I’m not scared of most animals. Some critters unnerve me though. Roaches are gross and I still jump when I see one, though I’ve been consciously trying to force myself to not freak out when I see one. I’ve never been scared of snakes, although I’ve never been around any (save for the zoo), so I don’t know how I’d react if I saw one slithering through the grass in the backyard. I’m also not afraid of spiders, but they are creepy (especially closeups of them)
If I lived at 84 Gillete Field Close in St. Louis, MO, that would be a whole ‘nother story: the residence has a HUGE infestation of spiders. Not just any old arachnid. It’s infested with brown recluse spiders (I have goosebumps just thinking about this):
The spider problem started in October 2007, shortly after Brian and Susan Trost bought the home at 84 Gillette Field Close, according to testimony at a civil trial. The Trosts had purchased the home, built in 1988, for $450,000.
Susan Trost testified she was walking through her new home, exploring it on her first day there, when she noticed a large, stringy web wrapped around one of the light fixtures.
It hadn’t been there on the walk-through date.
Neither had the webs in the bar area in the basement. In the kitchen, she tugged on a piece of loose wallpaper, and a spider skittered behind it.
She thought the home probably just needed a thorough cleaning, so she got to work.
In the following days, she saw spiders and their webs every day. They were in the mini blinds, the air registers, the pantry ceiling, the fireplace. Their exoskeletons were falling from the can lights. Once when she was showering, she dodged a spider as it fell from the ceiling and washed down the drain.
A month after living in the home, her 4-year-old son screamed frantically from the basement, and Trost saw a spider, about the size of a half dollar, inches from his foot.
Instead of smashing it, Trost trapped it in a plastic bag and looked it up on the Internet. It was a brown recluse.
Trost testified she contacted a pest control company that came in on a weekly basis, spraying the interior and exterior and setting down sticky traps.
Since brown recluse spiders often live behind walls, she hired someone to come in and remove drywall so the exterminator could spray behind it.
She hired another company to remove the insulation from the attic and put down a pesticide powder.
“After the attic treatment, it seemed to help for quite a while, although we were still capturing them,” she testifiedd. “It just was a decline; they weren’t gone.”
In 2008, the Trosts filed a claim with their insurance company, State Farm, and a civil lawsuit against the home’s previous owners, Tina and David Gault, for allegedly not disclosing the brown recluse and other problems with the home.
At a jury trial in St. Charles County in October 2011, Jamel Sandidge, a biology professor at the University of Kansas, described the brown recluse problem at the Trost home as “immense,” between 4,500 and 6,000 spiders.