It's been storming all evening and you're relaxed, curled up with a book or enjoying a cold glass of something nice. You decide a long, hot bubble bath would really feel good, so you grab your towel and thickest terrycloth robe and you pad your way across cold bathroom tiles, barefooted. "Ahhh, that bath is going to be so nice. I think I'll light a few candles," you say to yourself. Life is beautiful, isn't it? Or it was, until you look down and see a giant brown spider with eight of the longest legs you've ever seen in your life staring up at you as if to say, "HEY BABY! WANNA SHARE THOSE SUDS?!?!"

And like a bat out of hell you come flying through the bathroom door, looking for the heaviest shoe you can find--but it can't have treads because then the little bugger can avoid your wrath--and oh, hell, where are your Doc's when you need them and BAM! he twitches and THUNK! THUNK! SLAM! and you suddenly look like a deranged mental patient with a penchant for beating up floor tiles. Now most people will get to this point and stop. They'll pant, maybe feel a little bad, and then they'll cautiously ease into a hot tub and try to forget about it. Not me. I go on the prowl.

Suddenly I see every spider in the house. There are four at the moment, and I kill every one. Now I'm not usually a spiteful creature, but I will not be bullied in my own home. In the last two weeks, I've seen more spiders than I care to mention. When I can find no more I fall apart; creepy-crawlies scuttle over my skin and I get shivers up and down my spine and all I can think about is those hideous legs, spindling. I have decided to take back the night. I will not be beaten.

So I start the search. "Ways to kill spiders" and "How to rid spiders" and "Get rid of spiders" and "Spider infestation" all go into Yahoo! via my expert fingertips. I dismiss the fleeting thought that my quick typing makes my hands look like spiders, in a way--none of that. Let's see... how to rid your house of big-ass spiders... In the fine tradition of noding what you don't know, I sumbit the following ways to get rid of spiders:

  • Spiders like to hide, and they like to be left alone. This means, eliminate hiding places: no more laundry piles and stacks of boxes and make sure you clean frequently.

  • Did you know spiders like cardboard? Well they do! So get rid of yours.

  • Spiders have natural enemies like cats, birds, frogs, and ladybugs. Perhaps one of these creatures is better suited for your home.

  • Here's an interesting tidbit: spiders hate furniture polish. Go forth and spray!

  • Think tiny: cracks in walls, spaces under doors and between screens and windows are perfect entryways for our favorite eight-legged friends. Seal spaces in the foundation, and around floorboards, windows and doors.

  • Get rid of the buffet, and I don't mean Jimmy! Spiders have to eat something. Do you have other types of insects roaming your rooms? Your porch? Look in to pest elimination for these bugs, as well.

  • Shrubs or plants that grow close to the outside of your home also provide a good home for spiders, so try to keep any greenery trimmed neatly and off the exterior walls of the house.

  • When rains are heavy or the temperature is particularly warm, spiders head inside. They prefer cool, dry places. You can't change the weather, but you can be prepared. Be ready to spot them as they waltz in. Shyeah. They think they own the place.

  • Before you slip into those seldom-worn shoes, shake them out. Winter coats, seasonal shoes and occasional sweaters make great snuggly-warm homes for spiders who don't build webs. A cautious shake on your own terms can save you from doing the dance of Death.

  • Compressed air as improvised bug spray. Need we say more?

  • One more time: vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.

  • If all else fails, invest in a good pair of boots.

Of note: Most spiders are harmless and actually helpful in the elimination of other bugs. In my case, the spiders happen to be brown recluse spiders which means, in other words, poisonous.There are more friendly ways of removing spiders from your home, like scooping them into a jar and releasing them at the door. Personally, I'm not Zen enough for something like that.

wonko says: It might be worth adding that washing spiders down the drain doesn't actually kill them. They'll weather the storm and then slowly crawl back up and have their run of the house again. Learned this from a PBS documentary.

TDS says: Adding to wonko's /msg... they curl their legs up and form an air bubble underneath them, apparently. Then, when the water goes and you're luxuriating in the bath, they instinctively crawl back up and crawl OUT OF THE BATH'S OVERFLOW HOLE! AAAAGH! IT'S GOT ME! AA... um, yeah. Like that. Kinda.

409 says: it is worth mentioning that every dog that i have had takes great delight in finding and eating spiders...

karma debt says: I have a rule for killing bugs and insects. If they are in my territory "aka inside my home", they all die. If I'm in their territory "outside", I'll usually let them live.

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