December 05, 2012

The downside of living in a basement suite.

So we live in a basement suite. Not only that, it's a fairly poorly constructed basement suite. In my head that translates into a bunch of corners and cracks not being sealed up. We all know what happens in basement suites when there are unsealed corners and cracks.

Yep, spiders. Or, as I like to call them, big uglies. Because they're big, they're ugly, and they give other spiders a run for their money.

This picture is really old and has a funny story behind it. I would also like to point out the MASSIVE FANGS.

For the record, I HATE spiders. Keep reading.

So first, a little unscientific spider background in case you haven't seen as many big uglies as I have. There are many different kinds of spiders. Daddy long legs, little ones, big ones, medium ones, huge ones, brown ones, black ones, white ones, red ones, ones that you can hear crunch from across the room, ones that are full of green slime, hairy ones, ones with big legs and little bodies, little legs and huge bodies, big legs, big bodies, big fangs.

In case you're wondering, I've seen them all at our place. Seriously. There was a week last summer where I found three different disgusting types of spiders in our bedroom. Our itty, bitty bedroom.

For me, the creepiest spiders, aside from the big uglies, are the ones that are about the size of a quarter, with a huge body to leg ratio. They also make the most gag reflex inducing squishes. Thankfully we don't have too many of those. Just, you know, a lot of big uglies. Their fang to body ratio is equally terrifying. That's the thing about big uglies, even though they are creepy I consider them more terrifying than anything else. I can see their fangs from a distance and sometimes when they squish I can actually hear the crunch from across the room. That's where I used to cower in fear before I discovered my lime green butterfly shaped fly swatter and how effective it is for wreaking havoc on big uglies. And sometimes little ones, too, I guess.

So the big uglies. I have some horror stories to tell you about big uglies.

When we first moved in it was May of 2010. We were just married and our suite had been recently updated.  Not a lot, but enough that it was no longer pink with rubber baseboards. Apparently spider season starts sometime around late summer and early fall. Let me just say, it was a terrifying season.

There were times when I would be in the bathroom, minding my own business, when all of a sudden a big ugly would come under the door and stop a couple feet from where I was sitting. Staring. Watching. Mocking. Invading my me time. All I can say is, thank God for the poo book (the pee book came later). I am less thankful for the spider slime that ended up all over it. For the record, that happened twice.

The other most memorable encounter occurred our first married summer. I was on the phone with the cable company and had been folding laundry while on hold. As I talked to the TELUS woman I absently folded a t-shirt. Which had the ginormous spider pictured above on it. I lost it. For real.

I screamed into the receiver, and my heart rate went through the roof. The adrenaline was pumping. I had almost touched the big ugly. 

It took me a solid minute to calm down. And when I say calm down I mean regain my ability to have a coherent conversation with the lady whose eardrum I had just undoubtedly ruptured. Her reaction? Like it never happened.

Once I was done on the phone my mom, who had witnessed the entire ordeal, took the big ugly outside and set it free. I begged her to kill and WHY ON EARTH DID SHE NEED TO USE MY DRINKING GLASS because if you let them go they can come back. My adrenaline was still pumping and didn't stop until a while later. When she did let the big ugly out across the street I could see it walking around. I'm not even kidding you. It was that big.

A year and a half ago I was writing a paper late one night and as I was sitting at the kitchen table I saw a big ugly come running out of our bedroom, right past where I was sitting. That sucker died a butterfly induced death but I've always wondered what it was that scared it so bad. Those were dark times for us when it came to our home's spider population. I was basically living in fear.

We eventually put up some spider traps that were pretty effective at not only catching giant fluff balls, but big freaking spiders, too. Which is also rather terrifying considering the frequency of catches. We were averaging one a day.

You know what else is freaky? How long spiders can stay alive on ridiculously sticky paper without food.

HAHA! Now who's menacing who?

This guy was actually the smaller of two that was caught on this trap. The big one last a full week before I eventually freaked out and worried that it would somehow pull itself off the trap and come back with a very hungry vengeance. I stepped on the trap before throwing it in the garbage. I didn't want to, that was getting way too intimate for my liking, but my big manly husband refused to. Because he thinks my fear is absurd. He's laughing now but just wait until our house gets infested with clowns next. I won't be stepping on any clowns, let me tell you.

Spiders on the ceiling (our low ceiling, by the way and way more times than I care to admit), right beside light switches, in the middle of the kitchen floor (practically under my bare feet!), in my knitting basket, in my bathtub... Well, you get the picture.

After the infestation of 2011 (seriously, it could have been a horror movie) we decided to be a little more proactive. We, aka Mom, have sprayed spider poison all over potential points of entry several times throughout the recent spider season.

This morning as I was heading out the door I noticed something rather large and dark in the space between the wall and our bookshelf, right beside my shoe rack. (I have had a spider nest on the outside of my wannabe Uggs before. When I destroyed its web it lived under our closet shoe rack for a couple days until I sent Karl in after it with the vacuum.) Even though I was running late (nothing new, and it's not like they're going to fire me) I had to know. The worst thing would be if it was a spider and I let it live and came home unable to find it. Because then it could be in my pillow.

So I got out the flash light and took a look. It was indeed a big ugly. A really big ugly. Then I realized it might be dead. So I moved the cork board leaning against the wall beside it and thanked my lucky stars when it didn't move.

That's when I realized two things. First, that sucker was a big dead spider. Spiders always lose about 1/3 of their size once they die and this sucker had looked like a big live spider. Gross. Second, this at least the second or third inexplicably dead spider I've come across since we start putting poison around our place. I'm not a huge fan of putting poison anywhere near my living space, especially since we have a dog running around licking our floor all the time, but I am totally sold on the spider poison. I don't care if spiders eat other spiders or dangerous bugs, I just hate them. They are vile and gross and trying to give me premature grey hair. Jerks! We all know I'm a dumpy blonde so I can only imagine how bad grey would look.

Someday we're going to buy a house and one of my conditions will be that it is not infested with spiders. Is it really too much to ask not to live in fear of being attacked while sitting on the potty?

Didn't think so.


  1. Shudder.

    I'm not even really afraid of spiders but your stories made my skin crawl.

    Have you seen that show Infested on Animal Planet (do you have that there?)? That's what this reminds me of.

    You should move. Pronto.

  2. Ho-ly crap. I had a HARD time reading through this. How are you still living there? How do you do it? When I lived in North Carolina, we had roaches EVERYWHERE. Walking across my foot while I showered, walking out from underneath my bed, in the kitchen, etc. It was horrifying.

  3. Yikes!!! I would be out of there lol.

  4. You should plant a horse chestnut tree in your living room.

  5. I HATE spiders! I swear they are out to get me, eeeek. My skin is crawling reading your stories, I would have probably moved by now lol

  6. I might have nightmares about big uglies now. I Haaaaaaaate spiders!

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