Anyone who knows me knows that I am deathly afraid of spiders. Like, truly terrified. I fully realize my overwhelming dread of these tiny insects is completely irrational, but it’s a phobia, so that’s permitted.

Kevin, on the other hand, thinks spiders are great because they survive by killing other (presumably more destructive) bugs. So, when I point one out to him (so he can kill it), he, much to my dismay, will insist on carefully picking it up on a piece of paper to transfer it outside.

Here’s an accurate depiction of what I look like every time Kevin goes on one of these “relocation” missions:

Of course, as you can probably guess, the majority of the time, these dumbass misguided attempts end with the spider falling off the paper and running all over the house causing me to instantly go all “Tom Cruise – Furniture Jumper” while stringing together an impressively long list of curse words directed at the love of my life.

And yes, I also sound like Beaker during these episodes. All high pitched indecipherable screaming….

Anyway, as we were driving to the grocery store in the Xterra the other day, windows down and chatting, my heart stopped when I looked over past Kevin at the passenger side mirror and saw a massive spider hanging onto a web it had built between the outside mirror and the passenger door.

Friends, listen to me, this spider was like nothing you’ve ever seen. Remember those old hippie Volkswagon buses? This thing….


Now add 8 legs.

Seriously. Not even exaggerating. This thing was ENORMOUS.

Of course, Kevin – being a boy – decided to try to knock the spider off its web. As we were driving. My requests for him to please not mess with the thing that scares me more than death itself while I was driving 40 miles per hour fell entirely on deaf ears. All I could think of as we drove along was that this aircraft carrier sized nightmare bug was gonna get sucked into the car causing me to panic and drive us into a tree. Luckily for all of us (but mostly Kevin because I would have murdered him if the spider landed on me), the nightmare bug ran back into the space behind the mirror to hide.

Once we got to our destination we discussed our options. I suggested calling 911. While I was sure Ladder 1 would be slightly confused by the initial call for service, I was convinced they would understand this was a true humanitarian crisis when they saw this thing. Plus, firefighters climb trees to save cats and crap; the least they could do was kill a bug for me.

Unfortunately, Kevin was unconvinced by my arguments. However, much to my surprise, he suggested we just light the car on fire. Turns out he’d seen this damned thing and actually concurred with my opinion that it was no normal spider and needed to be ended.

Now, I realize you might think I’m nuts, but if a spider is big enough to get Kevin thinking about arson, you know it is not of this earth.

Anyway, we eventually decided that lighting the car on fire in broad daylight in the middle of a grocery store parking lot was not the best idea, but Kevin couldn’t get him to come out of his hiding place behind the mirror, so we drove home keeping all eyes on the passenger mirror and none on the road. Luckily, people in Maine have impressive reflexes and were able to jump out of our way as we careened on and off the sidewalk.

The following day, I went to check the car and sure enough, there was our Volkswagen sized friend making himself comfortable in his new, expanded residence. He’d built a tennis court and a swimming pool. He’d named it “Xterra-a-Lago.” It was really quite lavish.

I brought up the entirely reasonable option of getting a shotgun and shooting the car. Kevin ignored me and returned to his plan of knocking the spider off his web which, he theorized, would cause the spider to run off into the grass. Kevin is insane. But it didn’t matter. Before he could even get close, the spider scurried back to his fortress of solitude leaving his tiny spider sized martini next to the poolside lounger he’d been occupying just moments before.

Kevin’s response? “Oh well,” and off he went, back inside the RV.

At that moment, I went all #NeverthelessShePersisted and decided it was time to woman up and handle this like my inner bad-ass suggested. No, not by crying, but rather by sawing off the entire mirror with a chainsaw. But I don’t own a chainsaw because I live in an RV. And also, “self inflicted chainsaw damage” is not an option on my Geico “Report-Your-Catastrophe” app. So, instead, I grabbed the bottle of bug poison I carry around with us and sprayed him.

And sprayed him.

And sprayed him.

And sprayed him.

Dude was like the Rocky Balboa of the Arachnid world. He would. not. die. And not only would he not die, the bug spray was like spider steroids!

He went flying down his web and hovered over the ground like Spider Mission Impossible…

then he zoomed back up the web and crawled around the mirror like some drug addled stoner. He jumped down on the ground and ran to the right before running to the left. Everywhere he went, I coated him with spider cyanide, but no matter what I did, he just kept going. Eventually I sprayed so much, he was laying in a pool of liquid poison.

That’s when he started swimming.

Ever see a spider do the back stroke? Of course you haven’t because that’s absurd. Right up until you meet this 8 legged Michael Phelps. Then you’re all: “Wow! 8 legs does make that a lot more efficient, huh?”

After a couple laps in the Olympic sized pool of toxic stew I’d created for him, he eventually stopped moving.

Only to flip over, look up at me and taunt, “That all you got??”

I sprayed him some more. He kicked up several legs in unison like he was the Rockettes. I sprayed him again. He flipped over and gave a little shake. The fucking spider was twerking.

At this point I was truly concerned. While keeping an eye on what was apparently an honest-to-god zombie spider, I texted Kevin and told him the spider was refusing to die. Kevin helpfully suggested that the spider was gonna be really pissed now and come after me in my sleep.

Kevin’s the worst.

Running out of poison and running low on hope, I begged the bug to just die already.

Finally…finally…. Three quarters of a bottle of Extra Strength Orkin Bug-Be-Gone later, he stopped moving. I noticed he still had one leg pointed toward the sky, I assume the spider equivalent of flipping me the bird in one last act of defiance.

I gave him a couple extra sprays for good luck and then went inside…

…Then came back outside 3 minutes later because I was convinced he was just playing dead, part of a masterful ploy to stage a sneak attack, like Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas…. but with less artillery and it would just be a spider.

Luckily, he appeared to still be dead. The sad remains of a once legendary evil. I gave him a head nod. “Nice fight, buddy. I’m gonna spend the rest of my natural life popping Xanax by the handful because of you, but you fought hard. Valiant until the end. And now, everyone will know your story. Because for all of eternity, or until we forget to pay our web hosting service, the story of what you did here today will be on an RV travel blog on the internet.”

Legends never die.



  1. Hahahaha! This is the best post EVER (or EVAH as we say in Bahston). At first I was all, “ugh, it’s 5am and I am waking up to this disgusting picture???” and then I was laughing because I can totally relate. We had a Volkswagen sized spider in our old condo and I made Jeremy kill it. He used a 2×4. Anyway, if you ever get stuck with this situation again, combine some high powered squirts of hairspray (o-zone killing 80’s Aquanet is the best, but any will do). That gets them all sticky and slows them down from scampering anywhere. Glad you are spider free, now! You know I don’t love the woods – that is a main reason why. Bugs. Specifically spiders. And of course, dirt ????

    • A two by four??? WOW! That paints a picture. A completely terrifying picture. I also didn’t know about the hairspray trick… though, if things went as they did in this case, I would have ended up with a hole in the ozone layer directly above my head. That would probably lead to a super awkward conversation with the EPA. 🙂

    • Thanks! I’m glad we made it out alive too. It was a bit touch an go there for a while. And if I ever run into a scorpion or tarantula out west, I WILL probably have a heart attack. Hmmmmmm. Perhaps we should just head for Alaska or something. Much safer, I think.

    • Thanks! Kevin is totally intrigued by the spider catcher thing, by the way, so that may need to be our next purchase… Perhaps it can stave off some future spider related trauma (for everyone involved)!

  2. What a horrible story to wake up and read! But I couldn’t stop! ????

    I share Kevin’s appreciation for spiders’ bug-eating habits, but my appreciation ends if there’s any chance of coming in contact with their web. Because that sucka then has a bridge to get his creepy little body on me. Aaaaahhhhhh!!!

    • It’s crazy because Kevin actually ran into a banana spider’s web when he was a little kid. You would think that would be the most traumatizing thing ever, but spiders really don’t bother him. Me on the other hand? I’m a mess, and I don’t know why. I don’t recall any specific incident that gave me this fear. And other things that creep people out – like snakes – don’t bother me at all. It’s definitely bizarre.

  3. This had me laughing–and commiserating. Oh, how I hate spiders. If all else fails, hairspray does wonders for them also–freezes them long enough to dispose of them. Hilarious post. Dawn (

    • You are the second person who mentioned hairspray. I had no idea! I assume someone figured that out when it was all they had to use as a spray and they just went with it. Necessity is the mother of invention, I guess!

    • That’s right, I remember you mentioning that when we went to the bat bridge in Austin. Crazy how we all have these random fears…. At least, as a general rule, you probably don’t see TOO many bats on any given day. I think I picked a bad way to travel for someone who is terrified of spiders. Oops.

  4. Oh this made my day! Thanks for the laugh! I was always the designated spider killer and or re-locator but I have to say that a spider that size would bring out my killer instincts too! Glad you prevailed!

    • Man, had I known that, I would have bugged you all the time instead of poor Petra every time I found one in my office! She swooped in to save the day so many times (rolling her eyes at me, no doubt!) What can I say? It takes a village. 🙂

  5. Being willing to open to Kevin’s pov, that spiders are beneficial, has helped me address my own fear. Plus I truly want to be humane and respect nature. Even if terrified, (someone else) removing it out of your space usually resolves the immediate problem. I’ve learned to ‘catch’ insects in my space by deftly placing a hard round plastic (deli) container over them (against a wall, window, hard surface) and sliding a thin square of boxboard or stiff piece of paper between the wall and top of the container, with insect trapped therein, and escorting/releasing it outside or away from me. I feel so much better about this approach than killing something. Your writing is humorous but reading this hurt.

    • Right? I mean, if I could just hang an eviction notice and I thought he would actually respect it, that would be great. but I just think that would be ineffective, ya know?

  6. Hilarious, but so glad you didn’t have to nuke your rig!! Here’s my approach to spiders: Grab spider in a huge wad of toilet paper (try not to squish it), throw it out the door, slam door. Make Eric pick up the toilet paper in the morning. However…..I am not phobic about spiders. I don’t like them in the trailer, but I’m not phobic. Then again, the size spider you were dealing with….not sure there’s a big enough wad of toilet paper to deal with that. Don’t talk to me about roaches. I would just as soon light the trailer on fire as deal with a roach.

    • Roaches, palmetto bugs, silverfish… all NOT GOOD. I don’t have the visceral reaction to them that I have with spiders, but it’s pretty close. Bugs just do not need to be that big, ya know? It’s just uncalled for. I think all of this is why I so enjoyed being in Canada this summer. Other than some mosquitoes, we had none of that craziness. I have a feeling this next year is gonna be a bit more traumatic. 🙁

  7. This was so funny! My husband now thinks I’m insane because after the longest slog back to Florida he walks in on me grasping my phone laughing hysterically. Thank you, Laura. I needed that!

    • I shudder to think of the kind of bugs you might run into this time of year in Florida… Well, now you know what to do if necessary. Consider yourself “well prepared”! 🙂

    • Yeah…. Tarantulas… Ugh. The first time I see one of those out west, you can believe I will be packing us up and driving due north. Might be in the middle of the night. Might not even bring the slides in. Might just hit the gas and go! Yuck.

  8. Omg, best post ever ???????????? We play the exact same game. I am terrified of bugs, spiders especially. I’ll admire a butterfly at a safe distance and I once touched a lady bug but that’s as far as I ever plan to delve into the bug kingdom. When I was in high school I once called my mom at work to see if she’d come home and kill a spider… she hung up on me.

    • So we both have this debilitating fear of spiders and yet we are both planning on heading toward places like Arizona and New Mexico this winter. Home of tarantulas and scorpions and whatnot. I think this proves the theory that we are not very smart. Ok, off to start my Arctic Circle RV Trip planning!

    • I’m not sure I know what an earwig is, but given your statement, I’m not even gonna look…. 🙂 Anyway, thanks for your comment and it’s nice to “meet” you. I too am glad to be finding some other folks to follow. (Thanks Dawn!!)


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