness of the poison they sprayed everywhere. Soooooo…what the hell? I want to clean things before I use them, pots and pans, counter tops, sinks, things like that, and I really want to clean the floors (they are due for a washing) but I’m not supposed to because it’ll remove the poison, but I’m also not supposed to come in to contact with the poison that has been sprayed everywhere…I’m still not sure the best way to deal with this.

For the most part I’ve been trying to not use things, to avoid accidental ingestion or coming in to contact with, the poison, which has been interesting in regards to cooking. However, I counted all bets as being off in the kitchen area when I found a spider, walking along like it didn’t have a care in the world, in the sink. I killed it, obviously, then had to bleach the sink because ew! spider guts in the sink! From there I bleached both sinks, and scrubbed down the counters, the dish drainer, the toaster, the kettle, ya know, the important things. So now I let myself use the sink, the toaster, the dish drainer, the kettle, and I only feel marginally hesitant to put things on the counter…well ok, more than marginally, once something touches the counter it must be scrubbed before it can be used with anything else, or put away, or left out…you get the idea I’m sure lol

All in all, since the spray was well, sprayed, I have killed 3 spiders in my place. Not lending me to feel total confidence in the effectiveness of the pest control people’s process. Because of this I have refrained from any further unpacking because I fear there will have to be another spray session and frankly, I don’t want to unpack things juuuust to pack them back up again, I’m lazy and now that my friend knows how much work is involved I’m not confident I could convince her to help again… 😉

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