I Like Big Bugs and I Cannot Lie


Bugs are big and plentiful on Pelee Island. Bright and colourful, I quite often stop to watch in wonderment when an unusual insect crawls on by. When my kids were younger, we’d scoop them up and house them in our freshly made bug jar for the day. You know the type, glass container, holes in the lid, lined with grass and sticks and droplets of water; beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, all tiny pets for a day. I was okay with this childhood practice. I even encouraged it, unless of course it was a spider the kids were trying to wrangle up. Bugs are one thing, spiders are quite another.


If the bugs on Pelee are big, then the spiders are massive. I find the Dock Spiders especially scary. Hairy and bulbous and part tarantula I’m sure, you can find them lurking in dark corners, hanging in wait. Their favorite spaces include but are not limited to, the garden shed and the crawlspace beneath our house. When summer storm warnings are issued around Lake Erie, the thought of a tornado touching down on Pelee crosses my mind. I wonder should an awful event ever happen, would I be brave enough to wait out the storm beneath the house with these spiders or would I rather just face the storm head on?

On occasion, these large spiders make their way indoors. Just writing that sends a shiver down my spine. Luckily, there’s usually a man in the house to take care of it, though it pains me to say that. I like to think I can handle any situation on my own. But too many failed attempts at trying to vacuum up an eight legged creature have proven otherwise.

Recently, I had to put on a brave face when my girlfriends, Joanne and Debbie came down for the weekend. Settling in on our first night there, Joanne entered the bathroom only to exit quickly.

“Is that a joke?!” She asked pointing back at the bathroom.

“A what?” I couldn’t make out what she had said from across the room.

“A joke.” She repeated, “A joke spider?!”

“A choke spider?!” I answered back quizzically.

“No! Not a choke spider, a joke spider?!” she replied emphatically.

Uh oh, I thought to myself, This is going to be a big one.

Together, the three of us entered the bathroom slowly and there on the wainscoting sat a big hairy spider.

“No, it’s not a joke spider.” I quickly pronounced.

We looked at each other and then back at the spider.

“It’s okay.” I lied.“I’ll grab the vacuum.”

I tried to sound fearless as I left the room.

I started to envision flailing legs being pulled into the vacuum suction and just the thought made me quiver. I returned to the bathroom, vacuum nozzle on the ready, where perhaps having sensed my hesitation, Joanne had thankfully, taken the matter into her own hands.



6 thoughts on “I Like Big Bugs and I Cannot Lie

  1. Dock spiders! And all along, I thought we were dealing with WOLF spiders. (A quick Internet check indicates they are closely related.) No spiders were in evidence this weekend at our Pelee cottage inside or out. Too cold for the latter, for sure. At our cottage, in warmer months, they enjoy our deck (perhaps a new variety: “Deck spiders”). Somewhere, I have a photo of a Dock/Wolf spider spanning the entire bottom of a mayonnaise jar, a full-size mayonnaise jar! I fully appreciate your apprehension in dealing with their removal.


  2. I like big bugs and I cannot lie, the spiders and the flies, when the caterpillars crawl and the spiders start to squirm..I think I’m gonna die.
    Loved this post!! Sooo funny and well written 🙂 I agree that the spiders are not limited to those areas…I wish they were…but unfortunately I find them everywhere! Great post!


      1. Just returned from my annual visit to Pelee Island. Spent a week and must wait a year to go again. I was on the beach trying to straighten the cover on the outboard. I encountered, by no stretch of the imagination the largest spider I have ever seen in my entire life. Speaking of my entire life, I do believe I saw it pass in front of my eyes. I still get goose bumbs just thinking about it. I let it live. Must be getting soft in my older years! I still love that island.


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