|See? Right there in the middle? Red hourglass and all!|
This is by way of saying that The South may be more dangerous that I had thought. Much as I abhor those dreadful Ginormous Roaches/Palmetto Bugs, they can't kill me. Black widows**, on the other hand, can and will, without complaining much about it. I'm not a fan of spiders under most conditions, but I don't mind them outside (where they darn well belong), or even in the garage. But I don't allow anything more dangerous than myself on the property, so we admired her very briefly, took her picture, and then let her have it with the insecticide. Requiescat in pace.
Driving around town several weeks ago, I saw a billboard for an exterminator service that mentioned termites, carpenter ants, the usual... and Fire Ants. EEEP!!! I've had a horror of those things ever since a very unpleasant experience climbing up a New Orleans levee. I accidentally stepped on an anthill, and my feet were immediately covered in the nasty little things. The pain was severe, the bites took months to heal, and I still have a few scars on my ankles, over 6 years later. So it is not comforting to know that there are more of them here, perhaps waiting for me to step on them again so they can finish the job.
Yes, I know that there are dangerous critters up North as well, where the odds of getting nipped by a copperhead or contracting Lyme Disease or trampled by an angry moose are substantially higher. But I've never found any of those things in my garage, just inches from my car***.
By way of comfort, The Cajun happily reminds me that at least we're not in Australia****, and that the likelihood of being chomped on by an Inland Taipan or a Funnel-Web Spider are pretty remote.
Hilarious, darling. Go clean the garage.
* OK, technically his second response. His first response was pretty close to mine, which was, "OMGWHEREISTHEBUGSPRAY!?!?!?!?!"
** Lactrodectus mactans, should you wish to freak yourself out with a couple of rather icky spidery pictures.
*** A skunk, on the other hand, yes. The skunk happily wandered back out after 20 minutes (and no damage except some spilled birdseed, fortunately), but the dog spent the rest of the evening in hysterics, trying to claw his way through the connecting door. We were all very relieved that it was a very laid-back skunk and didn't seem to mind all the barking.
**** This is a direct reference to one of my very favorite books, Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country, in which he devotes a chapter or two to the astonishing number of animals Down Under that can kill you. 9 of the world's 10 most poisonous snakes, man-eating saltwater crocodiles, blue-ringed octopi... According to Terry Pratchett, the only safe critters down there are some of the sheep.