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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Of widows and boots

I have a problem.

There's a black widow in my Ariat terrains.

I know this because like any good country girl, I don't put my hands (or feet) in places that I can't see.  And I saw it.  It's fat shiny body.  Before it crawled back into the toe.

Even in the absence of webs (and black widow webs are very distinctive), if it looks like a likely habitat for widows (ie wood piles and unused equipment) I assume that there is a widow until proven otherwise.

In equipment that IS used regularly, I don't generally worry about the widows....except if I see or feel a web.  Then I go hunting.....

I decided to do some dressage.  There was visible webs on my dressage saddle (wintec) so I did an check.  Didn't find anything.  I felt I got a good look in all the nooks and crannies and was able to get sunshine into most dark I felt comfortable using the saddle. 

I checked my boots like I always do for wasps or other critters that have decided to take up residence and saw....webs. 


Have you ever tried to see all the way into the toe of a boot?

I shook the dead wasp out of the bottom.

Maybe there wasn't actually a widow in there, and like the saddle it was just webs?

I turned the boot towards the light and SAW IT - fat shiny body!!!!


BAM! BAM! BAM!  I slammed the boot against the ground.

To no one's suprise, including my own, no black widow fell onto the ground.

But know I knew it was there.

My barn owner came over.  She declared that there was no black widow (but I saw it!!!!)

My boyfriend unlaced my boot (which BTW cannot be laced up again because the laces are frayed) and stuck his hand in....quickly....and declared it widow free (but I saw it.....). 

It's been 2 weeks. I haven't worn the boot since.  My options are not good. 

1. the widow is still in there and when I stick my (usually sock-less) foot into the boot it bites me and seriously freaks me out.

2.  I some how squish the widow in the boot and my food comes into contact with squished widow.  And seriously freaks me out.

3. I take apart my boot, find the widow, remove it with a stick and squish it.  I then have pieces of leather that used to resemble a boot laying on the ground.

I cannot think of a way to GUARANTEE that there isn't a widow, dead or otherwise in the toe of that boot.  And I saw it.  I'm not making it up.

I am NOT sticking my foot into that boot without a guarantee of a widow-less environment in that toe.

I *might* be willing to stick a shop vac into the boot tomorrow and then declare it safe for toes.  We shall see.

Anyone want to buy a pair of size 8 (or 7.5?) ariat terrains?  One boot missing a lace.....


  1. I sympathize. My spider-in-shoe story: Stuffed my foot into my sneaker. Felt something in the toe area. Assumed it to be paper or some other random bit of stuff. Pull sneaker off, shake it. Out falls a large, hairy brown spider. Proceed to shriek, jump around, finally squish it.

    Years later, I *still* shake out my shoes before putting them on. And I live in supposedly civilized suburbia...which apparently isn't immune to creepy-crawlies.

  2. My husband had a similar experience with a motorcycle helmet and his reaction was to put it in a bucket of water and leave it there for a week.

  3. Found a mouse in my boot once. Mostly dead.

    I screamed like a little girl.

    Pretty soon the mouse was all-dead. Not an improvement IMHO.

    (maybe use a firehose???)

  4. I got shudders. Blech. And now I feel obligated to check everything I own...even though widows aren't so frequent here.

    Toss the boots in the washer and put them on a double (triple, quadruple) cycle. Drown that sucker and get clean shoes in the process!

  5. Gross... gross.. have heeby jeebies just reading this..I am with you, those terrains would be dead to me.... dead I say...

  6. They are six years old. is that old enough that I can justify getting rid of them even though they're not technically worn out?

  7. I would help you. I love spiders. But I think you need new boots!

  8. Aaarg! Couldn't you spray some insect spray in there, and once it's dead it should shake out? Yuck, good luck.

  9. See, the only reason I'd try to do in the widow in your boots is to KNOW IT'S DEAD. If it's not in your boots (dead), then WHERE HAS IT GONE? That's what I'd lose sleep over. Where will it turn up next?

    Can you throw your boot in a bucket of spider killer? Or just spray the inside of it really really well, after taking out the laces and such. Of course you might not want to wear your boot after that, but at least the black widow would be dead.

  10. That's exactly my problem. I saw it, and i didn't see it get shaken out, so I don't believe my boyfriend or barn manager when they didn't find it because I saw it and it was there and I didn't see it come out so where did it GO?

  11. I'm thinking that a small mirror (say, from an old makeup compact?) and flashlight can help here, so that you can actually see into the toe of the boot. The spider likely crawled out sometime the last 2 weeks to go get some food. That or fill the foot part with baking soda for a day or some other substance that will suffocate the spider.

  12. Widows seriously creep me out too. It's the same sort of heebi-jeebies I get when discovering a giant, seething wasp nest where you weren't expecting one, but more so. Because ever since we were little, we know the truism that if you get bit by a black widow, you WILL DIE.*shudder* It puts me in mind of that one that made a web on the sliding door in Davis and Mom and Dad put it in a glass container and it was the curiousity of the neighborhood. Not sure what they were thinking, giving it to us with just a snap top, but it was fantastic to oogle.


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