Nevada Spiders Live in Cars

I am convinced that the prime habitat for spiders in Nevada is the everyday car engine.  Not sure why that is because in my estimation there just aren’t a lot of dining options.  And from my general life science days, I don’t recall that spiders fall into the hunter-gatherer category.

What is it with Nevada spiders living in cars?!

I have encountered 4… now 5… in the just-over-one-year time period that I’ve been in this state.

What’s the deal?

Luckily this latest up-close-and-personal encounter was in the engine and not inside the car.  If this had crawled out from under my visor while driving like previous traveling companions, I feel certain there would have been a crash.

Thank you Jesus for small favors!

An Over-Heated Engine

This pic was snapped at a rest area in the middle-of-nowhere Utah.  We were traveling cross-country to visit family when we made a stop to check the smoke coming out from under the hood.

Ooooo!  [on both counts… smoke and spider!]

Perched right beside the radiator cap is this lovely larger-than-life specimen of a Black Widow… resplendent in all her glory with the classic red-hour-glass belly.

Ooooo!  [twice again!]

I was never crazy about spiders before… really don’t like them now.

Antifreeze Doesn’t Work

We managed to dump some water into the boiled-over radiator and get to the next town 50 miles down the road.  Bought some antifreeze and fed the radiator regularly over the next 500 miles but didn’t see the spider again for a couple days.

Went to add more to the radiator and lo and behold!  There she was again… defiant and stubborn.

I would have thought that 1200 miles / scalding liquid spewing from a cracked radiator / several inches of snow and below-freezing-overnights / combined with general lack of spider food would have killed it.

But no!

We poured antifreeze on it.  She crawled away unfazed.

A Facebook friend suggested Lemon Pledge-ing it.  Didn’t have any on hand.

The Rest of the Story

It feels a bit anti-climactic.

Had to get the radiator replaced.  Forgot to tell the mechanic about the spider living in the engine.  He didn’t say anything so I guess he wasn’t bitten.  [Good thing!]

The engine returned all clean and shiny… at least as much as a 19-year-old engine can.  So if the antifreeze didn’t work then I hope the steam-bath did.

Now I’m back home and hoping not to encounter any more spiders in cars.

More Life Lessons from Spiders

So where and what is the lesson here?  [You know there’s always a story… and always a lesson.]

If I told you the larger context of all this, you would understand the lesson better… but it’s very simple…

Do not be afraid.  I go before you always.

It’s a beautiful lyric from a classic Catholic church song.

Even for the strongest, most-confident people in the world, a small chink in the armor can let the fear in.

If we focus on the spiders… big and ugly and scary as they are… then we miss the wonders of the journey.

If we focus on the high-pressure-engine-cleaning-steam-bath, then we have the chance to be baptized squeaky clean again.

I’ll take the second option, please.

P.S.  Are you a Nevada-ite?  Be on the lookout!


About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

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