03 August 2011

Do spiders die when you suck them up in the vacuum?

They’d better! And even if they don’t, please tell me that they are dead. Because I vacuumed up three of them yesterday evening. And now I’m terrified they will emerge.

I find all of this somewhat amusing as I am not even afraid of spiders. Sure, I’ll scream if one catches me off guard (for example, when I find them in my bed or that time I realized I was showering with one) and their sticky webs gross me out. But usually I can grab a tissue, squish the spider and get rid of it without drama. In fact, if I see the webs in my living space, I will deep clean them, even if it means leaving the spiders homeless and thus causing them to wander around the house. When I was in Chile, I moved into one apartment that had complexes of webs under the stairs. On my first cleaning day there, I attacked with a vengeance. For the next week we found spiders crawling all over the house. My companion said she had never seen any until I destroyed their living space. It was worth it; I couldn’t stand knowing they were there.

These three, however, looked extra threatening. As I stood there with my tissue, preparing to squish them, I could not force my hand to reach out and grab their hairy little bodies. I imagined their little beady eyes glaring at me and their bodies crunching under my fingers. Or worse, somehow not crunching them enough and having them run crawling up my arm and into my hair. I was paralyzed.

I finally narrowed my options down to the following:
1- Ignore them until Jacob gets home on Friday.
2- Call my neighbor over to kill the spiders.
3- Spray them with bleach (which would run down the wall onto my carpet and I wasn’t sure it would kill them anyway).
4- Spend 45 mins to go into town and buy Raid.
5- Squish them with a shoe and then have to clean spider guts off the walls.
6- Vacuum them up.

Perhaps there were more options, but at the moment, that’s all my brain processed. Since I couldn’t stand to let them live and found it too humiliating to ask for help, the vacuum seemed like the easiest way to kill them. So I used it. Then came the nightmares. Last night as I slept, I saw them coming out of the vacuum cleaner, revengeful, to hunt me down for destroying their webs. So, please assure me that they are undoubtedly dead. I am feeling a disturbing affinity to Ronald Weasley that I’d rather avoid. (I’d much prefer relating to Fred and George, thank you very much!)

Wish I still had the courage as I did as a little girl to belt out the song my mother taught me:
We are the spider fighters! We use our flash-a-lighters. We track them all around. We trap them to the ground. We pull off all their legs, and gather all their eggs. We get a great big bunch. They make a dandy lunch. Crunch, Crunch!
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