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[P]
The Ancient Arachno-Terrorist Organization : AATO

By mybostinks in Science
Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:27:10 AM EST
Tags: Arachnophobia, arachnids, The Ancient Arachno-Terrorist Organization, spiders, ticks, mites, vinegaroon (all tags)

The Arachno Terrorists
I dropped Rick off at his farm house. Being late summer he slept out on the back porch where it is nice and cool. I told him I would pick him up in the morning.

The next day I went to pick him up to take him to work. He greets me at the front door wearing cutoffs and a shirt.

"What the hell happened to you last night??" I asked looking at his legs.

His legs are covered with dozens of ugly tiny red marks about the size of an average zit.

"I need to go to the hospital. I am not feeling so good." he tells me.

"A nest of fiddlebacks got in bed with me last night. I was gangbanged."

"Oh my gawd..." I say in horror.

He was bitten in the classic way; in a bed, in a dark, dry area, in Oklahoma. Just over a week later those bites became large open sores, that if left untreated would look much like this. WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPH.


Fortunately, Rick was treated in time so that he only had open sores about the size of an American quarter. After it was all over with (six months later) he ended up with large "pits" on his legs where the bites healed and the flesh had rotted away. Because the bite does not heal properly, people get serious Staphylococcus infections, if left untreated.

Most of what follows is anecdotal and I am not an arachnologist but long before Google or Alta Vista started crawling the web, there were crawling Arachnida; eight legged creatures that many people fear. This fear is known as Arachnophobia.

Arachnids are not insects (which are six legged). Of all the bugs, they are the most ancient and the most primitive. The main way to identify arachnids are their eight legs and two body segments, though there are some that appear to have only six legs. Most other bugs you will see are six-legged and 3 visible body segments, otherwise known as insects. Other than spiders, other arachnids are scorpions, mites, ticks and false scorpions to name just a few. Have you ever had the "crabs" or scabies? Been bitten by blood sucking ticks or have Lyme Disease? Have you had a near death experience from a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever? All of these diseases are caused by arachnids.

Brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa)
The venom from a brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa, AKA fiddleback spider) is extremely toxic to humans and includes the following enzymes: a protease, an esterase, and a hyaluronidase, all three enzymes cause complete breakdown of human flesh; a necrotic ulcer. In other words, it rots your flesh and heals extremely slow. However, the venom is not fatal and rarely if ever causes death. Consider this though: What would happen to you if a snake injected this type of venom? Their venom when injected into their natural prey almost instantly liquefies the victim's insides so that the fiddleback can suck them out, rather like sucking a chocolate malt out through a straw. Yummy...

Fiddlebacks inhabit about 1/3 of the U.S. and more southern climates. There is a species that is slightly different that inhabits the Southwestern U.S. Where I live in West Texas, I have known a number of people that have been bit by the Southwestern version of these nasty little beasts and the bite has caused considerable problems. One man I know had recurring problems for several years. These vicious beasts are not aggressive and only bite if their primitive brains feel quite threatened. The best way to avoid these little shops of horror is to know their habitat.

Most fiddlebacks love dark, dry places like closets, garages and crawl spaces in attics. I have found them in my closets that I don't use much. Hint: if you need to go into one of these areas, place a bright light where you will be, for about 30-60 minutes. This should clear them into areas you will most likely will not intrude. For the extreme arachnophobe, completely cover your body with clothing and cover your face. I had a female friend rush into an old closet to find a stored blanket and she was bit on the face. She eventually had to have plastic surgery. I have never heard of Arachniphilia but just in case guys...don't shake it at a fiddleback, use your imagination instead.

Black Widows (Latrodectus mactans)
There is considerable lore about this orb spider and this is the time of year they are quite visible (late summer and early fall).

I have kept a number of spiders as pets in an aquarium. The most scary spiders are the most docile...tarantulas and wolf spiders. If you see these in the wild or your house, leave them alone. They will devour other pests in your house namely cockroaches. Both tarantulas and wolf spiders like human companionship. The reason, I am told, is because of our body heat.

Black Widows on the other hand scare me to death and are the most venomous spider in North America. They are an orb spider that many times will be outside spinning webs this time of the year. Being bit by one of these sweethearts (always a female) injects a neurotoxin into your skin that is 15 times more powerful than the bite of a prairie rattlesnake (also a neurotoxin) per volume. You will not feel the bite. Luckily for humans, it injects a minute amount of venom.

By the way, black widows rarely eat the males they mate with as is commonly thought.

Black Widow venom starts to act rather quickly. First, you begin to have abdominal pains, gastrointestinal pains, muscular pains and pain on the soles of your feet. Paralysis of your diaphragm can occur and your eyelids can swell up. If you let the bite go up to this point, you're going to feel rather fucked up. If you have heart or lung problems, you could die from either a heart attack or from suffocation because of paralysis of your diaphragm. Lovely, isn't it?

Safe insecticides are not effective against spiders. The best way to control them is to not create habitats for them in the first place and to be careful when you are around them outside in their habitat. Keep them out of your house by keeping it clean and being careful when you do spring cleaning and wear gloves.

The Arachno-Terrorists' Minions: Ticks
If certain spiders are the field generals, then ticks are their minions...by the bazillions. When I lived in the forests of the Pacific Northwest years ago, at least once a month the subject of ticks would come up. Strangely, most incidents of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever occur in South Carolina and Oklahoma.

Black Legged Tick, Deer Tick, American Dog Tick, Rocky Mountain Wood Tick...scary shit
If you go out in the woods much then you will run into ticks. Their ability to inflict disease is related to their one purpose; to suck your blood. You can get infested with ticks in a matter of seconds and feel them crawling about but not see them, unless they have stopped and have started engorging themselves with your blood. I have seen ticks so big from sucking on a host animal that they look like they would explode from the blood sucking orgy.

One time in Mexico, I made the mistake of taking a piss stop in the middle of a field of dead palmeto trees. Before I could zip up my pants, I felt this crawling itching feeling on my legs. When I got back in the car I realized what had happened. It wasn't until later that my girlfriend spent 2 hours picking them off one by one from my genital area. Luckily, I was not infected with a disease.

You don't get one tick bite, you get dozens and they feast on you like you were their last meal. Some sources say that you only get an infection if you pull them out by grabbing their bellies which have your blood in them. This injects any of the diseases they carry. I've tried many non-squeezing methods of getting them off of me and the only way is using tweezers and pulling them out by their little heads.

Scorpions and Whip Scorpions: I hate 'em, I love 'em
My favorite of all arachnids are scorpions and especially the vinegaroons or whip scorpions. Nothing scares people more than these two creatures. Vinegaroons are especially scary.

Scorpions are generally thought of as desert creatures; they're not. Scorpions like the warmer climates and are also distributed all over the earth. One year in Oklahoma I lived in a ranch house and when I moved in I noticed there were no cockroaches. Two nights later I found out why. The place was overrun with scorpions. At the time I was working in a greenhouse so I brought home from work a 1 quart fruit jar 3/4th full of formaldehyde. Each time I saw one scatter across the floor I grabbed it with a pair of 18 inch long forceps. By the end of the summer the fruit jar was stuffed full of scorpions and I now had a cockroach problem...nature's way.

Scorpion venom is also a neurotoxin. Not only that, but unlike other arachnida they can control how much venom they can inject. If they fully inject their victim with all their venom it takes several days for them to refill their venom sacs. Though not usually fatal, their sting is very painful. Most species of scorpions are NOT poisonous but this depends on what habitat you live in. In the U.S. very few people are killed by scorpion stings. This is due to the fact that most poisonous scorpions live in remote Southwestern U.S. deserts.

Of all the arachids, vinegaroons are indeed the most benign. They look like the beast from hell but the ones in North and Central America are harmless as they have no venom gland. They make good if not ugly pets. The beast looks as though it would rip you a new one but their only defense is a strong vinegar smell they squirt you with when startled or threatened.

The Return of the Monster King
Vinegaroons used to be real common where I live. I never saw many scorpions here and five years ago was the last time I had seen a vinegaroon. Early one morning in the middle of the night I was startled awake by thunder. I walked into the kitchen to make some coffee. I was very startled when I turned on the light and saw by the back door a huge vinegaroon who had come in from the rain. I picked him up and let him warm up on my arm before I turned him loose outside in the ivy.

I was thankful that the rain had brought them out, so I turned off the coffee and went back to bed...for dreams of vinegaroons, the king of arachnids.

NOTES:
Comments from the original diary entry.
Thanks to BottleRocket for this comment. It is priceless.

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Display: Sort:
The Ancient Arachno-Terrorist Organization : AATO | 63 comments (47 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
I am so glad you put this to the queue (none / 1) (#3)
by agavero on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 11:56:25 AM EST

you will have my +1FP when this goes to voting.
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
Not that I know much about writing..but.. (none / 0) (#9)
by agavero on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 02:01:46 PM EST

I think the first paragraph is fine, the next part could be...the next day I went to pick him up to take him to work and he greets me at the front door wearing cutoffs and a shirt.

His legs are covered with dozens of ugly tiny red marks about the size of an average zit.

What the hell happened to you last night....

The rest falls into place..as it is when you see the red marks you then ask him what happened, not when you saw the cutoffs and shirt..

Just my opinion. :)
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer

thanks I will also look at that..../nt (none / 0) (#11)
by mybostinks on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 02:08:37 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Thanks! I fixed that (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by mybostinks on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 02:33:03 PM EST

I appreciate the suggestion. What you suggested works much better.

[ Parent ]
I made quite a number of edits...i hope it reads (none / 1) (#14)
by mybostinks on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 02:58:26 PM EST

better now.

I tried to polish up a little more just now... (none / 1) (#18)
by mybostinks on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 07:46:13 PM EST

thanks for the suggestion.

good, but... lymes? (3.00 / 4) (#19)
by CAIMLAS on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 07:47:10 PM EST

How could you talk about ticks without talking about  Lymes disease (via deer tick) ? It's horrible, fucking horrible. It makes you feel like you've got the flu for weeks, and if you've got a fairly mild case you're fortunate to not have ill affects a month later. With or without medication.

I've been bit by many ticks growing up in the northeast and eastern regions of the US. I've never gotten Lymes, though my father and grandfather have multiple times. I've never seen someone get 'swarmed' with ticks, but I've seen them as small as a pin prick (a mere dust of sand, needing a magnifying lense to see clearly), and usually only one or two at a time.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

I briefly mention it in paragraph 3... (none / 1) (#20)
by mybostinks on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 07:58:47 PM EST

but maybe I should have gone into more detail later in the article. I think Lyme Disease is probably worthy of an entire article itself.

The only time I was "swarmed" was the one time in mexico. Usually, it is only two or 3 here and there.

[ Parent ]

I agree, Lyme Desease would/could be (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by agavero on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 09:21:23 PM EST

an ariticle all on its own. My dog had about 60 ticks on him when I first got him. Some of the ticks were very swollen up with blood when we found them. My daughters horses get ticks on them often from the trees in the pasture. Its a fact of life in the north country and everyone is aware of ticks for sure.
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
[ Parent ]
probaly weren't deer ticks (none / 1) (#35)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 01:33:08 PM EST

Those probably weren't deer ticks in Mexico, then... I've never heard of deer ticks 'swarming', but wood ticks...
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

correct ... they were not deer ticks and (none / 1) (#36)
by mybostinks on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 01:38:23 PM EST

i used to know what they were but cant remember right now.

[ Parent ]
I have a feeling they are (none / 0) (#39)
by agavero on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 07:26:12 PM EST

"ixodid" ticks, as these are hardbodied ticks and they also spread a number of diseases. They have been known to swarm.
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
[ Parent ]
i knew a chick (2.50 / 2) (#27)
by circletimessquare on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 02:49:51 AM EST

her face was paralyzed on one side by lyme, like she was a stroke victim. young and attractive (previously attractive) chick too

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Sigh (2.00 / 2) (#28)
by Unski on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 05:33:25 AM EST

You're so shallow CTS..

[ Parent ]
+1 fp (3.00 / 5) (#24)
by circletimessquare on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 02:36:55 AM EST

i love this shit

k5 should just be all insect carnage, all the time

check this out for more jurrassic park level insect mayhem:

praying mantis catches and eats a hummingbird

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Yes, I have seen that pic, (3.00 / 2) (#31)
by mybostinks on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 07:41:33 AM EST

Preying Mantis are out in force around here right now too. Last month we received 15+ inches of rain. That is more than we get in two years. As a result, all sorts of critters and plant life are blooming that people around here didnt know existed.

[ Parent ]
nice (none / 1) (#50)
by buford on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 09:41:46 AM EST

Thanks! That pic fucking rules.

I always thought mantids were wimpy, but this had made me consider otherwise.

zHHD's first law of grandiosity:
if a man zeros you, he is a spastic with the scro
[
Parent ]

Sometimes (3.00 / 4) (#29)
by nebbish on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 06:21:29 AM EST

I'm really happy I live in England.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

Sheep ticks can still give you Lymes disease... (3.00 / 3) (#30)
by Wen Jian on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 07:37:07 AM EST

in the UK. For some reason I have never been latched onto when out in the countryside (Northumberland has fucking loads of them) but when my sisters were little we were forever plucking them off...

I also found loads of soft-bodied ticks in my ferrets' house in Germany. I think that a baby bird had fallen into the cage area (I also found a tiny wing, y'see...), my ferrets had eaten the chick, but the ticks had settled in the hutch. Fucking gruesome it was, and the bites clearly irritated the shit out of the ferrets, too.
It was an experiment in lulz. - Rusty
[ Parent ]

Thanks! (none / 1) (#32)
by nebbish on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 08:22:12 AM EST

Now I'm scared to go hiking! Really thought we were safe here, never mind...

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

And I to be a U.S. Yankee (none / 0) (#62)
by alevin on Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 08:29:31 PM EST

A blizzard or two a year is tolerable compared to stuff like this and the killer bees and ants.
--
alevin
[ Parent ]
The Server that the graphic bite pic is being k5ed (none / 1) (#33)
by mybostinks on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 09:58:43 AM EST

at the moment. I think it is being brought to its knees. I will try to find an alternative picture.

you can k5 a link? no... (none / 0) (#37)
by circletimessquare on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 04:50:50 PM EST

you can digg it, slashdot it, or fark it

but k5 it?!

really?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

It did for a bit right after it (none / 1) (#40)
by mybostinks on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 08:58:02 PM EST

went FP but has since recovered.

[ Parent ]
Alternative site for brown recluse bite pix (none / 1) (#34)
by mybostinks on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:20:35 AM EST

are located here if the other server is being K5ed.

Sorry about that...I had no idea.

There were some arachnophiliacs once (3.00 / 3) (#38)
by jd on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 06:46:54 PM EST

But just once. Curiously, this tendancy is not terribly self-sustaining. :)

Seriously, though, there are some truly bizare spiders out there. In England, there is a type of spider commonly known as the "Daddy Long Legs". The name is well-deserved, the legs being four or five inches long. The legs are also extremely fragile - the tiniest impact will cause them to disconnect from the body. Since these usually still have (most) legs intact when they are seen, I would guess they are capable of regrowing, but I've nothing to back that up with. These spiders have no webs and seem to rely on colliding with prey.

I would assume that spiders that have ground-based webs are the oldest, as beetles and other ground-based bugs predate flying insects by a long way. Despite being older, they are definitely not wiser, often attaching their webs to grass and other non-rigid structures. The maintenance required, even in a light rain shower, must be significant.

A spider found in extremely ancient amber (fossilized tree sap, usually pine) shows that spiders have evolved very little over time, at least on the surface. I do not believe they extracted DNA to do a comparison at that level, and they'd be limited to mtDNA anyway, as nucleic DNA doesn't survive well in the wild.

Some spiders hide in carniverous plants, such as the pitcher plant, or inside those flowers that offer extremely restricted movement. These are lazy spiders, letting the plant bring the bugs. The area the spider needs to consider is much much smaller than if it is relying on fly-bys, though I believe some are capable of grabbing and need no web at all.

I would dble 3 this comment if I could... (none / 1) (#41)
by mybostinks on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 09:05:02 PM EST

excellent. We have "daddy long legs" here and are very common in houses. I don't get to see them much because the cat loves the way they taste and eats them when he finds them.

He even goes searching for them.

[ Parent ]

Will you send your cat up here?? i HATE (none / 1) (#42)
by agavero on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 09:35:03 PM EST

daddy long legs and their beady eyes!!
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
[ Parent ]
My cat says... (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by jd on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 09:39:40 PM EST

...they taste just like chicken.

[ Parent ]
Which do you mean? (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by The Diary Section on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:53:51 PM EST

What we call Daddy Longlegs, in our house anyway,  are actually just crane flies. I think these are what you mean because they are notably fragile. There is a type of spider referred to as a Daddy Longlegs by some but it is somewhat hardier. They do spin webs but the webs aren't adhesive like normal ones and instead have a chaotic looking structure to them that traps insects because of its weave rather than because it is sticky. A cool thing they do is if threatened they use their legs to make the web gyrate so quickly you only see a blur. Hey, I knew getting cable TV would have some educational value eventually.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
I think what he's referring to... (none / 0) (#45)
by BJH on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 12:00:50 AM EST

...are these, which I too would call a Daddy Long Legs. They're harvestmen, which are arachnids but not true spiders.

I think the spiders you're talking about are these, right?
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

The daddy long legs spiders we have, (none / 0) (#46)
by agavero on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 12:07:14 AM EST

are round bodied, only one part to them with long long legs and they are a fawn colour.
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
[ Parent ]
Note to self (none / 0) (#56)
by The Diary Section on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:42:38 AM EST

there is always a third option you haven't considered.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
ever hear of a MOTHER SCORPION? (2.33 / 3) (#47)
by cryon on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:14:03 AM EST

MOTHER SCORPION is another name for the vinegaroon. I used to live out in west texas (near Langtry and the Vinegaroon Saloon, in fact), and they used to be all over there. SCared the heck out of me as a kid. Have been bitten by scorpions when I lived out there, but they never hurt all that much.
HTGS75OBEY21IRTYG54564ACCEPT64AUTHORITY41V KKJWQKHD23CONSUME78GJHGYTMNQYRTY74SLEEP38H TYTR32CONFORM12GNIYIPWG64VOTER4APATHY42JLQ TYFGB64MONEY3IS4YOUR7GOD62MGTSB21CONFORM34 SDF53MARRY6AND2REPRODUCE534TYWHJZKJ34OBEY6

I know the area you are talking about (none / 0) (#49)
by mybostinks on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 09:39:43 AM EST

but I didn't know they are also called mother scorpions. I hate scorpion stings. They are not excrutiating but they are painful. Of course, you are a native of West Texas, you guys are much tougher than us wussies from out of state. grins

[ Parent ]
Common Aussie house spiders (3.00 / 3) (#48)
by buford on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 09:36:32 AM EST

Here in Australia, our megalomorphs are much more dangerous than your tarantulas. One thing you quicly learn here is that you never stick your hand where you can't see it.

The funnel web spider:
Female
Male (check out those dagger-like fangs)

These bastards like to wander around at night (especially after rain or in summer), and seem to know how deadly they are as they are quite aggressive, and will rear up like in the second picture when threatened. They love to live in crevices and build webs that look like this. One place I lived had an old rock wall that used to have many of these type of webs, but then some hungry blue-tongue lizards came and ate them all and lived in the cracks instead. Their venom is a deadly neurotoxin.

Closely related is the mouse spider which I have encountered myself late at night in the bathroom. IIRC it has a similar venom to the funnel web, but maybe not as strong.

Moving on, we have the redback spider which is basically our equivalent of the black widow. They tend not to wander much out of their habitat of confined spaces, but they flourish in man-made environments such as drains and outdoor toilets (hence the poem taught to us in school redback on the dunny

There's the white tailed spider, which has a bite that can cause skin problems, but nothing as severe as the brown recluse sounds.

Then there's the much loved huntsman (in its classic pose in the upper corner of a wall or door). These guys very rarely bite people and will only do so if you are handling them excessively (or rolling over one in bed). They are very common in Australia and are often found in homes hiding behind paintings and under bark on trees. When they are relaxed they flatten their body, but occasionally they do this pose which means they are likely to jump/drop down on your face.

When people first move to Australia and find one of these in their house, the first response it to be scared shitless, but after a while most people realise they are quite harmless and just shoo them outside. It's a real shame to kill these guys and they leave a big smoosh mark on the wall if you opt for that. Although they are harmless, they do look menacing, especially if on the ceiling right above your head (it's a big fuckoff spider that can grow to the size of your hand), so I move them outside as soon as I find them.

This has been a bit of a ramble about a few of the main spiders that might come into the house in australia that probably don't want (or at least don't want to know that they are) in your house. Of course we also have salticidae which are my favourite spiders. The combination of small size and lack of venom with a unique look and interesting behaviour make them fun to handle, but they generally tend to stay outside amongst the greenery.

One thing I've noticed here is that I've never been anywhere in Australia that has had a roach problem :)

zHHD's first law of grandiosity:
if a man zeros you, he is a spastic with the scro

FANTASTIC I would dble 3 this one too.... (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by mybostinks on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 09:51:06 AM EST

if I could. Thanks for sharing that. Those are some awesome spiders.

Hopefully, I can come to Australia some day ( for reasons other than spiders ). It would be a dream come true if I could.

Thanks again!

[ Parent ]

cheers, + another huntsman anecdote (3.00 / 2) (#52)
by buford on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 11:02:19 AM EST

One time when I was trying to capture a huntsman, it escaped into an unaccessable hidey hole that was an artefact of a previous remodel of the house. As long as the spider was out of the way, I didn't worry about it beyond that. I didn't realise that it was a female that had had her eggs fertilised but not yet lain! Here is a very nice picture of a spider protecting her egg sac.

After about a week (maybe longer or shorter, lost in the haze of time) there were suddenly THOUSANDS of itsy bitsy spiders filling the back bathroom. They were bigger than other spiderlings but still only a few mm across, each brown dot dangling on its own stand of web.

Apparently huntsmans are fairly neutral towards each other and can often be found living in colonies, and I didn't want that in my back bathroom so the only option I saw was to vacuum them all up. I felt bad about it but there was no way to move all those spiders, and pretty much all spiders are resistant to bug spray.

Come to australia some time! Supposedly the weather is good right now but I have been cooped up programming for uni for the past ATU.... I plan to be relaxing on a beach in a few weeks :)

zHHD's first law of grandiosity:
if a man zeros you, he is a spastic with the scro
[
Parent ]

Move north.. (none / 1) (#53)
by sudog on Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 08:22:37 PM EST

There are few if any nasties where it's too cold to support them and their prey. When you have nearly 6-8 months of winter per year and the only creatures you need to worry about make lots of noise and crash around through the woods (bears or wolverines) it's much easier and safer to bushwhack..

The woods in the northern climes are almost sterile by comparison. You don't have to worry about nearly the same stuff as you do anywhere else in the world.


no ticks either? /nt (none / 0) (#54)
by jangledjitters on Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 09:12:14 PM EST



hi
[ Parent ]
hell yeah, we have ticks up here, lots (none / 0) (#55)
by agavero on Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 10:01:00 PM EST

of them!
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
[ Parent ]
You're not north enough. (none / 0) (#58)
by sudog on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 01:19:53 PM EST


The place I'm talking about has mosquitos and blackflies and the usual wasps and bees and such... and that's pretty much it. Nothing weird. Nothing that kills you when you swat at it with a broom. Nothing that burrows into you in any gross way. Nothing that eats through your house and turns it to sawdust. No cockroaches. No poisonous snakes. No weird poisonous fish. No bizarre jellies. No "bloop" sea monsters. No sharks, just pike fish.

I wish I were there now.


[ Parent ]

well, when i was in Hudson Bay, there were (none / 0) (#59)
by agavero on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 01:24:27 PM EST

also ticks up there, so I dont know how far further north you would not see them, unless you are in a different country. I am in Western Canada
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
[ Parent ]
Not far enough north. 0x0 (none / 0) (#60)
by sudog on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 03:49:23 PM EST



[ Parent ]
NO TICKS. (none / 0) (#57)
by sudog on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 01:15:35 PM EST

The other poster isn't north enough.


[ Parent ]
I just got bitten... (none / 1) (#61)
by Zack on Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 01:13:12 AM EST

I was bitten this past weekend by a brown recluse. Twice, actually.  It's just now starting to heal.  The necrosis is disgusting, but once it "drained" the pain started going away.  Other than a couple of large wounds in my arm, I had a fever for the first two days.

The first day after the bite there was a "bullseye" type of wound.  Raised red in the center, surrounded by white, and then a big nasty blue bruise around it.  The other bite was just a hugely swollen lump.  Now there's just a slightly swollen lump.  Oi.

Here's the lesson boys and girls:
- long sleve shirts, long pants, gloves.

Z

Yikes! (none / 0) (#63)
by eyeflare on Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 07:06:48 AM EST

This stuff is almost making me want to move to Siberia or something. Or buy big f-off boots and clomp around in...


My site about travel, commentary, photography and random stuff is eyeflare.com.
The Ancient Arachno-Terrorist Organization : AATO | 63 comments (47 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
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