The Widows on the Porch

Before we moved into our apartment last year, we went online and read all the reviews. It’s become kind of a habit now, before we buy just about anything, we see what other people think. In a way I like it, but it also makes me feel like I’m the most co-dependent person in the world. I couldn’t buy a damn high chair without consulting the internet.

But anyway. The online reviews were mixed. Some people really liked the complex, others did not. Some could never park, some always could. And some reported out of control black widows, others swore they had never seen a single one. I could handle parking and an occasional loud neighbor, but the spiders worried me. We asked a friend who lived there and he said he’d never had a spider problem in the 4 years he’d been a resident.

And for the first 6ish months, we had no major spider issues. At some point we started getting more spider webs on our porch and that meant that laundry was only done during the day (our laundry is outside on our front porch), but no big deal.

Earlier this summer, the birds of paradise in our front porch flowerbed started to grow kind of rapidly. By June they were starting to encroach on our walkway, but if we just leaned slightly away from them it was no big deal. By July you had to lean and crouch. For the past 2 months we’ve basically just run full speed ahead with our hands in front of us because there was no amount of leaning that would clear the bushes. I was a little nervous pushing the stroller through the plants since the leaves rubbed all over the carseat, but there wasn’t much that could be done and so we just let it go.

But then we started noticing spiders. Black freaking widows. I am a total scaredy cat when it comes to black widows. There was one that hung out right by our door and it seriously kept me from running more than a couple of errands.

After a few weeks, I stopped hoping the gardeners would read my mind and come trim our plants and called the front office (a novel idea, no?). They assured me the gardeners would come that week and that they’d spray our building for spiders on Tuesday. They seemed concerned and serious about it. A week came and went and the plants and the spiders were still present. So my husband called and said the exact same thing I had said and the next day, the plants were gone.

They left us a note saying they had sprayed for spiders that day as well. We breathed a sigh of relief and reveled in our new, spider-less walkway.

A few days later I was taking my sweet time opening the door when my husband told me to look down. I figured he was just being a brat since I was being so slow, but I looked down anyway. And about 3 inches from my foot was a spider. A black widow. And when I turned around to hurredly go back to unlocking the door, I noticed that about 6 inches below the lock I had just placed a key in was another one.

Thankfully the baby was not asleep because the shriek I let out was not quiet or adult-like at all. I killed both and dashed inside, leaving their carcasses as a warning sign for their 900 brothers and sisters.

It’s been about a week and though they plague my sleep, it seems as though the spiders are really gone this time. The plants are already starting to grow back and if I owned a shovel and wasn’t convinced the dirt was made of black widows, I’d go dig them out myself.

Ultimately I think the moral of the story is to have my husband make all important phone calls from now on since he is clearly more articulate than I am. And also to buy a shovel and probably some boots next time I’m at the store.

5 Responses to “The Widows on the Porch”

  • LOL I literally was just woke up by NYEBoy because he was throwing shoes at a bug on the wall. Omfg. I love the guy, but bugkiller he is not.

    I would die if we had spiders…ermahgerd.


  • Kristin:

    LOL, I hear peppermint oil keeps them away, I’m also not a fan of spiders and we rarely get them outside; but occasionally I come home to a huge snake curled on my porch. I can’t remember how many times I’ve called my dad to come scare it off. I finally broke and started feeding a feral cat outside, she’s gotten super tame since we did, and now when there’s a snake out there I just go in the backyard and she comes and scares them off, otherwise I’d have been stuck out front way too many times.


  • Melissa:

    Holy crap, I’d have to move. Good luck!


  • That wold freak me out. In our old house, the guy who came one year to flush the sprinkler system said he found a whole nest of black widows near the front yard (where my two very small children played) and killed them for me. I hadn’t even known they were there! Scary.
    Every time I move to a new house I loudly announce to any and all bugs that they are more than welcome to hang around, but if I see them I’ll kill them. Seems to work, although that sentiment doesn’t really apply to poisonous spiders- those are never welcome!

    I’m a total review co-dependent too. I shop online a lot, and I HATE returning things (online or in person), so I only buy stuff that has reviews I like.


  • I don’t know if you have them in California, but the fruit of the osage orange tree (aka osage oranges, hedge balls, monkey brains, or or hedge apples) is repellant to spiders. They’re also very pretty and decorative, until they start to rot!


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I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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