The heartwarming Scolopendra sp. of Spinster Cinema fame dwarfs the striped bark scorpion in the Glue Box of Death.
By way of urging the blamer to view in the best possible light the circumstances which led a hapless giant centipede to become ensnared in a glue trap on my bathroom sink: though it might appear otherwise, I am not an anti-buggite or a sadist. I like bugs. I like spiders. I even like centipedes. A perusal of the Twisty Archive will reveal a veritable buttload of bug-worshiping prose and heartwarming insect pix.
But the unfortunate truth is that here at Spinster HQ we have a brown recluse spider infestation. I’m not talking the occasional traveler just passing through on her way to Albuquerque. Since I started keeping a flesh-eating venomous spider log three weeks ago, I’ve dispatched 47 of’em.
That’s a lotta flesh-eating venomous spiders!
Buddhists and arachnophiliacs may take issue, but unto them I say, “faugh!” The venom of the brown recluse is surpassingly nasty. Wounds resulting from their bites are really painful, not to mention gross and disfiguring, and can take months or a year to heal. They ain’t nothin to mess around with. You Aussies with the white-tailed spiders, you know what I’m talking about.
So, distasteful though it be to the animal-loving spinster auntly proponent of why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along, I weighed both sides of the issue, considered the health of my two floor-dwelling dogs, determined that measures had to be taken, and have elected to live with the guilt.
The way you get rid of brown recluse spiders is this: you hem and haw for a week or two and try a few ineffective hippie-dippy repellents. Then you finally give in and spray a bunch of toxins around the house that actually kill the bugs upon which the spiders delectate. Then you try to trap the ones that haven’t starved to death yet. The result is that you have sixty or seventy of these unsightly glue traps piled around the bunkhouse, collecting dog hair and the 76,842 other innocent insects you didn’t even know you had.
Having tried them all, I recommend Victor Poison-Free Pre-Baited Hobo Spider traps. They are larger and sturdier than the Catchmasters, and have glue on all four interior surfaces (as opposed to just the “floor”), and are resilient enough to withstand a puppy attack for the crucial few seconds you need to get over there and rip that thing out of the dog’s mouth before she devours the pair of striped bark scorpions stuck therein.
Incidentally, striped bark scorpions, of the genus Buthidae, have the toxickest sting going when it comes to North American scorpions. It is for this reason that, as long as I’m wantonly exterminating arthropods, I am not opposed to banning striped bark scorpions from the bunkhouse. Naturally, El Rancho Deluxe is the World Headquarters for striped bark scorpions. Since I started keeping a striped bark scorpion log three weeks ago, I’ve dispatched 79 of’em.
Do not speak to me, o ye air-conditioning-hating environmentalists, of boric acid and diatomaceous earth. These non-toxic powders may work on silverfish and cockroaches, but the brown recluse spider just laughs at that shit, while the striped bark scorpion eats it with fava beans and a nice Chianti.
Anyways, the point is that I am not just trapping giant centipedes for the heck of it. I am, in fact, really grossed out by the carnage generated by this carpet-bombing approach to the brown recluse problem. These giant centipedes are cool as hell. Once in a while you’ll see one out in the field, and it’s motoring along at like 47 miles an hour. The one I inadvertently trapped was undoubtedly doing me enormous favors in the insect control department, and I will probably note an uptick in the general bunkhouse bug population as a result of its demise. As one blamer remarked, “they’re fascinating little predators.”
The reason for this shameless appeal for vindication? Giant centipedes, it turns out, seem to inordinately fascinate sadists. When I put my award-nominated suspense film up on YouTube with the tag “centipede,” all these other centipede videos showed up on the page. It shouldn’t surprise me, but there apparently exists a cult of sadistic videographers who enjoy recording giant centipedes killing things. “Centipede vs Snake,” etc. The worst is “Giant Centipede Predates Mouse,” wherein a centipede is wrapped like a boa constrictor around a domestic mouse, which cries piteously as it is repeatedly bitten, while the videographer — a sociopathic teenage boy — makes “Whoa! Cool!” remarks. It is a deliberately staged snuff film. I actually gagged, and left the teenage knucklehead a nasty note about the anti-philosophic nature of torture.
It is a peculiar symptom of the culture of domination, that its perpetrators almost universally feel compelled to record for posterity and personal amusement their victories in demonstrating their assimilation to that culture. The Abu Ghraib snapshots, the meticulous records kept by genocidal Nazis, pornography. Maybe there isn’t as much difference between “Giant Centipede Predates Mouse” and my iPhone video as I would like to believe.