Sunday, May 30, 2010
How to Train a Spider
I have always had the utmost respect for spiders. My Dad taught me that it was unlucky to kill spiders and as a kid I really believed it. I once had a dream that a legion of spiders were crawling up onto my bed while I slept, to get their revenge for a poor brother of theirs that I had killed - although I hadn't! Honestly!
I don't believe in lucky any more but I have kept my respect of spiders, and we never kill them at our house. So what do you do with a spider that makes a huge web right over your front door every night for instance? What I do is train the spider to make its web somewhere else.
Most of the spiders around here that put up huge face-whacking webs do so in the evening. You can watch them spinning if you go outside at dusk. They leave the webs up all night, then as soon as the sun touches the web in the morning they begin tearing their own web up. They neatly roll the whole thing up in a flash and retreat up one of the highest reaching anchor threads to a safe place to spend the day. They hide out in this safe place all day and start the process over again the next evening. Armed with this knowledge you can see why most people never get face-whacked with spider webs in their own yards. They are too lazy to get up at the proper time to do serious gardening!
If you are not one of these lazy persons, you may be asking me, "Florence, How can I train my spiders like you do? I love my spiders and I want them to eat all the bugs. Help me to save my spiders and not get face whacked!"
Training spiders is really very easy because spiders are pretty smart. If given the choice they really do prefer not to be in your face -the hardest part is locating the invisible webs with your eyes and not your head. In the spring when I am doing this training process I usually figure out pretty quick, the hard way, where all the spiders have decided to build their webs. After I have recovered from the terrible fright of spiders in my face, the next day I will begin the training process.
So usually I have one spider blocking every place I want to go early in the morning - across the garage door, over the paths, on the porches, between bushes and trees in places where I want to walk..... Early in the morning I carefully locate each web containing its spider. Using a long stick, or your hand if you are not squeamish, find the long anchor threads going down to the ground. Carefully break this thread and watch the web float up higher in the air. If the spider does not react and run up his escape upper anchor thread, continue breaking anchors until he does. Now the spider knows, "Hummm, so a big giant creature is likely to break my web if I make it here."
You only have to do this a few days in a row to train the spider. Usually all he will do is make the web much higher up in the air. The web that was across your path will now be way up in the air over the path. The anchor threads will also be way up there, maybe going between two trees, and you wont even experience face-whacking from those. If the spider cant make his web up higher he will usually go someplace else entirely, and voila! Your spider is now trained!
(I went inside to get my camera to take my very own picture of a spider web for this blog, but when I got back outside the spider had magically rolled up its web, and it was gone! So the photo above is from "the web." Pun Intended)