House Spiders — The Enemy Within

The most recent Titanic‘s "Letters to Our Readers" section addresses house spiders (who I didn’t know were subscribers):

Honorable House Spiders!

All these years we’ve lived together with you without serious problems.  Indeed, you could even speak of a peaceful co-existence.  And now we have to read in the specialty bug magazine Draco the following description of one of your species that lives all over the place, which bears the already rather unsettling name Scytodes thoracica:

The house spider "covers its prey with an stringy fluid and thus binds them to the ground.  The powerfully-build poison glands actually produce poison only in a small front portion — the larger rear portion excretes an extremely stringy glue.  From here, the spider sprays, under extremely high pressure, a secretion onto the prey from a distance of up to 2 centimeters.  The secretion immediately sticks to an immobilizes the prey." 

Poison glands?  Spraying glue?  Stringy secretion?  All this in our bedrooms?  In the kitchen?  The bath?!  But there’s more: "If the victim makes a strong escape attempt, it will be spat upon repeatedly.  Then the spider, looking quite relaxed, will eventually come by an apply the poison bite.  The victim will either be sucked dry right then or brought out of its bindings and dragged to a hiding place by means of the spider’s chelicerae and pedipalps."

That, house spider, is the last straw, and we really don’t want anything to do with it.  So next time we greet you in the sink or shower, whether you’re looking quite relaxed or not, we aren’t going to take your chelicerae carefully in a hand towel and shake your pedipalps gently out the window — instead, from this point on, we’ll get the vacuum cleaner and turn it up to 1000 watts!

Eek!  A Spider!  —  Titanic

One thought on “House Spiders — The Enemy Within

  1. “Eek! A spider! Get rid of it! Kill it!” My wife is a arachnophobic so I be her personal pest exterminator on call – even at 3:45am 😦

    At work spiders now called “engineers” since one colleague told this wonderful story (urban legend?):

    Once upon a time a PC didn’t work anymore. The PC maintenance staff opened it and found a dead spider inside the PC. The maintenance guy explained to the user: “Sure this stuff isn’t working anymore because the engineer is dead”!

    Torsten

    Like

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