Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Invasion Continues

I am hysterical right now.

I have mentioned before that this house has a spider problem. That problem is getting worse. StereoNinja sprays and sprays, and all that happens is they start showing up where he hasn't sprayed. Spray the corners? They move to the middle of the crown moulding. Spray the whole perimeter of the ceiling? They move down to the middle of the wall. Spray the walls? "Fine, we'll just crawl on the floor!" they laugh derisively.

It's a daily, multiple spider problem. I didn't write about it at the time because it was a happy post, but while I was cleaning the living room for my 4th of July party, I had to stop dusting just to the right of the television because just left of the television I could see four spiders clinging to the wall. Work ceased while StereoNinja eliminated those and the other ones he found that I hadn't seen on the adjacent wall and inside our wall sconce. I handled life fairly well after that, up until last week. One morning last week, I woke up at 6 a.m. for what seemed like no reason...until I lazily looked up toward the ceiling and discovered a spider hanging down over the bed, over ME, not three feet above my head. I slid out of the bed onto the floor and woke up StereoNinja. I must have used my OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO DIE voice because he woke up already in instant rescue mode. But then he had to coax me back into bed, because what if they were lined up somewhere I couldn't see waiting for their turn to try to GET ON ME while I was sleeping? What if they'd formed a colony behind the headboard and were going to swarm as soon as I closed my eyes? I didn't sleep the rest of the night.

Since then I've had to deal with spiders daily. I won't walk around the house without socks. I carry a can of spider spray with me everywhere I go, with the cap off, holding it in front of me like some kind of fucking sword. StereoNinja comes home every day to a report detailing where all the spider carcasses that I sprayed that day are so he can remove them and check the area for friends of theirs that might have come to mourn or to get revenge. I take lightening fast showers because I'm terrified of being in such an enclosed space. Today the fast shower didn't work. I had JUST got out and started drying myself when a spider decided to just mosey right across the door frame on my bedroom floor, no doubt laughing maniacally. Once it had passed, I ran out and jumped on the bed, where I had left my spider spray (I won't be making the mistake of not taking it into the shower with me again) and turned around... and then I couldn't find it. I couldn't find it because it was one of those skinny beige spiders with legs the thickness of human hair that like to hang out in bathrooms. And the carpet in my bedroom is, of course, beige. It is also covered in clumps of my hair because my hair is too long right now and when I brush it, it gets everywhere. All hairlike things immediately became suspect, as did my actual hair since if it got in my hair I wouldn't notice that it was ON ME until it was too late. It could be anywhere, and I was naked on top of the bed, clear across the room from my sock drawer. I texted "I'm trapped" to StereoNinja. And he called me and talked me into throwing the duvet on the floor to create a bridge to the door so I could escape. This was a less than perfect plan however, since beyond the door I still wouldn't be wearing socks and I didn't know what else was out there. Also my toothbrush was inside my bathroom which I a) could not get back to unless I was sure the spider wasn't in there and b) was terrified of getting trapped in. StereoNinja said to grab my toothbrush and go in his bathroom but I was adamant that I couldn't: "What if it went in the bathroom? It's one of those ones that likes the bathroom." I stood on the bed another five minutes psyching myself up. Eventually, I threw down the duvet and jumped on it like a drowning man who found a life raft floating by. And then screamed loud enough to wake up the entire island. The spider HAD gone into the bathroom and was already hard at work building a web from my counter to the door, and I had located my island of "safety" RIGHT FUCKING NEXT TO THE DOOR. I sprayed it and it took forever to die, but at least I knew where it was. Unfortunately, my toothbrush was behind the web it was building and it could have been ON my toothbrush for all I know. But I did at least get to grab some socks so I could go to a different part of the house.

The problem with the spiders is that the alarm response is cumulative, and every time another one appears it reinforces the idea that nowhere is safe. I checked the WHOLE bathroom for spiders before I got in that shower, only to have one attack me the moment I got out. Obviously vigilance will not save me. So when I say I'm hysterical right now, what I mean is, the entire time I've been typing this I am perched on the edge of the couch (that way I'm not touching the floor but can easily jump off if a spider crawls onto the couch - this has happened twice in the last few weeks) and I stop every few words to check, in this order: the perimeter of the ceiling, the rest of the walls, the floor immediately in front of me, the floor between me and the door, and the back of the couch behind me (with another look at the wall behind the couch and the ceiling behind the couch for good measure). I will do this in every room I go into, every doorway I go through, every time I get into my car, until a sufficient amount of time has passed between spider sightings that I eventually calm down. If I've seen one spider on one day this takes a couple of hours. If I've seen many spiders on one day it take many hours. If see some two days in a row it can take the better part of a week to calm down. If I keep seeing them, in multiples, for so many days in a row that I can't remember the last day I haven't encountered one...I don't actually know. I imagine it could take weeks. Which is where I am at right now.

I tried an app that is supposed to help with arachnophobia called "Phobia Free". It was developed by a psychologist who specializes in the area and features a pink cartoon spider with a bow in her hair called Itsy that barely looks like a spider to help you. I made it through most of the first three levels. But then it makes you play some games. In the first one you have to flick flies into a spider's web (not Itsy, a more normalish spider but still very cartoonish in shape and color) so it doesn't starve. I tried and tried but kept over shooting or under shooting until I finally realized that the only way to land the fly in the web was for your finger to go over the spider. That was as far as I got. I KNOW YOUR GAME, SPIDER APP THINGY, YOU CAN'T FOOL ME.

I came on here to write this hoping I could make it funny and that it would calm me down, but it hasn't really worked, and also does not appear to be all that funny. Not the way my other spider stories have been. This is not a joke anymore, you guys, it is EFFECTING MY SENSE OF HUMOR.

UPDATE: OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE. Since posting this at lunchtime, I have encountered seven, that's SEVEN, more spiders. The first was a huge one hanging out on the blinds at my therapist's office while I was in therapy. OH THANKS A LOT SPIDER DICK IT'S SO MUCH EASIER TO TALK ABOUT MY PROBLEMS WHEN MY BIGGEST ONE SHOWS UP AT THERAPY TO TAUNT ME. So I sat through an hour of CBT while staring at a thing in the corner lest it move and going over and over my escape plan if it did. So you know, I'm sure I made a ton of progress today. THEN, I left therapy and got in my car to go home. It's hot in my car because I need more coolant for my air conditioning, so I rolled down the window. And then rolled it right back up again as a startled spider I'd failed to notice dropped down and tried to get in my window, so the whole way home I was all FUCK NOW I'M TRAPPED IN MY CAR. Once comically removing myself from it (when the heat became unbearable and my choices were face a spider or actually die) I went in the house and found another five spiders, one in the kitchen and four in the living room. I haven't been back to my bedroom since this morning. I'm currently stress eating to pass the 4-5 hours before StereoNinja gets home. Sorry, MrBalls, I'm eating your american Doritos (I did warn you they'd get eaten if you didn't come rescue them).

SECOND UPDATE: Trying to do laundry. Laundry seems safe - I had StereoNinja check the laundry for spiders this morning, what could possibly go wrong? A SPIDER IN THE BOTTOM OF THE LAUNDRY BASKET, THAT'S WHAT. C'MON MAN, THIS IS NOT EVEN STATISTICALLY POSSIBLE ANYMORE.

THIRD UPDATE 7/24: StereoNinja went through the entire house when he got home that night, spraying things and killing dozens more that were hiding in corners I hadn't looked in. They're STILL HERE. Right this moment he is outside hosing down the house and spraying things and killing spiders he can't reach with a broom. He says he's killed about 100 on the outside of the house. Pretty sure I'm going to die.


Jen said...

Not sure if you've tried it, but Spider Stopper from Lakeland is good - you spray it around the entrances to your house.It might not stop them all, but it certainly cut down the number of spiders getting into our flat.


Dan Bates said...

Haven't fully read your post yet (I'm busy at work, will get to it at home tonight), but thought you'd like this:

Bristol man found a venomous spider in a bottle of wine at Tesco

amberance said...

Ooo! Thank you for giving me another excuse to not drink wine!

tonette said...

I am probably as if not more terrified of spiders as/than you are. Here's my solution: You need to fog your house. It's an aerosol can that not only kills the insects but their eggs as well. I'm not sure if you're from the States or not (which is the only country I think sells them) but I'm going to do you one better. You have given me hours of laughter and for that I will mail you some (P.O. Box if you prefer). All you have to do is be away from your house for the better part of the day, close all windows and vents, and upon your arrival have StereoNinja vacuum those fuckers up and you're good. It's the best shit and I swear by it. It's not safe for pets though. I had a damn spider in fall down from the visor in my car a while back and I IMMEDIATELY, removed myself promptly, called my mom, and refused to enter again until she came and fogged my car. Yes! I'm THAT girl. I actually have foggers underneath my kitchen sink just in case the occassional house spider decides to invites its friends over. Again, I'M MORE THAN WILLING TO MAIL IT TO YOU! I can't stand those damn insects and wish they would cease to exist. I found myself scratching my back a few times while reading your blog just out of empathy for your horrible attacks. I figured that since you gave me hours of laughter for your 50Shades reviews, this is the least I can do!

Dan Bates said...

1. Spiders are not insects, they're arachnids.
2. Spiders are beneficial, they eat insects, especially mosquitoes and other irritating bugs.
3. The vast majority of spiders you'll run across in your home will NOT attack you.
4. CBT must mean something completely different than what I immediately thought of when I read it, as I'm almost positive you, being a woman, wouldn't go to a therapist for it, unless you were providing it, and then you'd be the one getting paid, not the therapist.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

CBT would be Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Would it be worth contacting an exterminator?

Hannah said...

Vile horrible creatures. I know they're necessary but it doesn't mean that I have to like them or that I'm not allowed to scream ridiculously whenever they decide to come into my house.
I hope you get the problem sorted soon and don't end up trapped in/out of the house.

charlotte browne said...

I hate spiders. I don't care how many bugs they eat, I never want to come into contact with one ever. Apparently, fresh cut lemons and peppermint oil spray repels them. Dunno if it works but it's worth a try :)

HornGillian said...

{\fonttbl\f0\fnil\fcharset0 ArialMT;}

\f0\fs26 \cf2 \cb3 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0
\outl0\strokewidth0 \strokec2 Oh Lord. Go for the foggers, I say. It is not worth this fear and paranoia, and I've lived in farm houses with less spiders than you're getting. We've used foggers before to get rid of fleas, and they're great. }

HornGillian said...

Sorry about all the weird text there. Dunno why that happened.