I had hear murmurings from my flatmates for days about a giant spider that had been in and out of their bathroom. This was, of course, not good news, but I assumed by giant they meant very large, something we had encountered together often in various rooms of the house. Nevertheless, I was and still am an arachnophobe, and the knowledge of a very large spider roaming upstairs did not settle with me. I took extra care to check corners, wardrobes, and my bed before getting in. Our house had unfortunately been populated by many spiders as it was, as my flatmate pointed out, the “mating season”. I did not like the idea of the things attempting to procreate in my home and, little did I know, the spider I was anxiously searching for would not be hiding at all.
My flatmate and I had just finished the washing up one night, and it was just about bedtime. I took to the stairs and looked up. What my eyes fell on could not have been described as a very large spider: it was enormous. My mind was made up at this point. Even before I had registered that it was a spider, and not some other loathsome mythical creature, I was screaming at the top of my lungs. It seems to me that when one lays eyes on something so horrible as a gigantic, black, leggy spider, one has to scream so that all that disgust and fear does not get trapped inside. Scream I did, but I did not take my eyes off of the spider, knowing that if i did, it would be my own fault if it ran off somewhere unknown. My flatmate came out from the kitchen: “Oh yes that’s him, he’s a big boy.”
If it were up to me, this “big boy” would have been killed, but as I was far to cowardly to do it myself, and my flatmate had decided to display mercy and affection towards the revolting creature, he was trapped beneath a glass and paper. I was forced to walk past him and use my hand as a scale marker multiple times as my flatmates took pictures and counted alls even of his legs. How he lost his eighth I neither know nor care. He was given the title of Big Satan, and finally it was time for him to go and he was released onto the road. I felt relieved that he was out of our house and was ready to take on the relatively small spiders that remained.
The small peace of mind I gained from the removal of Big Satan from my home only lasted seconds, as my flatmate would then announce, “He probably wasn’t alone, because it’s mating season. His mate is probably in the house.”
I was horrified. Looking back, I feel a bit cruel hearted not thinking that a creature such as Big Satan should be deserving of love. But at the time I did not, and I still do not, want his love in my home. I let the idea of a Mrs Big Satan slip my mind in the following days and felt contented with the idea that Big Satan could have been a bachelor inhabiting my house during mating season. These thoughts were naive.
I was running late one morning, emptying my bag out on the floor and searching for a pen, when I saw Mrs Big Satan fro the first time. She scurried out of my bag, past my lap, and ran as fast as I had ever seen a spider run, away from me and into the house. I did not maintain eye contact as I did with Big Satan, as her proximity to me did not allow any actions besides to scream and run. I had no time to deal with such a crisis, as I was already late, so I ran upstairs to warn my flatmate about what had occurred and why my things were scattered on the floor, wand would stay there until further notice. As I went through my day, I began to doubt that it was a different spider after all; maybe Big Satan had returned, but I could have sworn that this spider was larger still.
That afternoon, my flatmate and I would go hunting around the house with a spatula, checking every closet, under every piece of furniture, and every possible nook that a huge spider might hide, intent on killing it before my spider friendly housemate could spread her merciful influence. Find the creature we did not, and for a few more nights I would check my bed, shower, and especially the staircase as I slept, bathed, and stepped.
My constant awareness would of course lead me to be the discoverer of Mrs Big Satan after dinner one night. She was within an inch of my foot on where else but the staircase. My shrieks once again filled the house, and again my valiant flatmates hurried to the base of the stairs. Mrs Big Stan was certainly much larger than her husband, which is apparently a trait of their kind. She was marvelled upon, and promptly put in a glass to be photographed.
In secret my more like-minded flatmate and I hatched a plan to kill Mrs Big Satan as she was released from her glass outside. While I heard a satisfying stomp coming from outside, it turns out that the lady spider had escaped unharmed. Perhaps Aphrodite had thwarted the aim of the stomping so that the crawly monster could be reunited with her love.
I did not spend my time in between encounters with the lovely couple idly. In fact, I did lots of reading and research on natural ways to rid one’s house of spiders. Some of the methods I came across were amusing, some enjoyable, some doubtful, but all were seriously contemplated.
The first method is the glass and paper one which was used on the Mr and Mrs. This works as well as anything I guess; however, you have to get pretty close to the things, so it is really just as scary as smashing them, which works as well. If your grace extends towards spiders the way it does with puppies or kittens, then the glass method is good for you as the spider will mostly remain unharmed.
The second method is concocting an anti-sider spray of white vinegar mixed with water. Supposedly spiders will die as soon as they are sprayed with the mixture as the acid burns them. I did not entirely trust that this would work, as the spiders that I was dealing with seemed far too lively to stop living on the account of some vinegar, but some people swear by this method so it is probably worth a try. The spray can also be used on areas where one encounters many spiders, like my staircase, and will stop them from crawling there.
The third method, and perhaps my personal favourite, is filling your house with a scent that spiders are repelled by. Spiders apparently do not like citrus, eucalyptus, mint, or lavender. If you have an essential oil diffuser on hand, which I do, you can let these scents really soak in to your living space, and what will be enjoyable for you will send spiders running I did utilise this method downstairs, and I think there is something to be said for the fact that I found Mrs Big Satan moving up the stairs that night, perhaps trying to relocate somewhere that suited her nose better. Using essential oils, lavender sprigs, citrus slices, or candles is a nonviolent, hands-off way to get a little peace of mind, in my opinion.
Lastly, and adorably, you can employ a cat to keep your house spider-free. Cats are natural predators and fi they are so inclined, they will hunt the bastards down. A small predatory reptile might work just as well, but I do not know very much about caring for them. If you have the opportunity to adopt a cat, please consider their usefulness in keeping your home free from the likes of evil couples during mating season.
A method that works as well as any of these could possibly be my flatmate’s. She does not look for them, so she does not see them. If you manage to shut your eyes to the most frightening things, you will in turn, not be frightened. I have not reached this point, obviously, so I will continue to try the other methods as I wait for mating season to be over.
The wedding will be soon.