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Let me set this scenario up for you. I was sitting in a waiting room with 5 women and 4 men, including myself. In another room, our three-year old daughters were engaged in dance lessons. At this point of the lesson, the curtain is closed on a viewing window so we don’t get a sneak peek of the number the girls are performing for the recital in June. As we sat chatting, a young boy, waiting patiently for his sister, turns to his mother and says that he thinks he sees a spider. Being the highly experienced, field tested, degreed Entomologist, pest control man that I am, my ears immediately pick up the word “Spider” and I tune out my daughters dancing to focus on the boys report.

As the boy’s mother directs him to get a better look and to report back to her, I detected a growing level of excitement in the audience. I followed the boy with my eyes, and notice everyone else was directing their attention to the boy. You could have heard a pin drop in the room as they were watching the boy get a closer to the subject of interest. Upon viewing the subject a second time closer, the boy returns to his mother and reports that it is a “Big Spider” on the curtain behind the window.

The silence in the room was broken with comments such as, “I hate Spiders”, “I am terrified of Spiders”, “You’re a Bug Man, Kill It!” That last remark was from the boy’s mother, directed to me.

The fear in the room grew as parents turned and stared at me, waiting for me to take care of this “Big Spider”. From across the waiting room, I noticed without the assistance of my glasses, that it truly did look like a “Big Spider” and I shared my thoughts with the group about its possible family classification. Could it be a Wolf Spider, Jumping Spider, Tarantula ? Because they were really looking for a definitive identification, I decided to bring before them the most possible species identification as the dreaded and extremely poisonous, Brown Recluse Spider.

I promptly described the Brown Recluse Spider. to the attentive group of parents as being a small, lightly brown colored body with a violin shape on its cephalothorax. Brown Recluse Spider.is extremely dangerous because of the destructive properties in its poisonous bite. The poison injected is a Hemotoxic, which destroys the tissue cells, forming a deep crater around the bite. Very nasty! The room developed a collective sense of the willies.

Now I had a room of moms and dads sitting at the edges of their seats!! I am in complete control. :)

So why are people so afraid of spiders? Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, persists throughout our culture. Perhaps the phobia to spiders is a result of their poisonous, potentially harmful bite, or their ability to seemingly appear out of nowhere, creeping, crawling on eight hairy legs as they stare with those eight eyes! Most likely it is all of the above and that highly impressionable young children, seeing their parents or other family members constantly squirm at the mere sight of a spider will most likely stay with them into adulthood.

Then suddenly, one of the moms noticed that Miss Terri, the dance instructor, hand was reaching up between the curtain and window feeling for something on the shelf, only a mere two feet, four inches away from…the… Big Spider!

It was at that moment every woman in the room let out a collective scream, “Stop!! There’s a Big Spider!”

Miss Teri quickly retracted her hand. At that point, I got up and took a much closer look at the spider. With a big smile on my face and a little laugh, I corrected my earlier identification of the spider and stated that the “Big Spider” appeared to be one of the “not so poisonous, it can kill your child, one of a variety of spiders found outside”. It was most likely a species of Wolf Spider.

As Miss Teri brought our daughters out, you could see the very concerned look on their pretty little faces, she gave the viewing window wide berth, I quickly grabbed an empty Styrofoam coffee cup and lid and captured the spider. As spiders are a wonderful part of our ecosystem and eat pests, I gently released it outside for it to be free and Eat Bugs!


Craig Spence
CJ Pest Solutions

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