As mentioned, my task for this morning was murdering spiders. Mission accomplished, and now I feel terrible.
It was a simple procedure. I put the vials of happy gamboling spiders into the refrigerator to calm them down and numb them — I gave them about 15 minutes of chill. Then I went into each vial with a paintbrush and teased them out, and they descended into a tube of icy, pre-cooled alcohol, where they died within minutes. Now their bodies are packed into a freezer, awaiting delivery to the person who will chop them up.
The worst part was going through the assortment of spiders in the colony and having to choose which ones would die.
You have to understand that this was the very first time I’ve had to kill an adult spider. I’ve been wiping out embryos right and left, and I’ve had adults die of natural causes — but actually terminating their existence by my hand? Unpleasant. I like my spiders lively and interesting. I’m a biologist, not a necrologist.