Monday, December 6, 2010

On Spiders

This year, as it got colder and darker, we discovered our heater wasn't working. It was busy--the Thanksgiving holiday, Christmas shopping, repairs to our new home--so we compensated with space heaters. One in the bedroom. One in the office. One in the bathroom. One by the couch. A few nights, when the temp dipped below freezing, we put them all in the bedroom and shut the door to the hallway to seal in the heat. It kinda worked. But when I discovered that I couldn't have the space heater and computer on at the same time as I was preparing my morning toast (or risk having to go outside to the breaker box in my slippers) I decided it was time to call in a professional.

He's a nice guy, the Chess Air man, and he knew right away what the problem was. Apparently, our spider population was productive enough that their webs completely blocked the pilot light from the heater's sensor. Now, I knew we had a lot of spiders in our house. They can be found in nearly every corner of every room. And once every month, I'll go around and suck them up with the vacuum hose. But I'll always leave one or two to get the bugs that eventually get inside. I guess that was a bad strategy. I guess I didn't have to worry about killing all the spiders, because there were plenty doing their spidery best right beneath our feet.

So Mr. Chess Air cleaned out the cobwebs, berated me a little for having such a bad "spider problem," and suggested I use bug spray to keep the heater working. Now, we're toasty warm, able to toast and type at the same time. But do we still have spiders in the house? The answer's yes, and I'll tell you why: the winter rains have begun in earnest, and I need my eight-legged soldiers to battle the coming onslaught of ants.


Lindsey Gosma Donhauser said...

I thought I'd read something in an old "home remedy book" but this site has a few easy ones: baby powder, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, the list goes on...all might be worth a try esp. with George around (with dogs around I hate to use poisons myself).

Oh and let me know if any work, since the ants love our figs when they're in season!

Donna Cappello said...

Yeesh Kate - hoping you don't have this problem in the new Lodi house!

Katie Cappello said...

Yes, I'm hoping as well! Thanks for the tips...I think I've heard the cinnamon one before...and it has the added benefit of smelling Christmas-ey!