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.
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.”
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!”
This entry was posted on September 3, 2008 at 9:56 pm and is filed under Adventures and Interludes, Animal Stuff, Pest Control, The meaning of life, Therapy, Thoughts with tags Brown Recluse spiders, de-skunking your dog, de-skunkings your house, getting rid of Brown Recluse spiders, getting rid of fruit flies, getting rid of mice, getting skunk smells out of houses and dogs, Mice, Skunks, trying to get rid of Brown Recluse spiders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.