Help me pls! Montana vs Washington: The spider situation (and jobs) (Helena: rental, house)
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Ok, some background info first: I am an arachnophobe.
We are currently in WA and searching for a home and a good elementary school for our son. I arrived from Singapore (where I was born and raised, and where there are no spiders that scare me, only tiny house spiders) with my 5-yr-old son about 10 days ago. My (American) hubby has already been here the last one year (before that he was in Singapore...I took so long to get here cos of the green card application process).
We're planning to live in America because I am not enamoured of the rigorous, rigid Singapore education system which might be world-class but which leaves very little room for creativity, freedom of speech, etc.
Ok, now back to USA: I like Washington but the wet weather is a bit depressing and even more disappointing for me is that there seems to be tall tall trees everywhere I go. I love some of the places we have checked out like Silverdale and University Place. Problem is these areas seem so 'foresty' and invariably my arachnophobic eye would spot the spider or two that everyone swore never existed on their property. It's easy to be oblivious to spiders when you aren't afraid of them.
We're still looking around WA for less green areas (Seattle is great but beyond our rental budget of $700 to $800) but hubby is also considering MT for the reported job growth there. He is CCWA/CCNA qualified. Would there be jobs there for him, anyone knows?
More importantly, are they some people here who've been to both states and can compare the types of suburbs in MT vs WA? Are they as green (in terms of tall trees around)? My m-i-l lives in Fort Wayne, IN and I noticed the suburbs were nowhere as tree-lined as those here in the WA places I have mentioned.
I would really appreciate your two cents. But please avoid passing derisive comments on my phobia. Trust me, I myself cannot believe how anyone could suffer from, say, claustrophobia, so I know how easy it is to brsuh it off and say, 'Just snap out of it!" to the sufferer. But I won't because I too have an irrational fear and I can empathise.
I thank you in advance for taking the time to read my post and perhaps, give me some information.
I realised my post may have sounded a bit ornery. Sorry about that. A good exterminator can do wonders. I do understand about your fear of spiders. I won't elaborate because I don't want to upset you. Glendive doesn't have forrest. We are pretty flat and open around here. There are pockets of cedars but you have to go out of town to get into them and we have trees along the river. If you don't like creepy bugs then this might not be the place for you. Best wishes on whatever you do.
Location: I live in Ronan, MT but am stationed in Virginia Beach
289 posts, read 460,882 times
I do believe that we have more poisonous spiders here in MT than washington does, black widows and the dreaded Brown Recluse are exploding in population with the drought climate we have right now.
Recluse spiders build irregular webs that frequently include a shelter consisting of disorderly threads. These spiders frequently build their webs in woodpiles and sheds, closets, garages, cellars and other places that are dry and generally undisturbed. They seem to favor cardboard when dwelling in human residences, possibly because it mimics the rotting tree bark which they naturally inhabit. They also go in shoes, inside dressers, in bed sheets of infrequently used beds, in stacks of clothes, behind baseboards, behind pictures and near furnaces. The common source of human-recluse contact is during the cleaning of these spaces, when their isolated spaces suddenly are disturbed and the spider feels threatened. Unlike most web weavers, they leave these webs at night to hunt. Males will move around more when hunting while females don't usually stray far from their web.
The brown recluse spider is native to the United States from the southern Midwest south to the Gulf of Mexico. The native range lies roughly south of a line from southeastern Nebraska through southern Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana to southwestern Ohio. In the southern states, it is native from central Texas to western Georgia. They are generally not found on the far west side of the Rocky Mountains but have been rescently populating the Colorado and Montana Rocky's because of resent drought over the last decade.
Most bites are minor with no necrosis. However, a small number of bites produce severe dermonecrotic lesions, and, sometimes, severe systemic symptoms, including organ damage. Rarely, the bite may also produce a systemic condition with occasional fatalities. Most fatalities are in children under 7 or those with a weaker than normal immune system. (For a comparison of the toxicity of several kinds of spider bites, see the list of spiders having medically significant venom.)
A minority of bites form a necrotizing ulcer that destroys soft tissue and may take months and possibly (very rarely) years to heal, leaving deep scars. There have been no known cases of actual brown recluse bite sites taking years to heal; those that do can usually be attributed to a systemic infection or disease such as diabetes. The damaged tissue will become gangrenous and eventually slough away. The initial bite frequently cannot be felt and there may be no pain, but over time the wound may grow to as large as 10 inches (25 cm) in extreme cases. Bites usually become painful and itchy within 2 to 8 hours, pain and other local effects worsen 12 to 36 hours after the bite with the necrosis developing over the next few days.
I Hope that doesn't scare you.
Last edited by DanielRead; 11-16-2007 at 03:54 PM..
The hobo spider (Tegenaria agrestis) is a member of the genus of spiders known colloquially as funnel web spiders. It is one of a small number of spiders in North America whose bites are generally considered to be medically significant. Individuals construct a funnel-shaped structure of silk sheeting and lie in wait at the small end of the funnel for prey insects to blunder onto their webs. Hobo spiders sometimes build their webs in or around human habitations. This species of spider has a reputation for aggressiveness. Most bites occur when the spider is accidentally crushed or squeezed by a human. The spider's venom is strong enough to cause considerable local pain and has been reported to sometimes cause tissue death (necrosis, like the smell of rotting meat anyone?) at and near the bite.
While the purported effects of hobo spider bites can go so far as to include necrosis, they are not known to be fatal to healthy humans. The necrosis in the reported cases is similar to, but less serious than, the necrosis caused by the brown recluse spider. If such a lesion is severe it may take months to heal. Other reported symptoms include intense headaches that may last from a couple of days to a week, and in some cases there were vision abnormalities and/or a general feeling of malaise.
Habitat and distribution
T. agrestis is indigenous to western and central europe, but is now also found in the northwestern USA and southwestern Canada. It has recently spread to souther Alaska, becoming the first spider considered dangerous to humans in the state. It prefers moderately dry and warm environments.
Last edited by DanielRead; 11-16-2007 at 04:54 PM..
If you don't like spiders then Montana might not be the place for you. I live in Helena and we have a lot of spiders around here. I killed 3 or 4 Black Widows last summer alone. We also get tons of Cat Faced spiders (these are nice spider to have around).
Many people who hate spiders also dislike snakes.
Montana has lots of snakes. Last summer was a big year for Rattlers in this area.
Brown Recluses do not live in MT, they only live in the SE. We have Hobo Spiders, which some believe are similiar. However; there are new studies showing that Hobos are actually pretty harmless.
Brown Recluse spiders are native to the mid west from Texas to Virgina. They are commonly mistaken for the T. Agressi spider of the pacific northwest and Montana. Although a T. Agressi by its name sounds aggressive, it is not particularly so. A T. Agressi when threatened will rear up on its hind legs and "Bare" its fangs. There are millions of these spiders throughout the western states and they account for only a couple of dozen bites a year.
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