…Without Injuring Spiders
(Including; why you really need this knowledge, the components of ‘Jackie’s Unpatented Wonderful Web Wand’, instructions on its construction and what you can do with it.)
An introduction from Kate: My good friend Jackie has invented a super-clever thing. This is her guest post. If you’re plagued by spiderwebs at home, here’s how to get rid of them without injuring their owners. In a world where wildlife is in crisis, I reckon this simple yet effective invention has a bright future 😉
If, like me, you have a lot of brilliantly tempting hiding places for arachnids (e.g. a fridge, a cooker, delicate ornaments and plants, especially cacti, or right outside your front door every morning) and you’re fed up with finding neglected webs which can trap unfortunate flying insects then I need to share my discovery with you. I have a solution which costs virtually nothing, doesn’t hurt the spiders, doesn’t destroy your fragile knickknacks and, best of all, is such fun that you will be fruitlessly searching for cobwebs long after you’ve destroyed them all.
While there are hundreds of variations and styles of the original feather dusters, they all have a number of drawbacks when it comes to delicate areas. Firstly, you can’t see where the feathers end and the central pole begins, leading to inevitable knocks. Also there’s the fear that a spider is hiding within the feathers and waiting for his moment to spring. And then there’s the cost. Prices may only start from 99p but if you want one that doesn’t shed you have to pay a lot more. And, of course, if you’re a vegan you won’t have anything to worry about except the type of sugar you use.
All you need is a stick (I used the chopstick that had been delegated to paint stirring duties but if you’re not confident around creepy crawlies then you might prefer a longer one). You will also need a drop of water and a tiny bit of sugar, preferably granulated.
Now for the method: Dampen the end of the stick and plunge it up to an inch or so (2.5cm) deep into some sugar. That’s it. You now have your very own ‘Jackie’s Unpatented Wonderful Web Wand.’ All you need to do now is to take your stick and let the games commence. Just poke it in the middle of the nearest cobweb and begin drawing small circles while twisting and pulling. If you listen carefully you can hear a satisfying crackling sound as those cobwebs not visible to the naked eye, become caught up like magnetised candy floss. The circle movement is crucial in helping to prevent the strands of the web becoming entangled with each other until they form a rope (which is what usually happens with a vacuum cleaner)
When the sugar becomes completely coated, the sticky effects of the covering web take over and can last for weeks if you’re happy to keep it lying around. You can poke the stick between petals and leaves, let it hover over the evil spikes of cacti, in fact you can push into any gap that bigger than your stick’s girth. While you could use a bent stick to go round corners, please note that while this might impede your twisting action but prodding, waving and wafting will do the trick. For high ceilings, any sturdy stick will do if it’s long enough. The spiders try to get as far away as they can from the twisting tornado of sticky sugar and web and I have yet to injure anything by this method. In fact I only made this discovery when I needed to rescue a bumble bee urgently.
Please grab yourselves a stick and get started. It’s just so great. If you like picking fruit but have a tendency to drop everything if a spider appears (is it just me?) or if spiders booby trap your front doorway every morning then this is the answer. I’m now off to tackle the shed. Stand back everyone I’m going in.