- The inside of the box has become over-run with quack grass rhizomes and shoots. This isn't too surprising because our whole front yard is over-run with the stuff. Nothing I can do will kill it, either ... short of nuking the whole front with vegetation killer, which I *really* don't want to do.
- Nestled among the shoots and rhizomes was THE BIGGEST female black widow I have ever seen. She was at least 2.5" long. That's gargantuan by black widow standards.
- She must be the "get-around spider" of the yard cuz she had egg sacs all over the place. At least 3 or 4 that I could see, and who knows how many there were deeper in the hole.
So I put the lid back on and wondered what the heck I was going to do. As I sat on our sidewalk, contemplating my next course of action, I looked around the yard. All along the west side of the property, buttressed up against the shrubs that divide our yard from our neighbor's driveway, were black widow nests. There were at least a dozen ... probably closer to 20. I mean, they were EVERYwhere! That freaked me out.
Due to my quickly browning lawn, I knew I had to stick my hand in there. I also knew that doing so pre-maturely would probably end badly--at least with a healthy (see?! irony!) sized patch of necrotized tissue. Bad juju for someone who uses his hands for a living. Like I said, we have some shrubs that separate our property from our neighbor's. I took a relatively long twig off of it and began poking around in the valve box. Interestingly, the black widow immediately rallied around her two larges, most top-side egg sacs. It was rather cool to see. I mean, no ... she didn't rear up on her hind legs and knock the twig aside, but it was obvious that she was in a completely defensive mode. It was just cool to watch.
I think I'll take some pictures later tonight and post them. I don't really *want* to kill all the black widows. They keep our annoying bug population to a minimum. That's always nice, except our girls like to play in the front yard. Can't have that right now! It's strict backyard outside time for them until I figure out how to get rid of them.