This is getting ridiculous…

This blog is turning into a pest control rant. First mice, and then skunkings outside my window and now.. Brown Recluse spiders. I am turning into a spa of sorts for various pests of escalating danger. DANGER, I tell you.

BTW, I am trying peppermint spray for the mice. I brewed peppermint tea and added drops of peppermint oil and I obsessively-compulsively spray every few minutes around my whole space. It smells, and this is shocking, like peppermint. A lot. Chokingly. Knocking on wood… no mice. No mice in the luxury mice hotel traps I set with huge chunks of Gouda.

The spider in my tub this morning; asshole spider from hell.

The spider in my tub this morning; asshole poisonous killer malicious dangerous hunting spider from hell.

Anyway, this morning I killed a Brown Recluse. It wasn’t easy. it was a battle. I found him (surely it was a him, his name tag said “Mr. Spider”) in my tub. The fruit flies like to go into my tub every day and die.  I have fruit fly hotels scattered everywhere and they are full of dozens of dead fruit flies. Fruit fly hotels are merely recycled plastic hummus containers with vinegar in them and a few tiny holes in the lid. They climb in and can’t get out and die of obesity and entrapment.Brown Recluse spiders are not web spinners; they are hunters and they are lazy. They hunt insects and such and are happiest when they find dead ones, like prepared foodstuffs.

So, I sprayed scalding water and Mr. Brown Recluse Spider dropped and rolled. He kept springing back to life. I had to try to crush him with the soap dish. Even down to one last leg he still ran, dropped and rolled. I recognized his kind; I was bitten by one back in a day – somewhere about 1992. It was after my broken leg and before my snapped neck episode. I measure time in calamities. I was often called Calamity Jane as a child.

So back in that day I woke up to find a bite. I scratched it, as I am wont to do, and it got bigger. And bigger. Soon it was a mass, about which I will spare you the details. Finally I went to the ER at Beth Israel Hospital. They said it looked like a Brown Recluse bite. I had seen him then – monochromatic brown, violin shaped, markings on the back, 8 legs, smirky face of evil intent. I forget what they gave me. Antivenom perhaps. And valium. They cleaned up the nasty mess on my ankle and bandaged it and informed me that I’d have to have my apartment exterminated specifically for the Brown Recluse. I’d also have to sleep somewhere else till it was fully and professionally exterminated.

So I called Mrs. Brown, my landlord. Mrs. Brown always wore a navy blue suit. It looked like the same suit but surely it could not be. Mrs. Brown owned 12 apartment buildings in Boston. Mrs. Brown laughed – she had a jolly laugh – when I explained my situation and need of utmost urgence for brave people in tyvek suits with poison to make a house call. But she called, and the exterminator came, and I lived. I had to wear a suit to work back in that day and slacks were frowned upon for the women in this office (men could wear slacks) so I skipped off to work each day with a little suit and a big bandage around my ankle. I still remember picking shoes to match my bandage and then choosing an outfit to go with the shoes. Fortunately it was summer, for how ridiculous would it look to have stockings on over a bulky bandage?

My internet research about getting rid of this particular spider does not turn up peppermint oil variety remedies. It seems I’ll have to either call an exterminator, leave, spread powdered poison, or set glue traps. “Be careful when removing the traps for the spider may still be alive, wear gloves” they warn. Sigh. “Many times during those months the brown recluse will go without any food or water. It is nearly impossible to fully get rid of brown recluse spiders once they have become established in these areas of the home. The brown recluse does not spin a web either to catch their food; instead they hunt their prey which usually consists of insects, either dead or alive.”

Super Sigh.

Years later and after many moves I called up Mrs. Brown to see if she had any apartments available and when I said my name she laughed jollily and said, “Oh! The Brown Recluse lady!”

7 Responses to “This is getting ridiculous…”

  1. I like reading tags (I’m not a good tag writer), and yours for this are really good. I like that this post is listed under “the meaning of life” and “therapy”. lol

  2. YOu are VERY brave….I would have fled instantly and never returned…about your fruit flies…I find a mason jar with 1 part water 2 parts vinegar, 2 tbs sugar and a few drops of dish soap to be the absolute beast dont even need a lid the soap is very good for trapping them and they hang there in the water in suspended animation …i call it my death jar!

  3. I just found 1 in my kitchen, it just one mean just one?
    I’m freaking out!!!!

  4. ashleee, RUN!

  5. I just killed a brown recluse on my childs pillow…luckily i got her out of the way before it got her…how do i get rid of them with home remedies…pls help

  6. Salena,

    Your best bet is to get an exterminator as this is a deadly spider, which is very good at hiding. the good news is that this breed is a lone wolf so you probably/possibly only have one. Try these home remedies, and if they don’t work, consult with a professional:

    Peppermint and Lavender Soap Remedy
    Mix 5 tbsp. of peppermint or lavender soap, 1 qt. of water and 5 tbsp. of peppermint or lavender essential oil in a 32 oz. spray bottle. Place the sprayer on the bottle and gently shake the solution to mix the ingredients. Spray any corners, baseboards and other areas of your home with the peppermint or lavender remedy. Re-spray your house weekly or whenever you see a brown recluse spider. You can buy peppermint and lavender soaps at herb shops, health food stores and online outlets.

    Tea Tree Oil and Citrus Oil Remedy
    Mix 1 drop of tea tree or citrus oil and 1 qt. of water in a 16 oz. spray bottle. Place the sprayer on the bottle and gently shake the solution to mix the oil and water. Spray any brown recluse spiders you see directly with the solution as well as any corners, baseboards and other areas of your home to keep spiders away. You can find Tea Tree and citrus oils at herb shops, health food stores and online outlets.

    Pennyroyal Oil Remedy
    Saturate three to four cotton balls or scraps of absorbent cloth with Pennyroyal oil. Wear latex gloves to keep the oil off your hands. Pennyroyal oil is harmful to pets and humans and has a strong odor. Place the cotton balls or cloths in areas of your home where you have seen brown recluse spiders. You can buy Pennyroyal Oil at herb shops, health food stores and online outlets.

    Borax and Baking Soda Remedy
    Sprinkle borax or baking soda in any corners, baseboards and other areas of your home to keep the spiders away, or on any surfaces where you have seen brown recluse spiders. Both substances are available at grocery and retail and online outlets.

    Kerosene Remedy
    To keep brown recluse spiders from entering your home from the outside, pour kerosene around your home’s foundation, windowsills, screens and doorways. Kerosene is flammable until it dries and it has an odor for three to four hours. Keep the fuel away from any open flames or heat sources and wear a nose mask if the odor bothers you. You can buy kerosene at service stations and certain hardware/home improvement stores.

    Additional Remedies
    Place 1/2 cup of Eucalyptus leaves in your home’s closets, dresser drawers and under any large pieces of furniture you may have. Eucalyptus leaves keep brown recluse spiders away due to their smell. If Eucalyptus leaves are not available, place chestnuts around the outside of your home and on each windowsill. Replace any chestnuts taken by animals on a weekly basis. You can buy both substances at herb shops, health food stores and online outlets.

    Read more: Home Remedies for Brown Recluse Spiders |

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