Sunday, July 24, 2011


A Fox news report from a few days ago spurred a bunch of random memories regarding bugs.
I have to wonder how you are not aware of this after the first 5 or 6 at least...
Black widows are very rare in my little part of the world. The only place I've seen one is down at the crik house. It was when we were still finishing up the build on the house. Towards the end of a long hot day of framing under the house, I was up on a ladder turning a lag bolt, and a black wasp landed on the column right next to me. I was tired and feeling surly, and being not terribly fond of wasps, I drew my 22 oz framing hammer and smacked it. The wasp fell to the ground and I noticed it dropped something. What it dropped was a small black spider. I poked at it with the handle of the hammer and as it rolled over I saw the tell tale red hour glass.
The "better sense" module in my brain spooled up to log the event; "hmmm good to know, black widows around here."
I don't reach around the blind side of the columns on the boat house anymore when climbing around like an aged monkey ( might be a widow on the other side).
I've had what I believe was a spider bite, just above my collar bone. Woke up with it one morning. The bite sight swole up like an egg, but it never did hurt. It mostly just itched. So it apparently wasn't of the poisonous variety. A little WD40, er neosporum, fixed it right up.
I run across what looks like a gigantic yellow jacket every now and then. Came across one this morning while cutting 8 inches of St Augustine grass growth. These things are a good 2 inches long, and particularly bad fliers in my opinion. I move one direction to get out of the buzzer's way, and it flies that same way. I move the other way, and so does it. So I resort to a hasty retreat. I'm not allergic to bee or wasp stings, but I'm not fond of them either. I might have to google a bit on these huge wasps to find out what they are. Perhaps someone can educate me on these big bugs.


  1. When we lived in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, that place is THICK with Black Widows. Our house sat on two-acres, had over 60 trees, was landscaped--which meant lots of timbers, rocks, etc--and was a haven for the damned things.

    Our hot water heater was in a storage room which opened up from the back porch of the house, and that damn storage room was literally pulsating with the damned things.

    I know of no other appropriate way to refer to a black widow spider other than "damned things."

    I set off not one, not two bug bombs--but SIX of the things simultaneously one morning as we were packing the dogs up and heading to the Outer Banks for the weekend.

    A few days later, almost all of the damned things had turned into dead things.

    Here in north Texas, I have 'em in the airplane hangar. We have a 6000 square foot hangar that is tall enough to have an upper and lower level, and we have a bi-fold door at the front. Those damned things love to hang around the bottom of the door where the other insects crawl around and into the hangar.

    So far, that's the only place we've found them. Have not found a spider in either of the airplanes.

    My reloading shop at the house has a few of the damned things in it from time to time. A good stomp of the Tony Lamas squishes them, and I'll set off a Raid bug bomb once a month. Keeps the other uninvited critters' population down, too.

    Ugh. I do not like spiders, but my wife despises them.

    Brown recluses? Had THOSE when I was growing up in west Texas and they are nasty, nasty SOBs.


  2. We see black widows here almost as often as we see snakes. It comes with the territory when you live in the sticks in Central Texas. When we lived closer to the coast at our last place, we had a big Morgan storage building where we kept excess saddles and tack sometimes. One summer, we pulled out a set of saddle bags that had been in the Morgan for several months and proceeded to lash it behind the saddle of one of the horses. Just as I got one side done and moved around to the other side, a big black widow crawled out of the saddle bag I had just lashed down. You never saw an old lady UNSADDLE a horse so fast ...saddle, bags, blanket, all pulled and on the ground in a matter of seconds and me (the old lady) doing a tap dance on anything that moved in the dirt, shrieking and cussing up a storm. Good thing the horse was our steady-no-matter-what mare.

    The saddle bag was a cavalry type, black leather, loose fitting flap that buckled over the top. The flap was designed to keep the contents from falling out and rain from falling in, but had big gaps large plenty large enough for 8 legged creepies to crawl in. The bags were empty because they weren't being used and I guess the dark cavernous shelter looked like perfect digs for the spider that took up residence there.

    I see them almost every time I turn a trough over to wash it these days. I kill them when I find them, but you know they have HUNDREDS of babies so I'm probably not making much of a dent in the population.

  3. HossBoss,I recommend you open carry with a 22 oz framing hammer.

  4. Mom lived in NC. Kept leaving her gardening gloves laying on the garage work bench. Kept giving me "The Look" when I wouldn't use them because I didn't know what might have crawled up in them. Then one day as I reached to open the garage door I noticed a messy web on the inside of the door, and there, big as life, was a black widow with her egg sack. After drowning her in bug spray, I took the carcass in and showed Mom - "THIS is why you shouldn't leave stuff out in the garage." She looked, made no comment. But I noticed stuff like gloves came in the house for storage from then on.

    The big yellow jacket is probably a cicada killer. They aren't cranky like yellow jackets - I sometimes have them flying around when I'm on my deck and they'll light on my legs, wander around, then fly off.

  5. I just twitched so hard, I think I overextended my ACL. Cicada killers you say? (off to google again)
    I learned that lesson as a kid just by having a 2" long tree roach crawl around under my foot when I put it into my tenner shoe.

  6. ProudHillBilly FTW!
    That is it exactly. Apparantly when encountering these wasps of the B52 variety, I'm doing it wrong.
    The comments from this youtube video pretty much sum it up:


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