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September 17, 2013 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Jackson Landers tells a brief story about getting bit by a black widow
posted by Blazecock Pileon (197 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
For others who are stupid like me, the article features both photos and video of potentially scary spiders!

the little babby ones are so cute tho
posted by elizardbits at 10:19 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


That night, I was the hospital’s closest thing to a rock star. A parade of residents and medical students stopped in my room to gawk at me; few had ever seen a black widow patient.

Spoiler: He needed mouse bites to live.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:26 AM on September 17, 2013 [65 favorites]


What is with this guy, every single part of that story is nuts. From now on, I think from now on Jackson Landers should do the exact opposite of what he would normally do.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:26 AM on September 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


At the end the victim goes back to live in his black widow-infested house, rather than covering it and the surrounding woods with kerosene and lighting it on fire?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:28 AM on September 17, 2013 [16 favorites]


Over the course of your life, you have probably walked past hundreds of black widows without even realizing it.

I'm not terribly arachnophobic, but Jackson Landers can just go fuck off right now for putting that thought in my head.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:32 AM on September 17, 2013 [25 favorites]


there could be one just behind you RIGHT NOW
posted by elizardbits at 10:33 AM on September 17, 2013 [16 favorites]


From the article:
Some people are more affected by the venom than others. Most healthy adults experience a lot of pain and recover on their own. But others become incapacitated, and some die. Which group would I fall into? Or had I been bitten by something else entirely? Why make a big deal out of nothing?

I decided to wait and find out before getting behind the wheel. I dipped my foot into the cool water and decided I might as well pass the time by fishing.

Three catfish later, the symptoms were progressing. I felt a warmth in my abdomen. This turned into pressure, which became a painful cramping. There could be no more denial. I carried my fish up the hill to my car and headed for the University of Virginia hospital, in Charlottesville.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:34 AM on September 17, 2013


Two things impressed me by this story: 1) the writer's calm and almost detached perspective on facing his own demise and 2) the fact that the antivenin is made from horse and (spoiler) sheep blood.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:34 AM on September 17, 2013


THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE SPIDER!
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:34 AM on September 17, 2013 [18 favorites]


Walking by black widows! Ha! Just imagine all of the spiders in your house taking turns crawling on you at night while you sleep! Ha! Ha!

/collapses in gibbering heap
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:34 AM on September 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


there could be one just behind you RIGHT NOW

Relevant.
posted by tommasz at 10:35 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm calling out elizardbits. I've suspected it for years but she just confirmed it. Elizardbits is a black widow spider.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:35 AM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Doesn't the venom mostly pose a danger to little kids? Or is that another one of our scary arachnofriends?
posted by elizardbits at 10:36 AM on September 17, 2013


It all sounded so interesting that I could not bear not to volunteer.

I love this guy.
posted by chavenet at 10:36 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


there could be one just behind you RIGHT NOW

Don't be ridiculous, they hunt in packs.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:36 AM on September 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


I hate you all.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:38 AM on September 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


Playing around as kids in California, we learned be cautious around spider webs where the webbing was unusually strong, since they tended to harbor black widow spiders.
posted by exogenous at 10:39 AM on September 17, 2013


I am told a black widow bite is not as bad as a brown recluse. I can't tell you for certain, since I've never been bitten by a black widow. Put each into google images and it looks like the recluse wins! yes, I have been bitten by a brown recluse (me a pjern).

I once caught a black widow. My grandparents killed it with hair spray.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:41 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why, oh why did he 1) he do this 2) write this story

and why did the NYT publish it

and why did I read it?

AAAAAARRRRGGGH

yes I fear all spiders especially the ones that can kill us!
posted by bearwife at 10:45 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


My grandparents killed it with hair spray.

I assume accompanied by a lighter to get the homemade flamethrower action?
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:46 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Over the course of your life, you have probably walked past hundreds of black widows without even realizing it.

worst sentence
posted by invitapriore at 10:49 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's not a spider.

This is a spider.
posted by flabdablet at 10:50 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I live on the front range in Colorado. Those buggers are *everywhere*. Killed two by the house this week, removed two <trigger>giant egg sacs</trigger> from right by my front door earlier this summer. If you are in the western habitat right now, anything you leave outside overnight - if it can be gotten in or under - will have a female nearby (anecdata from neighbors and local farmers). I could find one in five minutes if anyone wants me to mail 'em one (actually, no I will not).

One place to be really careful of is that little gap in the siding where your outside hose spigot emerges.

This time of year, as it cools down, I go around every window, door, and crevice with immoral volumes of aerosol spider killer - 'cause those guys are looking to snuggle right up.

Sweet dreams.
posted by j_curiouser at 10:50 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


hey guys it's time for us each to hug mcmikenamara with all 8 of our arms
posted by elizardbits at 10:51 AM on September 17, 2013 [51 favorites]


My buddy's stepdad has a jar in the freezer where he keeps all the black widows that he finds around their house in the wilds of southern Illinois. He's a really joyful guy who loves nature, but something about that jar felt evil and wrong, like he was showing us his secret collection of Nazi flatware or something.
posted by invitapriore at 10:52 AM on September 17, 2013 [20 favorites]


If you are in the western habitat right now, anything you leave outside overnight - if it can be gotten in or under - will have a female nearby (anecdata from neighbors and local farmers).

We had them absolutely everywhere a few weeks ago (Southern California, near the Angeles National Forest foothills). They seem to have subsided a bit, though. I suppose I should be out with a flashlight and hornet spray each evening hunting for them....
posted by mr_roboto at 10:53 AM on September 17, 2013


LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA -- I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!! -- LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA
posted by briank at 10:57 AM on September 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


I thought I got bit by a black widow about 4 years ago. The pain was pretty bad, so I called our health insurance help line just to see what I should do. "Go to the hospital. Now. Do not delay." Oh crap. Rolled into the hospital ER and nonchalantly told them I thought I had been bit by a black widow, possibly 4 or 5 times down my back. The check in nurse yelled mid-story "BLACK WIDOW" over her shoulder. I wasn't even allowed to sit. Before I had finished telling her my info I had someone else putting a blood pressure cuff on me. I was taken to the first door in a flash - into the trauma room. There were six people around me before I got my head down. One of the doctors wanted exact times of when it happened. "About 20 minutes ago" "Okay. If you start having trouble breathing let me know." I was having trouble breathing because everyone was freaking me out. "Am I going to be ok?" The doc's answer: "We'll know in about 10 minutes."

After about 30 more minutes or so I was released. Nothing happened. Just localized pain. The reaction by the ER staff taught me this is something they clearly take very seriously. One nurse told me they had a black widow bite patient in the ICU at that time. He had been put into a medically induced coma because the pain was so bad. He had been bitten right on top of his bald head while working underneath a car, so the poison was able to go immediately into his nervous system.

When I got home I went back to where this had happened in our yard, and I saw the broom I had dropped. And then I saw the wasps on the ground and then the nest. It's a silly story but the experience was something I'll never forget.
posted by Big_B at 10:58 AM on September 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


cjorgensen: "I am told a black widow bite is not as bad as a brown recluse. I can't tell you for certain, since I've never been bitten by a black widow. Put each into google images and it looks like the recluse wins! yes, I have been bitten by a brown recluse (me a pjern)."

The poisons work differently from what I understand. The brown recluse poison necrotizes the flesh, while the black widow poison attacks the CNS.
posted by Big_B at 11:00 AM on September 17, 2013


There used to be a sizable one that lived in our outdoor trash can; mostly we just saw bits of webbing around the top, but every once in a while when I opened the top I'd see it scurry under the bit where the lid connected. I think we both had a healthy level of respect for each other, and by healthy respect I mean survival-instinct level of fear.

I never did try to remove the spider. By now it must be MCMikeNamara-sized for sure.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:01 AM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


there could be one just behind you RIGHT NOW

No joke, on two separate occasions in the last month or two a spider has come running out of the leg of pants I was putting on or wearing. There's a reason my house is referred to as Spiderhome..
posted by FatherDagon at 11:02 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


This guy is my kind of guy. I want to be like this guy, except go to the hospital earlier when bitten by a freaking black widow.

I used to work in a natural sciences museum, and we always got questions about the lethality of black widows. (Usually right after some idiot would try to impress a girl by declaring daddy long legs to be THE MOST VENOMOUS SPIDERS IN THE WOORORODLDLD.) Most of us would deliver the standard speech of, "Their bites are only rarely deadly, but the pain make make you wish you were dead." On the other hand, I don't think anyone I worked with had ever been bitten by one.

Once, I was on a nature hike with some of my co-workers, and we happened upon a black widow vs. yellow jacket battle... and half of us got up in the web's business, taking photographs and picking sides. (The yellow jacket escaped the web, so I guess it won?)

A few months ago, I stumbled across this study about black widow bites in pregnant women, for which the authors concluded, "Black widow spider envenomation is a rare occurrence in pregnant women and the short-term outcomes appear to be favorable." "No documented pregnancy losses" is something I wouldn't have suspected with a venom that causes such painful muscle contractions, but there you go.

And our last house had a garden full of widows. They were as shy as their reputation, and we were never bitten. Despite accidentally disturbing them many, many times. One time I knocked over a rock, and a couple of baby widows did a little hike down my leg. They were cute little dealers of neurotoxin.

We did show a particularly big one to our cable guy, though - because he had never seen a black widow, and wanted to know what to avoid when he was under people's houses. Good plan, I thought.
posted by Coatlicue at 11:02 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


No joke, on two separate occasions in the last month or two a spider has come running out of the leg of pants I was putting on or wearing. There's a reason my house is referred to as Spiderhome..

WHY IS YOUR HOUSE NOT ON FIRE YET.
posted by like_a_friend at 11:04 AM on September 17, 2013 [19 favorites]


giant egg sacs

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
posted by lydhre at 11:10 AM on September 17, 2013


Why do so many of you live near Black Widows?

I say we just cede the areas of the country already infested with black widows over to the spiders.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:10 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


but something about that jar felt evil and wrong,

Do you like it? I call it my collection of Horrible Painful Burning Death! It's right next to the fugcicles!
posted by The Whelk at 11:10 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm calling out elizardbits. I've suspected it for years but she just confirmed it. Elizardbits is a black widow spider.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:35 PM on September 17 [+] [!]


I expect to see a MetaTalk on this momentarily...
posted by blurker at 11:10 AM on September 17, 2013


Huh. So horse and sheep bites cure spider bites. Good to know!

Friend of mine got bit on the knee by a spider - it apparently was living in the wall heater and her bed was next to the wall, and the spider didn't like her rolling over on its commute from heater to wherever. She was on crutches for weeks.
posted by rtha at 11:10 AM on September 17, 2013


I have it on good authority (a personal friend who got bit and ended up in the hospital) that a Brown Recluse will, and I quote, "knock your dick in the dirt." They're also aggressive while the Black Widow is pretty laid-back.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:11 AM on September 17, 2013


My desire to live in northern climes is predicted pretty much on the fact that the hotter it is, the smaller the deadly and painful animals are.

Sure, it may be snowing and negative ten, but the only thing that can cause me painful death is like, a moose, and it's not going to hide in my shoe one morning.
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on September 17, 2013 [50 favorites]


"Spider poison is people poison?!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:14 AM on September 17, 2013


Ya, as much as I always seem to have fun hanging out with Australians there isn't enough bug spray in the world to convince me to move someplace with dinner plate sized spiders.

Black widows are everywhere around here; eradication in any meaningful way would be a lost cause. I do try to control the ones that set up shop in the immediate area of our doors but otherwise it has to be live and let live.
posted by Mitheral at 11:15 AM on September 17, 2013


I woke up in the bush in Chile one morning with two rather large puncture holes in the fat part of my palm. Over the next week the tissue around that area melted away leaving a pit, which eventually healed over, but it took quite a while. I am pretty happy I never saw the spider that bit me.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:15 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


He's not a man eating spider, he's a man SAVORING spider.
posted by The Whelk at 11:17 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


A couple years ago my boss asked me to get some paperwork from coworker Mary. I called and called and knocked on Mary's door, but I couldn't find her for a day and a half.

It turned out that she'd been working in a vacationing coworker's office, because she walked into her own office one morning and saw a black widow, who then promptly scurried into the AC unit. Mary wouldn't/couldn't go back into her office.

So, I'm that person. I'm the person who will take the AC unit apart (I did) and locate the black widow with a flashlight (I did) and corral it into a dixie cup from the water dispenser (I did) and relocate it to a bush across the street (I just couldn't kill it; couldn't do it).

So what I'm saying is, it's okay. I'm that person, and I'm here now.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:18 AM on September 17, 2013 [47 favorites]


I am usually a live-and-let-live sort of a fellow, but black widows on, in, or near the house are the exception to the rule. One set up shop in the garage once right next to the door that leads into the kitchen, and her web was about toddler-face-high. Nope. Out came the heinous bug spray - the foaming kind for killing hornets nests from a distance. Total war.
posted by jquinby at 11:19 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have a "don't scare me" policy w/r/t spiders. If my first encounter with a hairy arachnid has me seeing it from a mile away, we're cool. But the first one to blitz across my desk gets smoked, no questions asked.

Jumping spiders are exempt because they're adorable. I name those.
posted by Chutzler at 11:20 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, we're agreed, never leave the city? Cool. I'll order Thai.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:21 AM on September 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


My first childhood house had a ton of black widows living in the space along the bottom of the wood siding, so the warning about hose spigots makes a lot of sense to me. They were very shy and only periodically popped out.

I killed a few from time to time but mostly left them alone. I've always had this irrational childlike fear that mean ol' spiders living in a specific area begin to spread oral traditions about my ferocity and cruelty when I start killing them in large numbers, leaving behind a generation of aggrieved avengers. I still catch myself thinking this now and I'm 33.

They scared the shit out of me, I got to see them up close plenty of times, and they are the reason I don't do crawl spaces, and the idea of being the cable installer mentioned upthread ("show me a black widow just so I know what to avoid!") makes my skin scrawl. My current basement is "sort of infested" with what appear to be Hobo spiders, #3 on the icky-biters list after the black widows and brown recluses. They get pretty huge but have never bitten anyone in the house. Plenty of close calls, but they mostly stick to the basement.

Black widows in the basement though?

NopeNopeNope, death by conflagration motherfuckers!
posted by lordaych at 11:21 AM on September 17, 2013


Chile ... two rather large puncture holes in the fat part of my palm. I am pretty happy I never saw the spider that bit me.

OH HAI WE HAVE WORST RECLUSE BRO
posted by lordaych at 11:23 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Over the course of your life, you have probably walked past hundreds of black widows without even realizing it.

I'm not terribly arachnophobic, but Jackson Landers can just go fuck off right now for putting that thought in my head.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:32 PM on September 17 [4 favorites +] [!]


I was walking with a friend to a parking garage after a concert, in a small downtown area in a quaint-ish city. The street I was on held all the municipal buildings like the courthouse and clerks offices, and they were all set up off the ground, with grand staircases that led up to their front doors. There was a wall, about 7 feet high, that held up the lawn so that it was level with the doors. It was large panels of concrete slab, about 3ft by 3ft. Anyway, after passing 2 buildings (of about 9) I notice a large, brown spider. I stopped to look at it, and then noticed another one, both of them sitting at the joint where 4 slabs met, with a little funnel web going into a hole. Then I stepped back, and looked down the wall, and noticed there was a spider at least every 5 slabs or so.

We continue walking, on the outer edge of the sidewalk near the street, when two girls walk by. It's obvious they're drunk, swerving along the sidewalk. As they go to pass, one of them reaches for the wall, and I say "Don't touch the wall-it's covered in spiders!" They girls stop, and one of them just stares blankly and remarks "Oh my god you're tripping on something!" They laugh, and continue on. I tried to convince them that I wasn't on drugs, that the wall was covered in spiders, but they wouldn't listen.

I wonder how many lives that wall has claimed.
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:24 AM on September 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


I donned the shoes before walking to the edge of the water. Within about a dozen steps, I felt a stinging sensation on the second toe of my left foot, as if there had been a thorn inside the shoe.

I have been wearing these shoes for over seven hours and I am now sitting at my desk at work barely resisting the urge to tear them off and shake them vigorously. The only thing stopping me is the thought that even after all the shaking I still might not be willing to put them on again, and I'm not sure they'll let me on the bus barefoot.
posted by solotoro at 11:27 AM on September 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


A friend of mine got bitten by a brown recluse (they are disturbingly common in St. Louis) and the ER doc told him that he was lucky to have been bitten by a younger spider, since the severity of their bites apparently scales with age and maybe size. So, the moral of the story is to make your house unattractive to older brown recluses. You know, play some hits from the brown recluse Top 40 every so often on a tiny speaker, drive the curmudgeons out.
posted by invitapriore at 11:28 AM on September 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


Oh god why did I read this thread. I was smart enough to not click the link, but I still read the thread, and...no no no no no no no. Also no.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 11:30 AM on September 17, 2013


OH HAI WE HAVE WORST RECLUSE BRO

Yikes I guess it could have been worse...
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:30 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did I tell you about the time in the summer I was reading a book and and I felt the breeze getting under my shorts and tickling my pubic hair, and moved my leg and the breeze was a black widow spider and it bit me in the groin, an inch to the left of my penis?

Did I tell you I calmly observed the symptoms, and did not go to the ER until the next day, when I had to drive myself on a stick shift car with a paralized by pain leg?

The best part was that they called every single intern, resident and doctor to look at my junk.

The worst part was that the toxin had a mild effect, but the bite was just on top of a lymph node, which got infected and required emergency surgery because it was so swollen it started to necrotize.

I lied, the worst part was that they did the surgery with local anesthetic in the OR, and I could see the whole procedure reflected on the surgeons blood splattered face shield.

The worstest part was that mid surgery a bunch of injured people from a highway accident arrived in ambulances and everyone left to help them, so it was only me and the surgeon, and I had to help him hold onto and keep tension on the stainless steel claws they use to keep the incision open. And he said to be careful, because 'we' were operating very close to the base of the penis, and 'we' don't want to damage any nerves there.

Then I got back home, finished the book while on funny painkillers, and kept feeding flies and grasshoppers to the black widows. Because I fear and love spiders at the same time.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 11:33 AM on September 17, 2013 [75 favorites]


flagged as NO
posted by elizardbits at 11:35 AM on September 17, 2013 [17 favorites]


So, the moral of the story is to make your house unattractive to older brown recluses.

Rule #1: Don't archive old magazines and newspapers, like my unfortunate friend did!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:36 AM on September 17, 2013


HA HA HA that is a funny story! [faints]
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:36 AM on September 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


I once caught a black widow. My grandparents killed it with hair spray.

I tried that once, but it started singing Poison covers.

hehe
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:45 AM on September 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


I can't remember how I was directed there, but a few days ago I read this page on the Rain Spider [yes, photos, if that's triggering]:

Although these creatures are harmless they cause quite a stir because of their large size.

You don't say.

I lied, the worst part was that they did the surgery with local anesthetic in the OR, and I could see the whole procedure reflected on the surgeons blood splattered face shield.

Someone alert Vince Gilligan.
posted by dhartung at 11:47 AM on September 17, 2013


I volunteer to travel to Mars to do science, I know it's a one way trip but that is okay because there are NO SPIDERS ON MARS

shut up ziggy
posted by The Whelk at 11:47 AM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, wipe the database? It is really the only way to be sure that story will not live on to traumatized others.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:47 AM on September 17, 2013


The Whelk: "I volunteer to travel to Mars to do science, I know it's a one way trip but that is okay because there are NO SPIDERS ON MARS

shut up ziggy
"

Except for the ones you bring with you. You know, hiding out in the spacecraft and all that.

Mutating.
posted by jquinby at 11:52 AM on September 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


PREVIOUSLY, via sweetkid. Just so you know.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:53 AM on September 17, 2013


Sure, it may be snowing and negative ten, but the only thing that can cause me painful death is like, a moose, and it's not going to hide in my shoe one morning.


Actually, your options are:

a) Spider bite.
b) Mauled by bear.

I live in the north. I'm happy with my choice.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:53 AM on September 17, 2013


I briefly lived very near a school in the West Midlands (England) a few years ago. One day during class time there was one heck of a commotion; screaming, banging sounds (turned out to be children pushing furniture out of the way to escape) and people running. Alarmed, I immediately phoned the police who sent a cop car round. But then, silence and normality.

I got the story out of an irate teacher the next day. Turns out there was no spider ... sort of.

Instead there was a huge full wall whiteboard screen and projector set-up. And some kind of net filtering so the kids couldn't supposedly access dodgy material, accidentally or deliberately. This was used in some class for the kids to show interesting things from the Internet, to demonstrate their IT and presentation skills.

Which apparently worked fine, and was enjoyed by all and found to be useful. Until one of the kids, as part of his presentation, did a live google image search on "World's Largest Spider".

Yadda yadda yadda after that session, the kids had to pre-build their presentations and have them pre-approved by the teacher.
posted by Wordshore at 11:54 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


No joke, on two separate occasions in the last month or two a spider has come running out of the leg of pants I was putting on or wearing.

Pulling my shorts back on after a happy skinny dip at a lovely beach was my first introduction to one of these.
posted by flabdablet at 11:54 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


We get a lot of wolf spiders here in Michigan. They're mostly harmless (or so I will believe regardless of what you tell me so that I can continue to function as a person) but they are relatively large and they still throw me for a loop.

Last time we had one in the house I went and found the biggest book I could find (a copy of Stephen King's Insomnia) and kind of tossed it onto the spider from a distance. It took me 3 days to find the nerve to move that book.

I should have never clicked on any of the elements of anything about anything in this thread, but I did.

I did.

So, here we are.

I want to strip off all my clothes and curl into a ball and die.
posted by kbanas at 11:55 AM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


...so it was only me and the surgeon, and I had to help him hold onto and keep tension on the stainless steel claws they use to keep the incision open. And he said to be careful, because 'we' were operating very close to the base of the penis, and 'we' don't want to damage any nerves there.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.
posted by General Tonic at 11:56 AM on September 17, 2013


I swear to God there was this story on the Blue awhile back about an Entomologist who was staying with a friend who had an un-diagnosed brown recluse infestation in the guest bedroom and he deployed all these McGyver-ish tools and tricks to fend them off and have a pleasant sleep?

I'm trying to find it.

That guy and this guy should team up.
posted by kbanas at 11:57 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I want to strip off all my clothes and curl into a ball and die.

Just be sure to shake them out carefully before putting them back on.
posted by flabdablet at 11:57 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


The reaction by the ER staff taught me this is something they clearly take very seriously.

In college, I noticed some kind of lesion on my arm that had red lines radiating from it. I asked the school nurse who said, "Go to the ER." So I went to the ER, where I waited. And waited. And waited. For hours. When I finally saw a nurse, she asked me if I had been shooting heroin. I had not. Then, about an hour later, I saw a doctor. He asked me if I had been shooting heroin. I still had not. He said, "It's probably a spider bite."

"What kind of spider was it?" I asked.

"Well, if it starts to turn black and pieces fall off, it was a brown recluse."

"Oh my god!" I said. "And what if it was a black widow?"

"I know it's not a black widow, because if it was, you would be dead already."

And that was all of the treatment I got. Well, that and a huge bill.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:58 AM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


YES. THIS was the post. Good times.
posted by kbanas at 11:59 AM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think I've mentioned this little trick before, but:

Go outside, tonight, with a flashlight. Wait until after dark, obviously, and then:

Hold the flashlight up to the side of your head, alongside your temple, so that the beam is going out into the grass, and the reflections will come back to your eyes. Slowly sweep the lawn, or other grassy spots. Do you see all of those little greenish/bluish sparkles? Hundreds of them glittering everywhere?

Spider eyes, every last one. You might get the odd dewdrop now and again, but nearly all of the rest are spiders looking back you. You can test this out by slowly walking towards one and seeing them blink out as the spider scurries off to hide.

You're welcome!
posted by jquinby at 12:00 PM on September 17, 2013 [27 favorites]


My favorite twitter account : HI, WE ARE SPIDERS
posted by The Whelk at 12:02 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


We were hiking in Yosemite one time, and looked up to see that the sky seemed to be covered in a gauzy veil. It moved and shimmered; it wasn't mist or haze or fog or smoke.

It was baby spiders, parachuting to their new homes. All across the sky. It was beautiful.
posted by rtha at 12:04 PM on September 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


I was fine until the damn centipede photo and now ALL OF ME IS ITCHY.
posted by coppermoss at 12:05 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


We get a lot of wolf spiders here in Michigan.

We had 'em in Texas, too. Fun fact about wolf spiders: They carry their (many) babies on their back. So if you startle one, it might dissolve into dozens of tiny fleeing spider babies!
posted by mudpuppie at 12:07 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


WHY DO YOU TELL PEOPLE THESE THINGS
posted by The Whelk at 12:10 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I decided to wait and find out before getting behind the wheel. I dipped my foot into the cool water and decided I might as well pass the time by fishing.

I just... what??? This person is a different species from me. I have been feeling vaguely panicky for two days and am considering going to the doctor because one of my fingers feels weird for no apparent reason.
posted by something something at 12:12 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Actually, your options are:
a) Spider bite.
b) Mauled by bear.


I think you'd be far less likely to be surprise-attacked by a bear hiding under a couch cushion or in a dark cabinet.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:17 PM on September 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


But the first one to blitz across my desk gets smoked, no questions asked.

Is smoking spiders a thing now? I can never keep up with the latest designer drugs.

Also, spiders are cute, leave them alone.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 12:17 PM on September 17, 2013


In the 70's, in New Mexico, my mom discovered a black widow living in the kitchen of the business she and my dad owned. It had built a web attached to the end of the row of cabinets, near the sink. My mother left it there and basically kept it as a pet - she would catch flies and feed them to the spider.

Because even though Mom was born and bred in Brooklyn, NY, this was New Mexico, baby! And when compared with all the scorpions, tarantulas, giant poisonous centipedes, and rattlesnakes that were our native wildlife, a little black widow spider was. . .cute.
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:18 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just dealt with a black widow while gardening on Sunday (I introduced it to my shovel repeatedly and told the SO that her arachnophobia is apparently sexually transmitted).

This thread is making me want to shave off all my body hair and go curl up in the parking lot in the middle of a circle of burning gasoline. Do you think I'd get sick time for that?
posted by mikurski at 12:18 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


briank: LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA -- I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!! -- LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA

Of course you can't hear. Ear canals are packed with spiders!
posted by dr_dank at 12:20 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wolf spiders also LOOOOVE bath drains. Just love them.

Ask me how I know!

We have a bit of a spidertopia here, and I worry a bit, but then, last place had roaches and even though they aren't poisonous, those are worse.

My kid asked me what he should invent when he grows up and I told him, a bug-repelling forcefield for houses. Doesn't kill 'em, they just can't come in. Bugs are great, they can even be beautiful. So long as they stay outside.
posted by emjaybee at 12:21 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think you'd be far less likely to be surprise-attacked by a bear hiding under a couch cushion or in a dark cabinet.

Depending on where you are, you may be surprised at what quietly spends the night underneath the bed you are sleeping in.
posted by Wordshore at 12:22 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some of you will appreciate learning what I'm about to tell you.

WD-40 is a very effective bug killer.

You're welcome.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:26 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have never felt as uncomfortable with my allergy to horses as I do right now.
posted by Adridne at 12:26 PM on September 17, 2013


Whittall’s co-workers removed the crocodile from under the bed, but not before it resisted.

NO NO NO DON' WANNA BE A CROC, WANNA BE A UNDER-BED MONSTER RAWRR!
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:27 PM on September 17, 2013 [11 favorites]


jquinby: "Do you see all of those little greenish/bluish sparkles? Hundreds of them glittering everywhere?

Spider eyes, every last one.
"

The HELL you say.

Wordshore: " Depending on where you are, you may be surprised at what quietly spends the night underneath the bed you are sleeping in."

From TFA: The crocodile, that weighed 150 kg, entered the Humani Lodge, Zimbabwe and spent the entire night beneath the bed of 40-year-old Whittall. He failed to notice it till the morning.

Answering the age-old question, where does an eight-foot crocodile sleep?
posted by zarq at 12:33 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know, hiding out in the spacecraft and all that

Hiding inside your space suit.
posted by lbebber at 12:41 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


You pro spider people are also going to make my callout because the only person who could love spiders is ANOTHER SPIDER AHA!

DEAR MODS, I HOLD IN MY HAND A LIST OF POSTERS WHO ARE SPIDERS
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:41 PM on September 17, 2013 [13 favorites]


I think you'd be far less likely to be surprise-attacked by a bear hiding under a couch cushion or in a dark cabinet.

Depends on what sort of club you're in, dunnit?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:43 PM on September 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


Well I got another black widow bite on the broomstick story. My brother was working construction in Texas and got bit while using the porta-potty.

So remember to check around the toilet seat of an outdoor latrine before you plop on down!
posted by jabo at 12:44 PM on September 17, 2013


I was fine until the damn centipede photo and now ALL OF ME IS ITCHY

oh yea? I have woken up the last 2 days to see a house centipede on my bedroom ceiling. almost over my bed. Huge ones. (and no it's not the same one twice, unless they can magically reassemble themselves after being flattened) (oh god tell me they can't do that)

I've been looking up how to get rid of the horrible asshole ambulatory eyebrows, and most of the advice is to seal up any cracks in the walls. As you can see here, the ceiling is lovely old unfinished wood, with cracks between each damn board. And, also in the picture, the birds that live here with me, so I can't bomb the room with insecticide without killing two of my best friends.

waaaaaah. help.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:47 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ghostride The Whip: " DEAR MODS, I HOLD IN MY HAND A LIST OF POSTERS WHO ARE SPIDERS"

I'LL JUST LEAVE THIS HERE.
posted by zarq at 12:47 PM on September 17, 2013


5_13_23_42_69_666, you don't sleep with your mouth open, do you?
posted by zarq at 12:48 PM on September 17, 2013


I was one of those kids that played with spiders. I adored them, they were so leggy and delicate. At one point I had 10 different types of spiders in matchboxes, they'd make neat little webs in the box and then I'd let them go.

One day my dad picked up one of my matchboxes and opened it. After he got done screaming profanity (I learned three new words that day), he asked me what the hell I was thinking keeping a black widow in a box. I told him they were neat and awesome, plus there was an antidote, I'd read about it in the encyclopedia. He then explained that antivenin for spiders and snakes is made from horse blood. We'd already figured out that I was extremely allergic to horses and the realization that getting the antidote to the poison would be more likely to kill me than any spider bite started to sink in.

And thus died my dream of being a spider-ologist.

I still think they are neat as hell, though
posted by teleri025 at 12:49 PM on September 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


Brown Recluse Spiderman
posted by Tom-B at 12:50 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lots of spider haters here...which I understand. I have LOVED spiders ever since I was a kid. I grew up in Washington DC and could identify all the local species...and even had a dolomedes tenebrosus as a pet in a little plastic aquarium. To this day discovering that such a spider lived in the wooded areas of Washington DC still fills me with excitement. He catches FISH for gods sake! FISH!

Living in DC, I used to make my dad take me down to the Smithsonian almost every weekend...and in the natural history museum they have an insect zoo that had live specimens of a black widow and a brown recluse...the two notoriously venomous North American spiders that, unfortunately for me, lived outside my home range...

Imagine my joy once I moved to Los Angeles to find black widows hanging out in almost every nook and cranny around town. Not to mention that on my drive out to LA about 11 years ago I found a brown recluse hiding in a towel in a dingy motel in rural Tennessee! I still have pictures of his little violin back and his gangly legs...

Anyway, just this morning as I came down the steps of my apartment...there was a beautiful shiny black female widow...hanging in her web at the bottom of the steps. I ran into my landlord at the same time and found out that part of his duties includes killing these little beauties whenever they pop up...which explains why I haven't seen many around since I moved away from Pasadena (they are everywhere in the foothills).

Anyway...spider news excites me and I am still drawn to them just like when I was a child. My girlfriend hates me for this.

Also do not keep a black widow in a mason jar if you want to do your part in nurturing a healthy relationship. Unfortunately.
posted by jnnla at 12:51 PM on September 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


zarq, if I did I would be really mad at you right now. Thankfully I sleep under 2 blankets, a sheet, and a duvet, with a barricade of pillows around my head.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:52 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


You are quite wise. :)
posted by zarq at 12:55 PM on September 17, 2013


My father had a scar on his right leg, just above his kneecap and off to his right. It was about as big as a half dollar, a sort of puckered bullseye that didn't look like any scar I'd ever seen.

"Dad, what's that from?" I asked, in my curious boyhood, pointing out the spot as he paddled our canoe across the reservoir.

"Black widow bite."

"No, c'mon."

"It's a black widow bite. Got bit while I was moving some spiders around in my spider farm."

"Oh, cut it out, Dad. No one has a spider farm."

"I did. 'Jones Wall Rabbit & Spider Farm,' I called it. Raised rabbits for meat and spiders for silk to send to the army for gunsights. The rabbits saved us ration points, and the silk helped out overseas."

Well, that was just about the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard.

"Do you always have to make everything up?"

"I'm not making it up. Ask your mother."

I did ask my mother, and she had similar doubts to my own.

I repeated the line of questioning, adding that Mom also indicated a lack of verifiable corroboration. My father just rolled his eyes.

"Here's what you do, kid--in four months, we'll be down in Sylvania for the reunion. Ask Boo where I got that scar from."

Boo is my father's first cousin. Jane's her proper name, but in that stretch of Georgia, no one kept their proper names unless they were very, very dull indeed.

Me--I'm a guy who tends his grudges, and I brewed on that one for four months. I brewed on it for six hundred and fifty miles in a silver and purple Suburban, and I brewed on it for an hour and a half driving from Thomson to Sylvania with a still-warm pie in my lap, covered in crinkly foil. My grandmother, of course, had confirmed the rabbit & spider farm story, but she was not to be trusted, being an insider and someone in regular contact with my father.

In Sylvania, we piled out of the car, I deposited my still-warm pie on the counter in the kitchen, sailed the breezy sea of aunts, who tousled my hair and told me they expected some stories out of me and by the way would I like to polish the silver like I always did (naturally, because I am the official silver polisher)?

"Where's Boo?" I asked one of the fleet of cousins. Little Barbara, who was actually well into middle age, long since having become the family's senior Barbara without escaping the diminutive, pointed out to the porch. I found Boo on the faded green metal glider, shelling peas.

"Boo, did Dad really get bit by a black widow and raise rabbits for meat?"

"Well hello, Joe-B, and yes."

I narrowed my eyes.

"Did he call you?"

"No. Am I going to get a hug?"

I gave her a very cursory and dubious hug, but she told me about the rabbits and the spiders and my father's important childhood role in the liberation of occupied Europe and I felt properly put in my place and further fascinated by how my father had managed to accumulate so many tales in his life.

"Did Boo mention," my dad said, arriving on the scene and taking a seat on the faded green metal glider with his cousin, "that it hurt like a goddamn son of a bitch?"

"Jones, you know I don't use that kind of language," she said, grinning, "but I bet it did. You hollered enough about it. Joe-B, ask your father here where I got this scar." She pulled up the right leg on her slacks to reveal a diagonal scar across her calf.

"Well, I did tell you to pick up your leg," my father said. "But that, son, is a burn from the muffler on a Cushman, which we used to save gas points and tires."

"War wounds!" our cousin said, and the two laughed and laughed.

Several months ago, I was tidying up in the kitchen, having a gay old time in my apron and being gorgeously domesticated, and as I put away the dishes, I noticed a little black spider in the sink.

"What are you doing in there, Charlotte?" I asked, and without thinking of it, I reached in, chased the spider onto my hand with a finger, and started to carry it outside. I don't see many black spiders in the house, though, so I paused in a shaft of sunlight to make a closer examination. It was a little thing, maybe as big as the ball bearing out of the bottom bracket in a Raleigh three-speed, and as black and shiny as a telephone. Then there was the little red mark...in the shape of an hourglass.

Shrieking and holding one's hand still present a difficult balancing act, but I shrieked and shrieked and used every bit of my muscle memory from my college modern dance classes to float out of the house like a feather carried on a single breath. I floated out of my apartment, floated down the steps, floated down the path to the flower bed on the left side of the path, then flailed like a maniac, going over and over and over my carapace in search of a persistent poisonous spider.

"What was all that yelling?" asked my ex and landlord, standing on the porch.

"I just found a black widow in the sink!"

"They have black widows here?"

"Apparently!"

"Did you kill it?" he asked, jaw clenched because he knows that I never kill the spider.

"No, I just shook it off in the flower bed."

"I was going to weed that!"

"I'd give it a while."

Our flower bed on the left side of the walk is uncharacteristically wild this year, but we were both afraid to go in there.

Black widow bites hurt like a goddamn son of a bitch, I'm told.
posted by sonascope at 1:00 PM on September 17, 2013 [48 favorites]


Kirth Gerson: WD-40 is a very effective bug killer.

I learned this from my ex-Army housemate in New Mexico a long time ago, when I told him there was something moving in the mail box. We poked around with a flashlight and he gleefully let me know that I'd turned up a black widow.

I watched in morbid fascination as he used WD-40 and a cigarette lighter to incinerate the inside of the mailbox. Said it reminded him of his army days. WD-40 in a spray can makes a pretty neat flamethrower.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:02 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


My phobia of spiders is such that upon seeing a front-page blurb about this story, I thought, guess I won't be reading that section at all. [Folds section in half and puts it in the recycling bin.]
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:05 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you use this method on palmetto bugs mid-flight towards your face it is very enjoyable and festive.
posted by elizardbits at 1:05 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


My boyfriend is from the Great and Terrible North (UP Michigan) and has minimal experience with black widows, so when he moved to Northern California to cohabitate with me I put the fear of Arachne in him when he started working out in the yard with me.

I showed him what a Latrodectus web looks and feels like (we have the traditional L. hesperus, the shy but potentially nasty L. geometricus, AND the mostly harmless but confusing Steatoda grossa), where not to put his hands, and how to flip things over with a long garden tool or stick if there's a chance it could be harboring a spider. Also always wear gloves. But don't leave the gloves outside unattended because a SPIDER COULD CRAWL INTO THE FINGERS.

I think I may have been too explicit because he hasn't helped me out in the yard in months.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:10 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I got 10% through reading this thread before my entire body started itching with an imaginary crawling sensation. Seriously this thread I can't even
posted by gauche at 1:11 PM on September 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've worked very hard in my life to overcome my natural aversion to the spidery race. I'm not sure if its the hair or the eyes that freak, sorry freaked, me out more. When I was little we received this glorious children's magazine that I forget the name of. Wonderful photos, glossy and educational, which I thought was a great thing, that was until we got the spider edition.

I remember wanting to read it like I'd read all the others, but 8-year old me couldn't stomach touching the photo on the cover. I'm not sure if I was afraid it'd come to life or what, but I had to read it very carefully, also setting my fingers back to the 8% of the cover that didn't have a spider on it after I turned the page.

It was around then that I figured why should I be afraid of them? It seemed so unfair. So lord knows I've been trying to get over that flutter I feel and the itchiness that occurs when I see a spider, particularly upclose. Far away thankfully I have mainly under control.
posted by Carillon at 1:14 PM on September 17, 2013


Also I would way rather live in warm climes and deal with the widow spiders because we don't have brown recluse spiders. Too dry and hot for them. And that's the way I like it. I'll take a survivable but unpleasant neurotoxin over a hemotoxin any day. I like my body without festering necrotic wounds thanks.

Oh and here's a fascinating bit of trivia I just learned from Wikipedia:
Brown recluse spiders possess a variety of adaptations, including the abilities to maintain homeostasis for several seasons with no food or water and to survive after losing limbs. Additionally, the spiders survive significantly longer in a relatively cool, thermally stable environment.

The increased abilities of the spiders to survive during times of starvation, thirst, and regulated room temperatures makes extermination of this species particularly challenging. Many chemicals which have proven effective have now been made illegal or restricted in the U.S., making the use of chemicals to eradicate the spiders impractical. Chemicals that do not kill the spider may cause disruption to its nervous system or other systems, inducing undesirable aggressive behavior.
Soooo... they can live without food, survive losing limbs, and poison MAKES THEM ANGRY.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:16 PM on September 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


I sleep under 2 blankets, a sheet, and a duvet, with a barricade of pillows around my head

y'know, this never struck me as odd until I typed it out.

Aaaaand now I have to get dressed to go to work. in clothes that are in the closets. the closets that are in the room where I found the centipedes. I hate everything.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:19 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


you have a spider somewhere on your body at all times -- but especially now.
posted by changeling at 1:19 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


...this glorious children's magazine that I forget the name of. Wonderful photos, glossy and educational...

Zoobooks, maybe? My kids loved 'em. Perfect length for bedtime reading.
posted by ogooglebar at 1:24 PM on September 17, 2013


That story in the post takes place in my hometown. Somehow I don't think my parents will accept "but, spiders!" as a reason for not visiting them....
posted by gingerbeer at 1:30 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


As someone who grew up near the woods in Texas, he kind of lost all credibility with me by: leaving one's presumably closed toed shoes outside and by not checking them before slipping on. There are lots of little bity stingy creatures who like to take shelter in shoes.
posted by hillabeans at 1:36 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love spiders, especially the Pholcidae. I have standing instructions for cleaning crew to avoid killing them, because I live in a Victorian with no air conditioning and a high ceiling. They are respectful spiders and build their webs up in the corners and take care of my visiting bugs for me. Occasionally they end up on my pillow or in my shower when moving locations, but they are such lovely graceful things I can't imagine being afraid of them.

The funnelweb that moved in next to the aquarium wasn't quite as beautiful, but its web was fascinating. I finally kicked it out towards the end of summer.
posted by tavella at 1:36 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's my spider story. For over 15 years I lived in a loft where the bedroom was above the storage space. The ceiling was old wooden beams. Quite often I would wake up, open my eyes and see large spiders lowering down towards me. It eventually got so bad that I would start screaming and waving my arms much to the terror of my wife. Not sure what damage to my psyche was causing these hallucinations but we moved to a house a few years ago and even though we have many, many more bugs now (5th floor city vs. ground level house surrounded by woods) I have yet to wake up to giant spiders trying to kill me.
posted by misterpatrick at 1:37 PM on September 17, 2013


hillabeans: "There are lots of little bity stingy creatures who like to take shelter in shoes."

Big ones too! Someone was just telling me this weekend about finding a scorpion in their shoe while camping near Fort Davis.
posted by invitapriore at 1:41 PM on September 17, 2013


Is smoking spiders a thing now? I can never keep up with the latest designer drugs.

Rumors say only banana spiders, but it gets you really high.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:43 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


There are lots of little bity stingy creatures who like to take shelter in shoes.

Spiders and scorpions were occasional shoe intruders where I grew up, but the biggest problem was with toads. My dad had to check for big slimy toads every time he went to put on his garden shoes.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:45 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't be scared of spiders! They're just trying to open a line of communication.
... and lay their eggs in your brain.
posted by sourcequench at 1:53 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


ogooglebar it was Kid's discover actually. I had to ask my sister but thankfully she remembered.
posted by Carillon at 1:56 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


In fact! Here's a link to the terrifying issue now! Man I forgot how much that freaks me out.
posted by Carillon at 1:58 PM on September 17, 2013


If you are an arachnophobic web developer, this would be a pretty sweet tattoo to ward off spiders:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

posted by jason_steakums at 2:20 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


My father had a scar on his right leg, just above his kneecap and off to his right.

I felt like a for real legit Mefite when I realized this was a sonascope story less than halfway through reading it.

Anyway I try not to kill spiders when I can help it but here's my trick for ones that are too hard to reach or too obviously puissant and evil to squish with a paper towel or whatever:

Get some canned air -- the stuff you use to clean the crumbs out of your filthy, filthy keyboard -- and flip it upside down. Push the button to spray liquid freezing death. It's super effective.

Less toxic than pesticide, less messy than WD-40.

One word of warning, though: just because a spider is thoroughly encrusted in ice crystals doesn't mean it's not going to come back to life once it thaws out
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:53 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Have you never heard the scary story that you are never more than three feet from a spider?
posted by Cranberry at 3:02 PM on September 17, 2013


The part of Nebraska that I live and grew up in is relatively free of venomous animals. Growing up and reading about poisonous animals, but never actually encountering them, makes them loom large in the imagination.

So, my wife and I'd been living in the hills south of San Jose, California for a few months, and my wife was downstairs doing a load of laundry in the house we were renting, (more of a cabin, really). I was reading a book when suddenly she let out a truly terrifying scream. I jumped up and ran to the top of the stairs, and met her running up, wild eyed and swearing. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"There's a CRAB in the downstairs bathroom!"

Pause.

"Wait, there's a what?"

"Not a crab, you know what I mean, a bug, a bug that looks like a crab!"

Hmm.

"I think maybe you mean a lobster?"

"YES! It looks like a lobster! What is it?"

"I think maybe you've seen a scorpion?"

"YES! There's a fucking scorpion in the downstairs bathroom!"

During the time we spent living in California we also encountered a tarantula and a rattlesnake in the wild. Not both at the same time, of course. No black widows, thank all the gods, but remind me sometime to talk about the time I mistook a banana slug for a pepper.
posted by Ipsifendus at 3:03 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Which island is it that has the annual migration of one billion little red crabs? That island looks like a bad island and I don't like it.
posted by elizardbits at 3:11 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I dunno but we were kayaking around Ocracoke, NC in early July and heard a weird crinkly rustling sort of sound in the grass along the water. Thousands of tiny fiddler crabs!
posted by exogenous at 3:16 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


When my mom was five, she lived on a farm in central CA where my grandfather grew, among other things, raisins for SunMaid. One day my mom went out to watch my grandfather work and sat down on a raisin tray. There was a black widow spider on it. It did not wish to share the raisin tray. My grandparents threw my mom into the car and drove like hell to the nearest town. By the time they got there, she no longer had any discernible facial features. She says she remembers being terrified, but not of the spider bite, of going to the hospital. Every time they passed a house she knew, she begged to stop so that they could visit with the neighbors.

Obviously she didn't die because I'm here, but for YEARS afterward, she had horrible joint pain as a result of the venom. A black widow is not a fun thing to be bitten by.

A couple of years later, she was bitten by a rabid dog, but that's another story.
posted by OolooKitty at 3:47 PM on September 17, 2013


elizardbits: "Which island is it that has the annual migration of one billion little red crabs? That island looks like a bad island and I don't like it."

There are the coconut crabs, but I don't think they need any mass migration nonsense. They are a mass migration unto themselves.
posted by jquinby at 4:17 PM on September 17, 2013


Ipsifendus, those hills south of San Jose where you lived when your wife found the scorpion in the bathroom...they were pretty far south of San Jose, right? Like, say, Tulare County? Right? Right?

*curls up in fetal position* Never peeing again. NEVER PEEING AGAIN.
posted by bakerina at 4:23 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, the Brahe defense. Cunning.
posted by mikurski at 4:29 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Which island is it that has the annual migration of one billion little red crabs? That island looks like a bad island and I don't like it.

hey check this out
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:42 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


NO
posted by elizardbits at 4:54 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Trust me, it'll go easier if you just play 'Welcome to the Jungle' in the background.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:08 PM on September 17, 2013


no i just want hot choclety milk
posted by elizardbits at 5:17 PM on September 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


I love spiders. We have an enormous number of different spiders living on our small property (including in the bathroom and the stairwell!) in Portland, Maine. Our daughter, who is three years old, loves them as well. Some are rather large, up to about a 3/4 inch body.

However, the nice thing about Maine is that we don't have any poisonous spiders. I'm glad the only tarantula I've seen was in an aquarium.
posted by miss tea at 5:34 PM on September 17, 2013


no i just want hot choclety milk

The crabs will drop some off when they migrate by your place. They are pretty considerate, for crabs. Not like the crabs in those Guy N. Smith novels....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:36 PM on September 17, 2013


> Hold the flashlight up to the side of your head, alongside your temple, so that the beam is going out into the grass, and the reflections will come back to your eyes. Slowly sweep the lawn, or other grassy spots. Do you see all of those little greenish/bluish sparkles? Hundreds of them glittering everywhere? Spider eyes, every last one.

I just now tried this. I would like to say that it was bunk. I really would.

Partner: What the hell are you doing out here?
Me: Here, hold the flashlight like this. Do you see some greenish sparkles?
Partner: No. Oh wait, yes.
Me: Mefi says those are spiders staring at us.
Partner, no hesitation: That's a lie!
Me: I don't think so.
Partner, retreating indoors: That's a lie, and you can tell them that's a lie!!!

So. That's a lie. Probably emeralds or summink.
posted by gilrain at 5:48 PM on September 17, 2013 [17 favorites]


The crabs will drop some off when they migrate by your place. They are pretty considerate, for crabs. Not like the crabs in those Guy N. Smith novels....


This instantly brought to mind the lobstrosities from The Drawing of the Three. Oh... oh god...
posted by kbanas at 5:48 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Headlighting for Spiders (PDF)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:57 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Entomology" Notes, ha that isn't even a real word. Still a lie!
posted by gilrain at 6:06 PM on September 17, 2013


Also, by experience from Sunday evening's run: reasonably-full moonlight is sufficient to show HUNDREDS OF GLITTERING SPIDER EYES LOOKING BACK AT YOU on that one stretch of trail where the moon happens to be just over your shoulder.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:08 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh crap...sorry, everyone, for the unclosed bold tag.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:12 PM on September 17, 2013


(oh god tell me they can't do that)

oh well will you look at the time!
posted by threeants at 6:22 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Y'all thought I was bullshitting.
posted by jquinby at 6:27 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


As someone who grew up near the woods in Texas, he kind of lost all credibility with me by: leaving one's presumably closed toed shoes outside and by not checking them before slipping on.

That was exactly my reaction. Though I have been a city dweller for nearly half my life, I still unconsciouslly and always knock and shake out any shoes, gloves, etc that have been left outside, courtesy of my rural childhood in QLD Australia, replete with funnel webs and many a redback (australia's black widow).

City people are often bemused, but I still remember the one time I didn't knock shoes as a nine year old, and felt the crawling and wriggling around my securely laced-in foot. The thought that there was a (comfortably lethal to a nine year old forty minutes away from the nearest hospital) funnel-web pressed up against my foot and the terror it induced stays with a person - though I'm not generally afraid of spiders.

Turned out it was just one of these, a mole cricket.

Scared the shit outta me, though.
posted by smoke at 6:30 PM on September 17, 2013


Ad hominem: "I say we just cede incinerate the areas of the country already infested with black widows over to the spiders."

FTFY
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 6:31 PM on September 17, 2013


To clarify: WD-40 does make an impressive flamethrower, but it's not necessary to do that to kill bugs with it. The stuff is effective without any augmentation.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:31 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


"YES! There's a fucking scorpion in the downstairs bathroom!"

Our inland Southern California office pest situation took a turn for the dramatic a couple of months ago.
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:40 PM on September 17, 2013


Which, I should add, gave me what scientists call "The Unendurable Scritchy-Willies" for about a week.
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:42 PM on September 17, 2013


That would give me what scientists call "Stay At Home Fever" for at least a week.
posted by invitapriore at 6:45 PM on September 17, 2013


Our inland Southern California office pest situation took a turn for the dramatic a couple of months ago.

Yeeks. The scorpion that we found was a tiny thing, it could've sat comfortably on a quarter. If we'd run into the thing in your picture, I think we'd have moved back home much, much sooner than we did.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:04 PM on September 17, 2013


A couple of weeks ago I was in the small kitchenette of the rooms we rent for the church plant I attend...there was a phone on the wall. With a number of big black long shiny spider legs sticking out the back of it.

Did I mention they were really big?


My husband and another man from the meeting did manage to dispose of the objectionable creature and informed me later it was a black widow. I had no idea they got that big.


(My dad says the way to tell a black widow web from a regular spider web is that the black widow web is considerably stronger. I think it would be just easier to assume it WAS one, and go find the blowtorch.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:21 PM on September 17, 2013


I grew up in Southern California, in one of those housing tracts that was so brand new the coyotes were still close enough to howl at night. We had a lot of black widow spiders in the early years there and it was just Not A Big Deal. I do still remember the time I came very close to neatly stepping on one, though--in bare feet.

It's pretty great to hear that Texas has all kinds of weird spiders. I've missed spiders. Tarantulas are kinda cute, in my opinion, and plenty fun to hold. And god knows if there's something that wants to eat the goddamn cockroaches and assorted other bugs that are loving my kitchen, I'm all ears. You can totally give me a potentially lethal bite in exchange for cleaning my kitchen up, Black Widows!
posted by librarylis at 7:43 PM on September 17, 2013


The Black Widow
posted by TedW at 8:03 PM on September 17, 2013


Dr. Holstege finally explained what was on his mind. The hospital was one of several conducting a study to test a new form of antivenin, and wanted me to be a guinea pig. The drug, Analatro, was made in sheep rather than horses, and was processed differently, so it had fewer impurities to which the body could react.

It sounded promising, but there were risks. First, I could not take pain medications that would mask the drug’s effects: no muscle relaxers to fight the spasms that already gripped my rib cage like a vise. Second, the side effects were not well understood.

Finally, there was a 50 percent chance that I would not get the antivenin at all but a placebo. I would be only the fourth patient to participate. Two of my predecessors had received the placebo. It all sounded so interesting that I could not bear not to volunteer. (I was also promised a payment of $60.)
"But if I don't die, I'll be up sixty fat ones! Sign me up!"
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:09 PM on September 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here in Australia we have redbacks, which are very close relatives of the Black Widow and similarly poisonous. When I first moved here, I thought this was a Really Big Deal and I would kill them with fire. But now I've settled into the same nonchalance as most Australians I know.

We have redbacks living in between our living room sliding doors and mesh doors, and some in the garage, and as long as they stay high up or deep in corners in their big strong webby webs, they can stay. Whenever I go into the garage or behind the house to find pots for houseplants, I kick them over with heavy boots, give them a strong spray with a hose, and wait for the redbacks to remove themselves before lifting the pots (with gardening gloves) and giving them a closer inspection.

When I need to check the water meter, I wear gloves and scrape the redbacks off it with a trowel before I can read it. They go back home when I am done.

When we are going to have small children visit, I go on a brief redback killing spree in advance, but otherwise meh.

Unlike huntsman spiders, which teleport and end up in your bed or on the toilet paper in the middle of the night, redbacks are pretty much always going to be in the same location where you saw them last. Their webs are so big and strong and usually have leaves caught in them, so you can easily spot them. And the spiders themselves have that nice red stripe for easy identification. And even if you do get bitten, for most people it's supposedly no worse than a bee sting. I believe no one has died in Australia from a redback bite since the 1950s. For people who react more seriously, antivenin is very effective, and I believe you have quite a lot of time to get treatment before the symptoms become life threatening.
posted by lollusc at 8:13 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've long been afraid of spiders since I was a little kid but as I've gotten older the fear has sort of gone away, but not completely. I lived in AZ for a while and caught a wild tarantula, they're nice. I let it go after a while, no need to keep it. However, last night while my girlfriend and I were in bed she screamed and rolled out of bed because she saw a huge black spider running across her leg. I looked up from the show we were watching to see where it was and when she said "It's going to your foot!" I flicked the covers and jumped off the bed myself. I started looking around for it but could not find it, and the rest of the night was spent being paranoid about the big guy coming back for us.

I am usually really logical about spiders. I don't kill them because they kill all the other bugs, and because they aren't aggressive to us and don't bother us. If they are crawling on me in the middle of the night that's fine since I don't notice it, although that thought is sort of terrifying. When I asked my girlfriend what the spider last night looked like she told me it had a million legs. I said "Honey, it could only have eight legs if it was a spider, and it may look like it only has six." She said it had a million, so I don't know what the hell it was.

The only thing that bothers me about spiders here in the Pacific NW is in the summer time they make these huge webs across sidewalks. When it's dark out I can't see them at all and I know that most of those webs have a Cross Orbweaver in the middle of them. It's mostly annoying but I know one day I'll be walking home in the dark and one of those guys will happen to be crawling to my ear.
posted by gucci mane at 8:40 PM on September 17, 2013


I flicked the covers and jumped off the bed myself. I started looking around for it but could not find it, and the rest of the night was spent being paranoid about the big guy coming back for us.

Every. inch. of the room must be inspected when this happens to me. I have to know where it went. And change the sheets, covers and pajamas. And check my hair. Double check. I'm really not weird about spiders most of the time, but when they're in the bed the game has changed. Same goes for those leggy lightning-fast bastard house centipedes even though they're harmless.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:26 PM on September 17, 2013


Also, one of the things they never warn you about before puberty: leg hair is the New Game+ mode of nighttime spider paranoia.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:34 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why do you think women ladies shave their legs?
posted by maryr at 9:35 PM on September 17, 2013


And even if you do get bitten, for most people it's supposedly no worse than a bee sting. I believe no one has died in Australia from a redback bite since the 1950s. For people who react more seriously, antivenin is very effective, and I believe you have quite a lot of time to get treatment before the symptoms become life threatening.

I saw a guy get bitten by one once- he suspected it was a male redback, the less nasty sort. Within a few minutes he was white as a ghost, shaking uncontrollably and couldn't stand up. He was promptly treated in hospital and after a couple of days he was fine. He was probably not in mortal danger but it didn't look terribly fun.

That said, the redback lurking just outside my front door has never worried me.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 9:41 PM on September 17, 2013


why do you people live on MONSTER ISLAND?
posted by The Whelk at 9:44 PM on September 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


When I was bitten by a black widow on the arm as a teenager, I was really surprised by how little concern the ER seemed to show. They drew a circle twice the size of the welt with a marker and told me to come back if the red patch grew larger than the pen mark. Then they suggested I take some over-the-counter painkiller and sent me home.

When the pain in my knees became so bad I couldn't stand a few hours later, my mother phoned them up and was told that I might want to consider taking more than the recommended dosage of the painkiller. They suggested coming in only if I had trouble breathing or any of a small list of other very specific symptoms.

Now I'm curious why the author's experience was so different. Is his doctor crazy and over-reacting? Was my doctor negligent or unfamiliar with spider bites? Or, are there actually very specific indicators that convinced my doctor I didn't even need observation, while this guy was hospitalized, leered at by staff, and warned of looming death? Or, has black widow science advanced significantly in the last two decades?

I'm pretty sure the encounter left me less frightened of spiders. After all, if the scariest spider I'd ever heard of merely caused a few days of pain and skipped school, it wasn't worth missing out on good experiences so as to avoid getting bitten. If I'd been put in a hospital bed, I wonder if my conclusions would have been different.

Then, years later, I visited Australia, and learned first hand that all the animals and plants are forever struggling to kill me, personally, at every opportunity.
posted by eotvos at 10:00 PM on September 17, 2013


Once I had an encounter with a fully-grown Carolina Wolf Spider in a friend's house ("Oh, yeah, we get those. Don't worry about it.") and later that night I relived the encounter in a dream except in the dream I looked really close at it and its abdomen clearly had a ribcage inside and pulsed as if breathing, with that plus the fine brown spider hair making the abdomen look like a mouse's torso. I couldn't get the image out of my mind for weeks. Fuck you, brain.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:10 PM on September 17, 2013


I thought you could spot black widows by the red hourglass shape on the top of their abdomen. Thanks to this thread, I now realize that the interesting striped spider that I spent an afternoon gardening in close proximity to a few months ago that I was convinced was not a black widow was in fact an immature female western widow, and that the black spider I noticed crawling into my house this morning but didn't have time to catch that I didn't stop to consider being a black widow could very well be that same spider as a adult, and that unless I pick my gym bag up off the floor tonight, tomorrow morning I will die at the gym from multiple black widow bites to my crotch.
posted by eddydamascene at 10:38 PM on September 17, 2013


why do you people live on MONSTER ISLAND?

Because getting a cat bite treated here the other day cost me $6.50.
posted by flabdablet at 11:08 PM on September 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know Godzuki isn't a real doctor, right?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:12 PM on September 17, 2013


OK, now that we're discussing Aussie arachnids it's a good time to remind you all to go back and watch Nash Edgerton's alarming short Spider [previously, previouslier]. Nash and his brother Joel were both in Zero Dark Thirty and Joel is starting to hit the big-time (Gatsby, new Ridley Scott), but back in 2007 Nash was pretty much an unknown stuntman showing off his ability to set up gags (as they are called in the business).
Plus, you should all watch The Square, despite its pronounced lack of spiders.
posted by dhartung at 12:49 AM on September 18, 2013


Pulling my shorts back on after a happy skinny dip at a lovely beach was my first introduction to one of these.

That reminded me of the story a friend of mine told about when his family lived in Brazil and his father decided one day that, hmm, there are a few too many insects in the house, let's fumigate it. So they did and he got to know that the huge, dinner plate sized spiders and equally big centipedes that were, unknown to him, living under his bed, actually weren't harmed by the process, but just walked out and back in.

He said he didn't mind so much them living under his bed as him knowning that they did.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:28 AM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The original Black Widow
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:35 AM on September 18, 2013


When I was little, I lived in New Mexico. One day, a bunch of us were playing outside, and found a tarantula in the grass. I won't attempt to describe its size, because the screaming doubtless magnified it greatly. Somebody's Mom eventually dropped a big rock on the poor thing. For years after, I had a dream where fleets of tarantulas owned the walls of a house. We're so impressionable when we're little.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:47 AM on September 18, 2013


I still remember being about four, when we lived in Bermuda. Being a somewhat tropical place, there were lots of giant-sized bugs, and I was used to spotting water-bugs the size of my head and etc. One morning my little sister and I walked into the kitchen, and I noticed these decorative things on the wall. There were two of them, large, shiny copperish colored things that looked like very fancy trivets or something you might use on a table to keep hot dishes from sitting directly on the wood, but the kind that were so fancy and elaborate you might also hang them up on the wall. They were quite large, large enough to hold the soup pot I figured, and oval in the middle, with long protrusions extending from there, and the two of them were spaced on the wall as if someone had just hung them up there. I started to say to my sister, "Hey, look! I guess mom got something new for the kitchen—" And that's when they started moving....
posted by mothershock at 5:22 AM on September 18, 2013


You all know that the average person eats 14 spiders a year in their sleep, right?
posted by double block and bleed at 6:08 AM on September 18, 2013


double block and bleed: "You all know that the average person eats 14 spiders a year in their sleep, right?"

Ah... no. :)
posted by zarq at 7:13 AM on September 18, 2013


why do you people live on MONSTER ISLAND?

It's like an endless episode of Survivor and the humans haven't caught on yet that the wildlife is voting them off the island again and again.

i hear new zealand is lovely and also beer comes out of the taps
posted by elizardbits at 7:24 AM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


And the streets are paved with hobbits and quirky novelty comedic music acts.
posted by maryr at 7:45 AM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fear.
posted by Wordshore at 8:00 AM on September 18, 2013


This spring we were getting bids on some work on our house. Turns out the 6'4" 200 lb plumber was scared to death of spiders and encountering a wolf spider in our basement convinced him that ALL the pipes were lead (they weren't). He grabbed a big board and smooshed it - and fled. Further reflection makes this seem counter productive - would you want to spend hours in a scary, spider filled basement? Logic would have dictated that he thought everything in the basement was just fine. He wasn't the guy who ended up working down there with all our spiders in Michigan basement (only partially paved and well infested )
posted by leslies at 8:42 AM on September 18, 2013


MartinWisse: "That reminded me of the story a friend of mine told about when his family lived in Brazil and his father decided one day that, hmm, there are a few too many insects in the house, let's fumigate it. So they did and he got to know that the huge, dinner plate sized spiders and equally big centipedes that were, unknown to him, living under his bed, actually weren't harmed by the process, but just walked out and back in. "

I like imagining the giant spiders and centipedes hanging around outside, smoking some cigarettes, shooting the guy dirty looks every so often and then finally just asking, hey, pal, you done in there?
posted by invitapriore at 8:57 AM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fuck you guys. *endless, spasming shudder of revulsion*
posted by wenestvedt at 9:19 AM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


The other day I got in my car and shut the door. Something small landed on my hand. I though it was a small fly at first, but when I shook my hand to dislodge it, it turned out to be a teensyweensy jumping spider. It hung around on my steering wheel until i removed it when I got to where i was going. I removed it via a receipt paper, it was too small to coax onto my finger.

I feel pretty proud that I was able to be calm and rational, since i have had a phobia about spiders I have almost completely conquered. They are beautiful and creeepy.

*The place that has the mass migration of red crabs is Christmas Island.
posted by annsunny at 11:27 AM on September 18, 2013


Coconut crab: all the freakiness of spiders, man sized.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:43 AM on September 18, 2013


REMEMBER: IF YOU TOUCH A BLACK WIDOW, YOU WILL TURN INTO A HUMAN-SIZED BLACK WIDOW. COMPLICATIONS INCLUDE BEING PUT DOWN BY EXTREMELY FRIGHTENED ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS AND DESPERATE THIRST FOR EVERYBODY'S JUICES. STAY SAFE! CRAWL UNDER A TABLE (CHECK FOR SPIDERS FIRST!) AND NEVER LEAVE.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:58 PM on September 18, 2013


NOPE.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:55 AM on September 19, 2013


News from the not-quite-as-spider-free-island-of-Britain-as-most-people-assume...
posted by Wordshore at 4:07 PM on September 20, 2013


That's kind of the best article:
"His hand remained swollen “like a balloon” for five weeks until doctors gave him a course of antibiotics.

Dubbed the “British black widow”, the deadly spider, which is about the size of a 50 pence piece, unleashes venom and can kill those who are allergic to it.

[...]

"Nearly all spider bites come from attempting to catch the spider so it is highly recommended that this is not undertaken. However, If you must remove the spider from your home, please capture it using a jar and a stick or pencil and try not to touch the spider with your hands.""
It's a) about as deadly as a bee and b) mostly only attacks people who grab spiders with their big dumb hands.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:19 PM on September 20, 2013


You know, peanut butter can kill people who are allergic to it, I'm not sure that's the best metric for deadliness.
posted by maryr at 5:30 PM on September 20, 2013


Ad hominem: "What is with this guy, every single part of that story is nuts. From now on, I think from now on Jackson Landers should do the exact opposite of what he would normally do."

The dude is crazy, but in a good way. I first met him when we were either in middle school or college. Raised as a vegetarian, he learned to hunt and is a strong advocate of hunting as a sustainable way of eating locally and teaches others how to do it.

He has become a bit of an expert on invasive species (specifically hunting and eating them) in the United States and has written the book Eating Aliens on that subject.

The most recent posting in his blog describe some of his other adventures including killing an injured (road traffic) bear and eating it as well as consuming the world's hottest pepper.

I'll add that one thing that he regrets about the article was that it had to pared down so much that some crucial details are missing. For example, by the time he decided to go to the hospital he was too sick to drive himself, so I think his mother took him. He felt bad that he wasn't able to acknowledge it.

I remember a few weeks ago when it happened, I saw him basically posting, "So I got bit by a black widow spider. Waiting to see if I should go to the hospital" right on my Facebook feed. Also, he pretty much said right away that he thought this would make a great article. Surprise surprise there isn't really a lot of money in just shooting and eating invasive species, so I'm guessing the New York Times article will be a real leg up. He really knows his stuff and unlike some writers tries really really hard to only put stuff that is well researched and true in his articles, so he definitely deserves the recognition.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:57 AM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


For the record, the author is the brother of a MeFite (me). How in the world I didn't notice this post a week ago, I have no idea.
posted by waldo at 10:35 AM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


So that makes him Metafilter's Own-In-Law right?
posted by Mitheral at 2:53 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, the Brahe defense. Cunning.

I LOVE THIS WEBSITE SO MUCH GUYS.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 9:58 AM on September 25, 2013


Skimming this thread, I had no idea that I should be worried about the spider webs that I've been walking into when going down the parking ramp stairs at work.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:49 AM on September 26, 2013


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