1. hemidactylus says

    Did you see Adam Ruins Little Bugs by any chance? I thought the pro spider bias would appeal to you, but Emily’s fantasies of eradicating mosquitoes a bit disturbing, and the timing of recent apropos post of yours curious.

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Missing from the list of pests is my nemesis, the telemarketer. Many Sr. Citizens would heap humongous praise upon anybody who relieves us of those parasites.

  3. hemidactylus says

    And I should say Emily ruined butterflies for me forever, giving even David Cronenberg nightmares.

  4. cafebabe says

    The UK pre-school program Peppa Pig had one episode titled Mr Skinny Legs in which the little piggies learn how nice and useful spiders are. That episode was banned from broadcast in Australia, because our spiders are scary, evil and deadly. They even removed that episode from the DVDs sold here.

    Not only that, but at least one brainless shit-head from the Murdoch media denounced Peppa Pig as a tool of the Cultural Marxists as it portrays Mummy Pig as capable and Daddy Pig as an incompetent fool.

  5. vucodlak says

    Guess I’m going to have to find some image-blocking software if I’m going to keep coming here. Last night was at least the third night I’ve had nightmares thanks to the images on this blog. I was afraid I would when I stopped by yesterday evening and saw that glossy black horror at the top of the page.

    You only see them for ten minutes a year.

    I wish. It would still be ten minutes too many, but it would be an improvement.

    Don’t put them out,

    Yeah, don’t worry about that.

    let them disappear into a far recess of your cupboards

    So that the nasty thing can pop out and land on my face while I’m fixing dinner or changing clothes, completely ruining the rest of my day? Or go crawling on me and biting me while I’m sleeping? No thanks. One giant necrotic bite wound is enough for one lifetime.

    and provide their FREE home sanitation services for you.

    Some prices are too fucking high.

    If you’re scared of them, deal with your fear.

    I do. I check the bed every night before sleep, the toilet every time I use it, disused doorways before I pass through, and any vaguely suspicious spots anywhere in my vicinity. I don’t touch anything that I think is likely to conceal one of the vile things. I still get surprised sometimes. The result is usually a panicked flurry of movement, a lot of cursing, the use of hurriedly improvised weapons, and a big mess.

    I don’t like surprises.

    They’re your best mates.

    No, they’re wild animals who become noxious pests when they invade my living area. They stay outside, they don’t fucking touch me, and we get along alright. But if they go skittering across my sheets then, well, I’m more merciful to them than they would be to me, were our sizes reversed.

    Ugh, I’m going to have nightmares again tonight. Just thinking about the things has me looking all around with my skin crawling, jumping at every little itch.

  6. hemidactylus says

    @6- vucodlak
    I had a spider suddenly crawl up my arm while rolling my garbage can back toward the house and I reflexively brushed it off but wasn’t bitten. My arm did feel creepy afterward. One just established itself in a corner of my shower again in a nonthreatening manner. I fear the venomous ones, but like snakes the harmless or beneficial ones predominate. I don’t want to roll over on a coral snake sharing my pillow but am angry at the rat snakes given the one job they had to do before a rat tried to eat the belts on my car motor and ruin my day. FU incompetent rat snakes!

  7. PaulBC says

    You only see them for ten minutes a year.

    It’s when they give you that look that says “We’re going to kill you. All in good time… we can afford to be patient. Now we’ll just retreat to the far recess of your cupboards and plan. See you next year… maybe.”

  8. dianneleonard says

    Beautiful! One of the reasons that I love spiders, insects, etc etc is because they look so alien! Every time I see invertebrates (except the fly which has been buzzing me for the last hour–gonna go get my fly-swatter) I’m struck by their sheer improbability–eight eyes?, eating up the bad guys? Oh, Yeah!
    P.S. If you think you’re going to get bitten by spiders and other creepy-crawlies, remember that they (1) have to be able to bite or sting and get their venom past your skin barrier. Skin is the largest organ in a human body, and is mostly impassible and (2) the spider/insect/whatever has to have concentrated venom–enough to actually injure you. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think there are only two spiders that have both these characteristics in the US (black widow and brown violin spider.) It makes no sense to be afraid of animals (or plants like poison oak/ivy/sumac–which I’m not allergic to, BTW) which can’t hurt you in any way. You know how people are scared of bats? No reason. OK, I know it’s useless to reason with someone who has an unreasonable phobia, so I guess I’m wasting my time. Please keep the pics coming! P.S. Loved the baby octopus a few posts back

  9. hemidactylus says

    I’m beginning to think this is all hype and spiders aren’t very good at their jobs. Why do we still have flies and roaches? The spiders and snakes in my general vicinity are ne’er-do-wells. You’re fired!

  10. Andrew G. says

    andyo @1: looks like a Giant House Spider (Eratigena atrica) to me. The image looks like it comes from a UK source and that spider is very common here, and especially visible at this time of year because the (large) males are running around—often at great speed if startled—looking for mates (the females tend to stay hidden).

  11. magistramarla says

    The comparison of spiders with snakes is apt. Growing up in farm country, I learned to have a healthy respect for snakes and I learned to distinguish harmful ones from those who help farmers by controlling pests. When my husband and I both taught in the same school, his science students once tried to frighten me by holding a snake from their biology lab out to me. My reaction? “Oh cool, let me hold it!” Disappointed them a bit, but increased their respect for me.
    I’m the same way about spiders. I recognize the harmless ones as friends, but I have a hate for the brown recluse spiders. We once had an infestation of them in a townhouse where we were living with small children. We put a roach motel in a pantry and showed it to the manager and the exterminator – it was full of brown recluses! Our townhouses were fumigated very soon thereafter. A friend of mine was once bitten by one. She was pulling a can of paint off of the shelf in her garage. The spider fell down her shirt and bit her. She had a miserable time with a necrotic sore and it left a nasty scar.
    That said, I will happily handle a banana spider, a daddy long legs or even a tarantula.

  12. John Morales says

    Well, spiders are like mammals, so it’s like a poster lauding cats for killing mice, ainnit?

    (Not all mammals are cats, but)

  13. vucodlak says

    @ hemidactylus, #7
    Snakes don’t really bother me. I’d even go so far as to say I like the ones I can clearly identify as non-venomous, like garter snakes. I wouldn’t handle a wild snake, obviously, but I’m happy enough to share the garden with them. On the other hand, I take down any spider webs I might accidentally blunder into in the garden, though I generally try not to harm their builders.

    I’m definitely not bothered by pictures of snakes, but pictures of spiders? Eh, I can generally tolerate pics of a tarantula- somethings about their thick legs and hair makes them less upsetting to me. I wouldn’t touch one, but I can stand to look at them from a distance, with glass between us. Spiders with great, shiny, bulbous bodies and long skinny legs make me physically sick with fear, even in photos or drawings. Spiders with long thin legs and small bodies, like the one pictured in this post, are marginally more tolerable. I still can’t bear to share living space with them. Jumping spiders are almost tolerable, but for their jumping habit.

    Insects don’t generally bother me. I hate many of them, but that’s less out of fear than it is for the nuisances they cause and the noises they make. The loud buzzing of horseflies bothers me more than their bites. I almost regret having to kill wasps that get into the house- they kill spiders, after all- but one of my housemates is allergic, so they gotta go. The only insects that really frighten me are things like bot flies.

    I am disturbed by some other arthropods. Centipedes give me the creeps, but millipedes don’t bother me. Scorpions are nearly as bad as spiders, though not to the point that pictures alone bother me. Whip scorpions are literal nightmare fuel to me, and I can’t even look at pictures of them.

    Ticks… I once almost got myself committed when I found a tick on me, when I was nine or so. Apparently my unhinged howling of “TIIIIIIIIIIICCKKKKK TTTTTTTTTTTTIIICCKKKKKKKKK TIIIIIICCCCCCCCKKKKK” was both upsetting and uninformative to my grandmother, who was driving the car. It didn’t help that, having forgotten how doors worked in my panic, I was trying to claw my way out of the vehicle. I’d knocked the tick off when I saw it, you see, which means it was still in the car, which means I very much wanted not to be. Even if it meant leaping out into the path of an oncoming semi. My grandmother told me later that she thought I was having a psychotic episode (not a bad guess, really) and almost took me to the nearest hospital (a mental institution, as it happens).

  14. rockwhisperer says

    I am one of those unfortunate people who are extremely attractive to mosquitoes. Unless I cover myself with DEET, I will be the first person bit at any gathering, and I will be bit most often. So I have long said in regard to spiders that any mosquito-eater is a friend of mine.

    We do have some poisonous spiders in our area, but we’ve figured that if we don’t bother them, they don’t bother us. Meanwhile we have spiders in the house to control the small creepie-crawlies, and the cats to control the big beetles which sneak in occasionally. The spiders do a better job.

  15. komarov says

    As luck would have it, I encountered two spiders in my home just yesterday (I didn’t stop to identify them). The first I owe an apology due to cleaning-related damages. The second was just coming inside and made the unfortunate mistake of crawling over me, which is punishable by immediate exile. Yes, it sounds a bit harsh. You’re just moving to a new place, everything is very different, perhaps even alien, but some things I cannot let slide. That is a capital crime, far worse even than Putting Nets In Places Where I Walk Into Them.

    Re: hemidactylus (#10):

    I’m beginning to think this is all hype and spiders aren’t very good at their jobs. Why do we still have flies and roaches? The spiders and snakes in my general vicinity are ne’er-do-wells. You’re fired!

    I’ve been thinking that as well. Spiders are probably too smart to make themselves redundant like that. If they were that good they’d still get fired and kicked out. And they’d probably starve. Further proof, if any was needed, that a self-regulating free market simply does not work as it actively disincentivises anything bordering on perfection or a permanent solution. My new theory of arachno-economics proves that much.

  16. unclefrogy says

    I don’t think spiders do such a bad job of insect control generally they keep the numbers from exploding to absurd levels of density. We on the other hand are generally very good of supplying abundant food and lodging for some insects to continuously reproduce year around like the ones listed on that chart.
    I would also add that dogs are very good and supplying fly’s for certain wasps as well. Which can be very aggressive when disturbed and are bother not one bit by stinging large pushy humans a few times
    uncle frogy

  17. hemidactylus says

    Given that she likes to scatter her kibble far and wide, my dog is an avid ant farmer. Vinegar does help with the pheromone trails.

    I do wonder if my resident anoles and geckos are better at pest control than the overrated spiders. Or maybe they eat the spiders before they can do their jobs. Yet the Cuban tree frogs may be eating the lizards. It’s a wild kingdom around here.

    As for wasps I often see the solitary kind that provision their young with insects in their tunnels of death. That’s kinda cool.

  18. wzrd1 says

    I happen to have a small to moderate phobia of spiders, but do love their work.
    Alas, despite invitation of multiple species, most avoid bedbugs and we need those eliminated to move from a hotel room into a real home.
    But, it seems that spiders avoid them. Tried a mold, with a two month delay until we saw a significant lowering of the population, oddly, cockroaches showed up and are immune to both the nerve agent we occasionally spray and the mold, so I’ll have to use diatomaceous earth to counter them.
    Talk about a pain in the balls arms race.
    At this point, noticing an increased roach to bedbug population and the roaches still avoid them for some reason (odd, as multiple sources suggest predation), I’m thinking nuking them via saturation of diatomaceous earth and a specific nerve agent.

    My predictions of that specific mold was one month, took nearly three to prove effective, moderately.
    Yeah, we could force the owner to pay for an exterminator, but more holistic solutions would be superior.
    Either one, trivial to kill off, well, at least for roaches. Bedbugs, low humidity killed a neighbor’s infestation of our home before it started, only noticed dead bedbugs in the closet, desiccated to death.
    Reasonable solution for the wife and our now grown children, lousy for me, where I’d hemorrhage from the nose in pint quantities at a minimum.
    Dry air and me, well, I’ll simply say, the bathroom has repeatedly looked like a murder scene. Thankfully, I replace lost blood quickly.
    I also heal “unnaturally faster”, per a couple of physicians, not realizing my thyroid was on full, due to immune attack.

    Noted, sensitivity to a specific nerve agent, now to figure out how to rotate a sparse family of agents within the room and leave us able to depart without dragging parasites along.
    Easiest, thermally do so, I can trivially withstand the temperatures involved, within the time required to do so, alas, my wife cannot.

    Oh, bother!

  19. Sakura No Seirei, Zoë, born into the purple says

    Andyo @1:

    To concur with Andrew G @11 that’s the more common Giant House Spider (the joint-shape and bristles on the legs tend to be the giveaway), The UK huntsman tends to have distinctive banding patterns on it’s legs, although they can be very difficult to make out depending on the colour of the spider itself

  20. davidc1 says

    Thems are the ones i really hate ,sorry doc but i have squished three of the bastards this year .
    But there is another species i let live ,it has long legs and it vibrates if you touch it ,i read somewhere it eats
    house spiders ,doesn’t seem possible .

  21. schweinhundt says

    I’m on Team House Centipede. They eat spiders in addition to all those other critters and are easy to distinguish from relatives that are venomous to humans.