Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Keep It Clean

I killed a black widow spider yesterday in my garden.

Smashed it with a brick.

Like a freaking horror movie, the thing appeared as I rolled back some black weed-barrier material I'd kept over the garden last year. It was infested with crabgrass and needed to go. I was going to replace it but now I see it was the perfect habitat for something much worse.

As I write this my dear greybrador is curled outside on the pavement, napping in the afternoon sun. During summer he'll lounge for hours in the garden, on a corner of mulch spread over a sheet of black weed-barrier fabric. Good Lord.

I need to have some sort of path to keep the garden from becoming a big mess. But as soon as I make a path I'm making a potential black widow habitat--without the black stuff I still have mulch, which creates the same sort of darkness they love only one less impervious to dogs. Unless the dog paws the black stuff off the ground. Which happens sometimes.

Alas, there's no beneficial nematode that kills black widow spiders.

I checked.

So the garden people say the best solution is: Keep It Clean. Keep the garden clear from underbrush, dead weeds, etc. Keep the black stuff tightly down and the mulch packed down (because black widows are big and need elbow room, heh) and then just get on your life and stop being paranoid about future episodes. These spiders are rare.


Yet all this advice is awfully familiar.

Image source: scottkinmartin



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