Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Brown Widow Spider Check

Every year about this time of year I frequently check for brown widow spiders nesting in specific outdoor items that I usually grasp blindly with my fingers with some regularity. There are 3 places I usually check, and all three are on the undersides of a molded plastic object:
  • beneath the rolled rim of the trash receptacle
  • beneath the rolled rim of the recycling bin
  • beneath the rolled rim of the large slop bucket that I catch rainwater in
This past weekend I found an even half-dozen brown widows in a series of molded cells on the underside of a plastic wheelbarrow. There were 6 spiders in all, and all were protecting one or more egg sacs. One of the six was protecting nine egg sacs. When I reach underneath the wheelbarrow to upend and to shake it out, my fingers find their way into one of the cells. The photo (from Mark Jaquith's Flickr site) shows the yellowish sacs that look like bumpy little spheres about the size of a peanut M&M.

I'm usually a buddhist when it comes to killing creepy critters. I draw the line at these venomous creatures who crave the sheltered undersides of common yard implements that I manipulate frequently.

You might want to inspect similar items and places for venomous spiders at your home or business.

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