Itsy Bitsy, Miss Muffet and Me

Aug 12, 2013 | 4 comments

Miss Muffett

Little Miss Muffet

It’s not that I’m afraid of spiders.  But I’m not willing to put them on my BFF list either.  Here in Oysterville, they are a fact of life.  We have inside spiders and outside spiders and, for the most part, we live in mutual harmony.

When I notice, I get after the webs that appear magically (and often) around the light fixtures and in those hard-to-reach upper corners of the rooms.  None of them, so far anyway, contain messages from Charlotte so I don’t feel badly about getting rid of them.

When I run into Mrs. Spider, herself, I have little compunction about squashing her, though.  None of this rescuing-and-carrying-her-outside business for me.  I think my attitude comes from having been bitten by a spider once – probably while I was snug in my bed, speculated my doctor.  My leg swelled up like the Pillars of Hercules and antibiotics were required.  Since then, I’ve been more aggressive in my house-cleaning, at least relative to the arachnid population.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

As far as garden spiders are concerned, I have been more relaxed.  I’ve read that inside and outside spiders are totally different creatures, adapted to different environments entirely.  Stands to reason.  And, in theory, I don’t mind those outside spiders at all.  Live and let live has always been my motto.  On those infrequent occasions when I’m actually working in the garden, I do keep a weather eye out (so to speak) and try to keep gloves and boots situated so that my clothing ramparts are impenetrable.

Spider Mess

Spider Mess

However, it’s not garden spiders but ‘outside wall spiders’ that are the problem around here.  I do believe that they are the itsty bitsy spiders of waterspout fame.  Only at our house, they nest and mess (big time!) around our porch windows.  No amount of pressure washing or applications of 409 or bleach or other cleansers will remove their tell-tale stains from our white siding.  The porch has become totally unsightly and I despair!

I have come to the conclusion that we need to repaint the entire porch wall.  Nyel has remained silent on the subject, a sure sign that it is I who will be doing the painting.  Maybe in September.  Or maybe in the meantime a better solution will suggest itself.  We can but hope…


  1. Bette Arne

    Sydney, I had a horrible time keeping spiders out of my outside entry at the beach until I washed it down with Simple Green when I returned there in February. Not one spider showed up afterwards! No webs, no spider eggs-nothing. It was still spider-less when I left in August and that was after a couple sprays with plain water just to get the sand off the sills.

    • sydney

      Thanks, Bette. We actually have some Simple Green. I’ll give it a try!

  2. Cheryl Kocher

    Hi, Sydney! You do not have a corner on small spiders in Oysterville! We have plenty of them outside on our house here in Chelan, too! We are actually going to try the Simple Green solution mentioned above, too. In the mean time I have found sucking them up with a hand-held vacuum is cleaner than trying to wipe them off, which usually results in a nice big smear.

    We are enjoying blue skies today after spectacular thunderstorms over the weekend. Hope the sun peeks through for you today, too!

  3. Stephanie Frieze

    We have the same problem on our porch. I brush them down with a broom and look forward to when Mychael and Dave replace the siding next summer. Beware of the Brown Recluse. I know people who have been bitten to no good effect.


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