View Full Version : Arachnophilia

03-30-2003, 09:46 AM
Spiders have gotten a bad press. The most interesting critters in the insect world. Hard-working, industrious, they don't bother anybody, don't give you Lyme disease, don't wreck your car. There's one by the back door that makes the most gorgeous webs, a good 18" in diameter. If the wind blows it apart he's out there the next morning making a new one. I never kill one unless he's out of place, and then only because he's unlucky. I've seen spiderweb strands in the most impossible places, even once strung across a small river! How the heck do they do that?!

Guess which spider has the most poisonous venom in North America? The daddy longlegs - but his fangs are so short he can't sting you! I was all set to kill a black widow living under the shingles in front of the house til Google said a)she never leaves home and b)her sting is no worse than a bee's. So she's still there as far as I know.

Course if I lived in Oz I might have a different take. From the nature shows I'm surprised anyone can survive down there, what with all the nasty critters running around.

[ 03-30-2003, 07:37 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

Wiley Baggins
03-30-2003, 11:00 AM

I offer the following not to encourage you to change your behavior (I don't prosecute spiders either), but because you may find it an interesting read: "The Red Hourglass, Lives of Predators" -Gordon Grice.

Tar Devil
03-30-2003, 11:07 AM
What's more, the oft dreaded black widow is not very aggressive and slow to bite. I've seen them picked up and handled without consequence.



Ian G Wright
03-30-2003, 11:16 AM
I share my van with Henry. He is a harmless British country spider who hitched a lift from Heybridge Basin a couple of years ago and never got off. He lives on and around the steering wheel or at least his web does, and if I leave the widow open will extend the web to include the door mirror. Builds a new one everyday. On long trips we converse. At least I do.


03-30-2003, 11:44 AM
"The most interesting critters in the insect world." Tisk tisk!

Spiders don't sting.

One of Phyllis's cousins died of a Brown Recluse Spider bite, so the said. I didn't see the spider and I didn't ask how they knew but the last time I saw her cousin he was indeed dead.

When I was a kid working in the hay fields the boss cautioned us to be careful where we peed. He said he knew of a case where a Black Widow Spider climbed the stream and bit a guy. I don't doubt that he believed it.

I'm thinkin' I read that the first "cable" the spider lays when building a web from scratch is unrealed into the air and drifts down wind so to speak until it touches an anchor point. The spider then reinforces it and works from there.

Ian I fear there are only three steps to insanity, the second one is talking to a spider. Please let us know when the spider answers back.

I was just needleing you a little Rocky. It's not so important how you classify them as long as you love them. Can we still be friends?

Ron Williamson
03-30-2003, 01:12 PM
Last summer SWMBO and I were sitting on the foredeck enjoying our vacation,when some kind of some kind of spider went whizzing by on the breeze,unspooling his lifeline.It wouldn't be remarkable except for the fact that we were anchored in a cove,about 300 yards from the nearest possible web attachment.

03-30-2003, 01:34 PM
Originally posted by Rocky:
Guess which spider has the most poisonous venom in North America? The daddy longlegs - but his fangs are so short he can't sting you! Daddy long-legs are in the Arachnida class, but they are not spiders. They are also called harvestmen. The Audobon Feild Guide says they are non-venomous.
While I was rummaging through the Guide, I came across the entry for Deer Ticks. I found one crawling across the bathroom floor a few days ago. I got it on "tape"- scotch tape, folded back on itself. Tiny little thing-like coarse ground pepper. :eek:

03-30-2003, 01:56 PM
Well, if you really want to get technical about it:

The Arachnid Class contains the following orders:

Eurypterida (extinct)
Scorpiones -- scorpions
Pseudoscorpiones (Chelonethida)
Opiliones (Phalangida) -- daddy long legs
Uropygi -- whip "scorpions", vinegaroon
Amblypygi -- tailless whip scorpions
Solifugae (Solpugida) -- sun "spiders", wind "scorpions"
Araneae -- spiders

The Acari (unranked, but within Class Arachnida) includes the following orders:
Parasitiformes -- ticks and parasitiform mites
Acariformes -- acariform mites

All spiders are arachnids but not all arachnids are spiders, but hey, insects are arachnids too. tongue.gif

[ 03-30-2003, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: NormMessinger ]

03-30-2003, 01:56 PM
They're not insects, they don't sting, and they can climb up a stream of urine? Sheesh! :rolleyes: All arachnids are venomous to some extent, aren't they? There are people who claim certain spider venoms will protect you from other ailments. DLLs are not really nonvenomous, just proboscisly challenged!

[ 03-30-2003, 07:36 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

Ian G Wright
03-30-2003, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by NormMessinger:
[iIan I fear there are only three steps to insanity, the second one is talking to a spider. Please let us know when the spider answers back.

Henry and I have a one way relationship, he never speaks to me,,,,,,,,,,,
He does glower at me with all seven of his eyes from behind the middle spoke of the wheel when my use of the wash wipe stalk snaps another of his foundation threads. He never responds to my apologies but I feel his displeasure.
I doubt that we will ever be real friends.
Isn't life just full of disapointments?


[ 03-30-2003, 05:31 PM: Message edited by: Ian G Wright ]

03-30-2003, 06:35 PM
Seven? Does he wear a little patch over the missing eye? He came off your boat, right? Patience Pirate Spider

Bruce Taylor
03-30-2003, 07:24 PM
We had an old friend staying with us a couple of years ago. She has a profound fear and hatred of the little leggy ones, and asked me, nervously, if any of their kind ever found their way into our house.

I was very quick to reassure her. Our house was utterly spider proof -- hermetically sealed, a no-bug zone. And as I was telling her all this, I happened to look up at the brick chimney behind her and there on the mantle, not ten inches from her neck, was the hugest water spider I've ever seen. It must have been three inches across.

I nonchalantly wandered over to the fireplace, and, while pretending to make an adjustment to the flue, waved a hand at the big, hairy thing, hoping to scare it into a crevice. Unfortunately, instead of disappearing into the crack between the chimney and the wall he jumped off the mantelpiece and onto the floor, right in front of my guest. And then, as if that were not scary enough, he started bouncing up and down on the floor in front of her, exactly as if he were doing his spider aerobics!

I dropped a bucket over the little guy and tossed him into the woods, but my poor guest was awake all night.

03-30-2003, 07:42 PM
Only time I was ever frightened by a bug was one night when I was up late reading and this huge ugly thing came crawling by. eek! :eek: Turned out to be a basement cricket, harmless but butt-ugly! Oh, and did I say big?

03-30-2003, 09:26 PM
Hughman, from what I've heard, Audobon is half right. They do have very potent venom. But they don't have very much of it, and their fangs are too short to go through human skin, so effectively Audobon is right.

I hear the germans call them "skunk-spiders" due to an odor they can make. I like it. Poetic.

There was a story on NPR a couple months back of a family who had brown recluses in their house in (?) Nebraska? Iowa? Kansas? Anyway, they never got bit, even though they counted and evicted dozens daily.

At Katey's family's camp (meaning cottage on a lake) there is no shower. You bathe by going in the lake with a bar of soap. Unfortunately there's this spider with a 2" legspan that lives on the soap dish under the wharf. :eek: I don't know if they bite, but they give me the willies.


Bruce Taylor
03-30-2003, 09:31 PM
"A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul."

Walt Whitman

03-30-2003, 11:11 PM
"Boris the Spider" - The Who ;)

Wild Dingo
03-31-2003, 02:30 AM
Im gonna differ here fellas... spiders are dead meat around here! Literally hate the beggars! THEY BITE!!... and we gots to many of them suckers that can do some serious damage to hoomans!... Red Backs Trapdoors White Tails and numerous others... and well as the hoons say are "GROSS!" like those other things called snakes they have very short life spans in this vacintity! :mad:

03-31-2003, 02:38 AM
Strewth! A bloke can't win with you bunch of expletives! NOW I've had to go and spend Eighty bloody dollars on sprays ...... :( :( :rolleyes:

03-31-2003, 04:42 AM
I leave them alone mostly, but I share the house with a phobic. Not so phobic that she can't wack them, but a good deal of emotion is involved.What astonishes me is that when she spots one, she always supposes that I already knew it was there, and haven't told her. I point out in great detail that on average, she should see them first 50% of the time. In fact, usually I have seen them, but this I dare not admit.

Ron Williamson
03-31-2003, 06:34 AM
In the summer we are over-run with harmless,but kind of tiresome,spiders.They make almost invisible webs in the most annoying places,like in the middle the path to the beach(right at face height too).Just outside the front door is another favourite spot,so you get a face full as you go out.
Last year in one bathroom,there were lots of spiders and they squared off daily,until there was only one very big spider left.
There aren't many spiders out today,as we are in the middle of a snowfall(2" fresh pow :rolleyes: )

Ken Hall
03-31-2003, 10:15 AM
Ever notice that the alpha dock spider is usually the size of a Buick? Maybe we could convince 'em that jetskeet are good eatin'... ;)

03-31-2003, 12:09 PM
Dingo, I read that on some islands down in you corner of the Pacific, people actually cook and eat LARGE spiders. Not in OZ though. True?

Don Olney
03-31-2003, 12:48 PM
Harmless? Spiders are destructive pests. Ever notice the droppings and other assorted desicated crud underneath their webs? That stuff will ruin paint or varnish. Soap and water won't remove it and you can rub and scrub all day with turpentine and it won't come off. You have to use something abrasive and then either paint or varnish over it. Cormorants may be the only thing worse.

03-31-2003, 01:29 PM