My bro-in-law has been landscaping the perimeter of his workshop, the workshop being a feat of amazement in itself, deserving of a lovely setting. So he went to pick up the ‘cap’ pieces to the row of landscape stones that run down the side of the building. While he was gone, I removed the temporary square concrete chunks that were in the way, later using them to create steps down to my little casa, and found my second Black Widow since moving here a few weeks ago.
The first was small, hidden in yet another landscape block, and a blithe swipe of my garden glove disintegrated it – which I really didn’t mean to happen, but all the better since it was an adolescent Black Widow. But this 2nd one was HUGE. Hard, spindly legs, a very fat, shiny body with the telltale red markings, and she was taking care of a ball of baby spiders that would soon be more than this two acres could handle so DIATOMACEOUS EARTH TO THE RESCUE! I don’t like chemicals, except for killin’ wasps, whose only lot in life is to die when they’re around me, so this was a time for tried and true organic methods.
D.E. always works because it’s ‘mechanical’: the fossilized, pulverized shells of the diatoms cut into the hard surfaces and soft fleshy parts of insects and other tiny critters so they ooze to death. I’m not at all sad to write that out but I am sad that it isn’t selective and can hurt beneficial insects. In this case, though, I DUMPED the powder into the hole where she ended up hiding behind a leaf. Okay, I DO feel a bit bad about attacking when she was trying to protect herself but HUGE. BLACK. WIDOW. Nuf sed.
Oh, while I was at it I dumped a lot of D.E. into the other hole containing an army of ants doing their best to grab all the little ant eggs they could to save them. I made sure they, too, did not survive. I’m cool with snakes, lizards, frogs and toads of all kinds, and various other slithery beings… but not spiders, ants, or wasps. They can all die horrible deaths at my hands. Bless their little hearts.
And of course I ran to get my camera before th’killin’…