The specter of even a moderately sized spider often induces irrational fears - and actions. But that doesn't mean you should let spiders scare you into setting your house on fire.
Unfortunately, that's just what a 34-year-old woman in Hutchinson, Kan., did last week, according to authorities. The Hutchinson News reported that she "told officers she used a cigarette lighter to set some towels on fire around 1:30 a.m." in an effort to incinerate a spider.
Though the intruder's fate was unclear, five units from the Hutchinson Fire Department "were summoned and managed to control the fire, which they said had multiple points of origin." The woman was subsequently charged with aggravated arson. Law enforcement officials said that was due to the other half of the duplex where she lives being occupied when the blaze began.
But hey, she wouldn't be the first person to try to turn creepy critters into crispy critters.
From that Hutchinson News story: "In April, a Florida man burned down his apartment trying to kill bugs with fire. In 2013, a woman in Texas burned her house down while trying to light a snake on fire with gasoline. And in 2012, a California woman set her house ablaze trying to clear spiderwebs with a blowtorch." (PETA, where are you?)
Those responses are overheated overkill when trying to kill spiders, even black widows or brown recluses. If you deem deadly force necessary, try hitting it with a shoe, book or flyswatter.
Or you could always just roll up a newspaper and use it as a spider squasher.
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