Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Spider, Spider...In My Car?

V-6 Powered!

We were perched atop an elephant that didn't understand English in the middle of a trackless jungle in Thailand: nothing to worry about, right, despite the fact that our elephant handler (who also did not speak English) had leapt off and disappeared, for all intents and purposes? Well, as our pachyderm stopped momentarily to graze on a tasty green morsel, I happened to look to my immediate right...and noticed a spider, the size of my hand (with fingers extended), dangling not a foot away from me. Not an arachnophobe (particularly), I pointed it out to my wife, thinking it would be funny. The paroxysm of fear that ran through her almost dislodged us from the beast as she grabbed me and thrust me, first toward the spider as a shield, then pulled me away, threatening to drop us nine feet to the ground. Of course, I knew she didn't like spiders, but I didn't think she'd practically kill us while trying to escape one. Silly me.
It is for that reason that our choice of potential new cars has been slimmed by two recently.
Word emerged a few days ago that the yellow sac spider had a definite liking to build nests in the rubber hoses connected to the fuel line in 2009 and 2010 Mazda 6 autos. Sneaking in through the door that accessed the fuel tank for refilling,the resulting clog was significant enough that Mazda recalled 65,000 of the vehicles to check for said word if Orkin was called in on the job. The potential exists for blockages leading to fuel line ruptures and, of course, resulting fires. Not exactly what one would like to see, arachnophobe or not. I suppose the only good news is that the darned spider would die in the conflagration, but that's small comfort. I was amused until today's news that 2008 and 2009 Honda Accords are being found with the same issue (key the eerie music!). then it hit me that my dear drives a 2009 Honda Civic. If the spiders like the Accord so much, might the slower, less-evolved members of the species not favor the Civic? This is definitely cause for concern...though not for me: I bike or take the 1996 RAV4.
However, the allay any fears should my sweetie read the reports and leap to the same conclusions that I have, I decided to research the critter a bit.
For starters, it is indigenous to the entire United States, with the exception of the northern states (I'm hoping that includes us here in Titletown).
Additionally, the yellow sac spider is accredited with the most bites reported in the country...bites which are often misconstrued as recluse spider bites.
Worried? Most bites occur while the victim is out gardening or working outdoors, though when the weather gets cold, the eight-legged Draculae move indoors.
How to be prepared? Follow these precautions:

If you want to prevent you and your family from yellow sac spider bites you can take certain measures. First of all you can shake your clothes before getting dressed. Also you can wear pre inspected clothes when doing garden work or handling firewood etc. Also, by removing your bed from the wall you can minimize the risk of close encounters with the yellow sac spider while asleep.

To protect your house from yellow sac spiders you can install tight fitting screens on windows and doors. You can also seal any crack or crevice a spider can fit into or get access to your house through. Installing yellow light on your front and back porch might also attract fewer insects, which are food for most if not all spiders.

Sleep tight, and stay away from Mazda 6's and Honda Accords!


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