Skip to comments.Dancing With Black Widow Spiders
Posted on 09/16/2013 3:17:14 PM PDT by nickcarraway
I lay on my back with my teeth clenched and my hands gripping the sides of a hospital bed. A crowd of strangers in white coats filled the tiny room. Waves of pain lapped from my abdomen into my chest as the venom worked its way toward my heart.
An experimental antivenin drug was about to be injected into my bloodstream, and while I waited for the needle to go in, I reflected that if anyone in the world was the right person to be bitten by a black widow spider, I was that guy.
As a professional outdoorsman, I spend a lot of time around things that can bite, claw, stab or otherwise attack me. I have been lucky with snakes and reckless with bears. I have had some close calls with lionfish. It figures that the thing to finally nail me would be living on my own front porch.
The black widows graceful form and red hourglass marking have made it Americas most recognizable spider. The Eastern species, Latrodectus mactans, is common from Florida to New York and as far west as Texas.
But despite their fearsome reputation, black widows are surprisingly shy and retiring. Over the course of your life, you have probably walked past hundreds of black widows without even realizing it. Each one packs enough venom to lay out a heavyweight boxer for days, yet globally only a few people each year are killed by widow bites.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I was bitten by a hobo spider on the forehead once, and it raised a welt the size of a baseball.
I live in Florida and I hate black widows. They’re all over the place down here and I am very, very careful about sticking my hand in places. And I would never dream of leaving shoes or boots outside - they’re a black widow’s dream home.
Everyone knows someone we’d be better off without,
But best not mention names for we don’t know who’s about,
But why commit a murder, and risk the fires of hell
when black widows in the privy will do it just as well
Poison’s good, and daggers, and arrows in the back
And if you’re feeling desperate you can try a front attack
But are they really worthy of the risk of being caught
When black widows in the privy need not be bribed or bought!
So if you know of one of whom you rather would be rid,
Just wait till dark and point the way to where the widows hid
And say to them, “I think you’ll find that this one is the best”
And black widows in the privy will gladly do the rest!
-—Heather Rose Jones
According to the article, the victim failed to shake out his shoes before putting them on. That’s something I do automatically every time. No exceptions. No matter where I am. Too many years of living and working in the tropics. One of my neighbors was killed by a scorpion hiding in a bedroom slipper.
I like mine better. Those both look evil.
I like mine better. Those both look evil.
I left them alone, they stayed put up there. Was an excellent way to keep my older bitch sister out of my room..........
I hate widows.
We have them all over the place down here where I’m from.
I been bitten by all kinds of spiders including the dreaded recluse, but never a widow.
I typically like spiders, but that’s one of two we have here in Texas that I can’t stand.
My sister told me horror stories about how much pain Black Widow bites caused. She told of tough men crying like babies. Then my son got bitten and his joints ached for about 3 days, it was no big deal.
Stepped on a big one barefoot and felt him wrap aroud my little toe. Shook the POS off before he could bite. A good look at the fangs on a big guy will give you nightmares.
He waited too long to seek help. I never would have left my boots out like that either. SO glad I live in New England.
I lived in Havana for four years and saw my fair share of scorpions. Even for years after returning to CONUS, I shook out my shoes every morning.
Don't be so judgmental, many of them have great portfolios and at their age, all they want is companionship and sex..........
I went to help a handicapped neighbor, who needed a hot tub moved that was sittingoutside upsidedown in his backyard.
My friend who was supposed to help me move it, pled a bad back, so decided to show off and lift it overhead alone.
I managed to get under it, and it was filthy. Got a good centered grip, and yanked it overhead...real heavy. Grinning at my accomplishment, I chanced to look up at the now illuminated interior, and overhead clinging to the fiberglass surface, was as many black widows as is possible to cover a surface without putting them on top of each other. And as I carried the hot tub overhead, they began to fall on my head and shoulders like rain. I decided to Zen it out and just kept pacing smoothly and chucked it onto the trailer to haul it away. I was literally crawling, but I didn’t get bit.
The spider I hate is the brown recluse. The black widow will retreat, but the brown recluse goes out of its way to bite you. I was bit by a big one and my forearm lost about a third of its mass, it poured like digested soup from the bite wound. It took months for the muscle mass to recover.
I prefer to give spiders in general a pass, but browns I terminate with prejudice and swiftness.
I have terminated about 20 of them at work over the last 3 months. Haven't seen any actually on my work station yet. Mostly just on the floor around it under garbage cans and buckets. They are fast suckers too. I live in central Illinois. I've never seen a black widow, though some say they are in the state.
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