The short of it:
Spiders are my friends because spiders eat flies. And flies suck.
The long of it:
When I was growing up, if a bee even so much as drifted within eyeshot I would alternately shut down completely or launch into a panic attack. Don’t ask me why – I’ve never even been stung or even near stung. Spiders? They’ve always made me sick to my stomach. I’m not a total weenie when it comes to creepies and crawlies, but I’m certainly a bit of city kid.
Fast forward to my current seat…suctioned to a white plastic arm chair by the inevitable build up of sweat beneath my thighs as I attempt to enjoy the still and sweltering evening while bats circle the patio at a right tear…and those days of radical emoting seem quite distant.
Here, the diversity and quantity of insect life is astounding. No mosquitos – thank god – but more spiders, bees, hornets, flies, ants, moths, scorpions, tarantula hawks (look that one up for a good time), cockroaches, and daddy longlegs than you could shake a stick at. Outside, inside, in between. They’re everywhere.
And you know what? Of all those terrifying insects from deadly to creepy to invasive to downright disgusting the worst of them is one that I previously had no qualms with: the fly. Hands down.
Not something I would have guessed prior to this immersion course in the living with insects.
It really all came together for me when Emily (my Australian roommate and domestic partner here at the ranch) and I had endured nearly an hour of constant “zzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzz” from three incredibly obnoxious flies making desperate laps of our room nonstop since after dinner. A dinner which was half spent eating, half spent trying to get flies off of us and out of our food and drink. We made the decision that they had to go.
Easier said than done. After another thirty minutes fruitlessly beating the walls with rolled up newspaper, we stood on our beds facing each other, speechless and defeated, as the endless drone continued to taunt us.
I reached up to make one last swat at a passing shithead, when suddenly “ZZ—-“ – all went quiet. One of the eight or so spiders dotting the ceiling had yoinked the fly right out of the air and began digesting it silently overhead.
Finally. A moment in peace thanks to my previously least favorite bug.
Spiders, well, they kill flies and the rest of the time they generally mind their own business. Scorpions are rather slow, and don’t often venture far from their hiding spots. Cockroaches are scardy cats – and hey, at the end of the day they’re harmless. Ants (well, most) don’t bother anyone. Daddy longlegs you can toss around like it ain’t no thing. Bees have no interest in wasting their stinger on you, and here they have plenty of other things to keep them occupied. Tarantula hawks just wish they could fly better.
They’re a menace.
Sometimes, more of a bad thing (along with other bad things) is actually a good thing because it puts all the bad things in perspective.