A lot of emotions are flowing through me right now. I'm not sure how to put them all into perspective or how to explain or get any meaning out of them.
Yesterday my roommates and I discovered multiple spiders nesting on our front porch. I believed them to be baby golden orbweavers because of the stripes on their legs mimicked what I thought to be similar legs to those.
They are harmless, so why kill them? Let them be. Still a little freaked out...but I wasn't going to kill them.
They were gone in the morning. but then back again later tonight.
Tonight after taking more pictures, then doing a good amount of research I realized that these were in fact not baby golden orbweavers, but instead black widows and brown widows.
No one else in the house seemed to want to kill them.
But even though, as I've already demonstrated in earlier blogs, I hate spiders... I had contradicting thoughts and feelings about killing these spiders. Finally after contemplating... I went out to get rid of them. We sprayed and killed all of the ones that we could see. There were at least eight of them and one had an eggsack.
Now, I've killed spiders before. Many a time. And did not feel a lick of pity towards them. In fact I joked about it.
It's different now. I almost feel like I got attached to these spiders. All the contemplating and thought that went into them. I really got attached to them...and I killed them. I even watched them die. I saw them as they could barely move. I watched as the male spider went back and forth and knew that the female was dieing. I destroyed them. But my thought was... let me destroy them before they destroy me. That's what Darwin said. right.....
I feel completely stupid for feeling very upset about killing them. And even more so about actually writing about it.
But I feel like it has some sort of significance. I can't exactly elaborate on that. But it does.
While researching I did find out some interesting facts. These most feared spiders, the most venomous spider in North America is not actually as crazy dangerous as we all have been lead to believe. I found a statistic that said that no one had been killed by a black widow bite in 10 years in the U.S. (not sure how hold that stat. was though). Also, only about 1% die from the bite.
Here are some other facts.
-They are nocturnal.
-Most spiders live for a year, although another site says that they can live up to 5 years.
-It is rare for a Female to kill the male after they mate.
-Anywhere from 25 to 250 and 100 t0 400 eggs are laid in an egg sack. only 1 to 12 live because of cannibalism.
-Baby black widows are white and they molt several times in their life.
-"Ordinarily it feeds on insects; however, it also consumes wood lice, diplopods, chilopods and other arachnids. Usually, the black widow spider enswathes prey caught in its snare, bites it, and later drags it to its hub, or retreat, to be eaten. Latrodectus mactans inflicts a small wound on its prey, uses its cheliceral teeth to mash it up, pours digestive enzymes on the prey; and sucks up the resulting food. The whole digestion process takes place outside the spider’s body...."
-Black widow venom is more toxic than rattlesnake venom. 15 times more.
-The female black widow spider, though it is the most venomous spider in North America, seldom causes death as it injects a very small amount of poison when it bites. Reports indicate human mortality at well less than 1% from black widow spider bites.
Apparently only the female is black and from some sites it's said that only she is harmful.
I've also found information that the males are about 1/2 the size of her and are yellowish with red bands, with longer legs.
But we also had Brown Widows. There was only one Black Widow, and in her web there was a smaller spider with longer legs.
Now I've started to look up brown widow information.
-"Although the bite of a widow spider is much feared, the widow spiders are generally non-aggressive and will retreat when disturbed. Bites usually occur when a spider becomes accidentally pressed against the skin of a person when putting on clothes or sticking their hands in recessed areas or dark corners. " this makes me feel worse by the way
-"According to Dr. G.B. Edwards, an arachnologist with the Florida State Collection of Arthropods in Gainesville, the brown widow venom is twice as potent as black widow venom. However, they do not inject as much venom as a black widow, are very timid, and do not defend their web. "
A lot of people will think I'm completely silly for being so concerned about this whole incident. But I am, so..so be it.
The Black Widow:
One of the Brown Widows and her egg sack: