Now I’m making housecalls

I got a call from campus Medical Services today — they’ve been invaded by spiders lately, and were wondering if they should be concerned. So I scurried over, because I’m wondering what exciting kind of spider they’ve found…although also I predicted exactly what it would be, and I was right.

They had a squashed specimen, and it was Agelenopsis, a grass spider, just like the one captured here in the science building the other day. I told them they were perfectly safe, these aren’t going to bite anyone, and they aren’t at all venomous to humans, but I guess they need to keep on smacking them, since they are a medical clinic and it wouldn’t do to have spiders everywhere. The problem is that this time of year the males are horny, and they’re wandering everywhere looking for mates. Also, they had an exterminator come by yesterday and spray all the vegetation outside, so all the nearby females are probably dead and they’re getting desperate.

I also checked out ceilings and corners, and I’m sorry to say our medical services office is stunningly pristine, with no cobwebs anywhere. Darn.


  1. blf says

    they need to keep on smacking them, since they are a medical clinic and it wouldn’t do to have spiders everywhere

    Dead spiders everywhere is obviously a sign of a well-run medical clinic. </snark>

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Folk medicine has it that fresh spiderwebbing can make an excellent emergency bandage: its adhesiveness aids in blood clotting, and if newly spun it apparently has a very low bacterial count.

    Though if our esteemed host said as much to the UMM clinicians, they would probably respond only with a request for him to return to his lab.

  3. magistramarla says

    Pierce @ #4
    There is a wonderful story about that very thing in the Cambridge Latin Series textbook. A character in the book was injured in Egypt and spiderwebs were used to staunch the bleeding. My students always responded to this with “Ewww”.
    Always ready to use a teachable moment, I would take them to the computer lab to find other folk remedies and to find if any of those folk remedies led to the discoveries of medications with which we are familiar today. Surprised them!

  4. mykroft says

    Next it will be a call from the Computer Science department, to help them manage their web traffic…