Counter Space

A couple days after Warning Puff, I came across a spider on the kitchen counter. I picked up a piece of paper and tried to get it to climb on, but it wouldn’t cooperate.

I didn’t have time for silly counter space games, so I brushed it off the counter with the paper onto my hand and walked it outside.

As I walked back inside, I marveled at how I’ve gone from being smash-it-to-smithereens-with-a-hockey-stick scared of spiders to a nonchalant rehomer. I said a silent thank you to Chris Hadfield, whose TED Talk I watched a few years ago. Turns out it’s possible to logic and practice your way out of a caveman reaction.

Warning Puff

Me: *showering*
Spider: *dangles down from ceiling*
Me: *concerned the spider might drown, blows a warning puff* Stay where you are.
Spider: *stops*
Me: *leans in for a better look* You’re already missing a leg, don’t come down here.
Spider: *scrambles back up to ceiling*

I categorized this in Pests because that’s where my spider posts have always gone, but I’m starting to think I should rename this category. The use of this term is more a reflection of me than it is of them.


10 years ago: Spiderrr!! *whack whack whack whack whack*

3 years ago: Spider! It’s more scared of me than I am of it. *tremble*

1 year ago: Spider. *carries it outside*

6 months ago: Spider, I’m going to leave the room, and when I come back you won’t be here.

Today: Sup, bud.

Gentle Flick

As if to test my new approach to spiders, one of them took up residence in my car and proceeded to run across the inside of my windshield while I was on the freeway Friday night.

This happened once, two years ago. It did not end well for the spider.

As Friday’s spider veered upward directly in front of me, I gently encouraged it to alter course by blowing on it. It turned around, hid in the corner, then reappeared on the windshield directly above me.

It ran some more, then hid in the corner again, by the door.

When I got home, I opened the door and thought about how to get the spider out. I settled on a gentle flick with a credit card.

I learned that “gentle” and “flick” don’t exactly go together.

Sorry, dead spider. :(

You’d Better Not Be Here When I Come Back

For the most part, I’ve learned to coexist with spiders. I’ve not been nice to them in the past, but now I understand they’re not out to get me.

Mostly, they’re trying to stay out of my way. So now when I see a spider in my house, I say to it, “You’d better not be here when I come back,” and leave the room.

They’re generally not there when I return.

This arrangement seems to work well for both of us.

The other day, I saw a silverfish out of the corner of my eye. I dislike silverfish a heck of a lot more than I dislike spiders, but before I could get to it, it started spazzing out, wiggling in place. The next thing I knew, a spider a third of its size was on it, wrapping it up. The next morning, not a trace remained.

I was so impressed.

Frickin’ Finch!

Since about a week after I bought my car, it’s been getting regularly pooped on by one or more small birds while in my parking space at home. There are a few modest trees adjacent to my space, and the pattern and location of the poop indicates that the offending parties do their business as they take off from the tree at the front of my space and fly over my car.

I’ve been looking for these poopie birds for a while now. Recently, I noticed a concentration of bird droppings on the ground behind my car, under another tree. I looked in that tree over and over, and today, I found one of the culprits (or maybe it’s a LONE culprit): a little yellow fuzzy finch-like bird. I looked at it. It looked at me.

“YOU BASTARD!!!” I yelled. Okay, not really.

So, having come face to face with the pooper, what do I do next?

I want to dissuade it, and any of its friends, from hanging out in the trees near my car without hurting them. How do I do that?

I’m really hoping there’s a way, because if they keep pooping on my car, I’m eventually going to resort to sniping them with BBs, which is not good for any of the parties involved.

No, I can’t just let them keep pooping on my car. Bird poop is bad for the paint. The NEW paint.

And no, I am not going to get a car cover. That is simply not a reasonable solution for a daily commute vehicle, not to mention I’d be touching bird poop all the time taking it on and off.

Also no, I’m not going to park on the street. I’m all for these birds having a happy hangout somewhere, but not enough to donate my parking spot to the cause. Not unless they want to pay for part of my rent.

So, readers, especially those of you who care or know something about birds, how do I make them go away?

My Squished Pets

I realized this morning that I can’t keep a winged termite farm indefinitely. They’re really fun pets and they’re starting to smell funny. Today I must do the inevitable. I must squish them.

It makes me a little sad to have to do this. They seem so dopey and harmless. They get their wings stuck to the sides of the container and end up wiggling their legs in the air for hours until I free them.

But alas, I can’t let them go. They’ll fly off somewhere, get really fat, and produce a bazillion little termites to eat yet another chunk of my or someone else’s building.


*squish squish squish*

They’re really gutsy. Literally. Gross!

My New Pets

When I got home from work on Tuesday, I found a few bugs in my room. They were brown, longish, and had wings even though they weren’t able to fly. They were clumsily crawling up the walls and on the floor. I picked them up, squished them, and washed them down the drain.

When I got home from work on Wednesday, I found about fifteen of them in my room. After squishing the first few, I decided to collect them. I found a little Tupperware container in the kitchen, picked them up, dumped them in, and watched as they fluttered their clumsy wings and slipped trying to climb the plastic sides.

I decided to find out what they were. A quick search on Google pulled up pictures of bugs very closely resembling my new collection of… termites! Further Googling revealed the following:

SoopahViv: the winged ones don’t really destroy anything
SoopahViv: they’re the ones hanging out ’til they fly and reproduce in the spring
SoopahViv: why the hell were they all coming out in my room then?

It must be spring in my room.

I looked at various termite images to find out what the different types were.

SoopahViv: omg look at the queen

Big fat insect egg factories. Gross!

More Googling…

SoopahViv: “The winged forms of termites are the future queens.”
SoopahViv: EWWWWW
SoopahViv: my termites are gonna get FAT!

I kind of want to find a male termite to drop in there. Not that Tupperware is exactly the best environment for making termite babies, but I’m strangely fascinated by the fact that those little clumsy winged things can grow to a bazillion times their size. I wanna see.

And yes, Terminix is coming tomorrow.

– – –

I gave them some paper to chew on yesterday and a few drops of water today. One of them keeps crawling over to the water and plopping down in it. I moved it out of the water but it crawled right back in. I think it’s trying to drown itself.

It’s Spider Season

Spiders are everywhere! Crawling on the ceiling at Aaron’s place, running across the carpet at mine, dangling in the middle of the hallway at work, scrambling along the outside of my car, and spinning webs all over my motorcycle.

I find the tough looking black ones with the little red hourglasses on their backs particularly scary…