Pests in The News: Bracken Bat Cave Meshweaver:

K.O.’s Texas DOT Plans

 

 

Bracken Bat Cave Meshweaver
https://www.mysanantonio.com/news

 

I am not a big fan of spiders, but I have come to understand them. I’ve learned that it’s okay for them to live where they do, I just don’t want them living in my house and interfering with my plans. My first spider encounter was with a Black Widow in West Virginia. I was just a baby at the time, maybe that’s why it didn’t bite me when I invaded the spider’s territory, or maybe it was just more scared of me than I was of it.

In later years I developed arachnophobia because my brother kept a large spider as a pet in his room. It was brown and hairy and lived in a peanut butter jar. When I encountered spiders in my life I used to freeze, unable to breathe, move, or scream. I had to learn to live with spiders in my work. I learned to identify them, find out whether they could harm people and where the harmful ones lived. I learned how their toxins worked and why some are more toxic than others.

I did not learn that there was a spider that was such an endangered species that it could change a city the size of San Antonio, Texas. Today I know about the “Bracken Bat Cave Meshweaver” that was found during a 15.1 million dollar road project and the underpass construction came to a dead halt.

Ironically the juvenile spider that was found bears a striking resemblance to one that hasn’t been seen in thirty years. The habitat where the spider originally lived has been filled in and a housing project was built on top. Now the Bracken Bat Cave Meashweaver has gotten its revenge. The spider was believed to be extinct. So what do you do with the dime-sized spider when you find it? You catch it in a jar and send it to a lab to be dissected, just to find out if it’s the genuine article.

That happened about a month ago and the results are back. They killed an endangered spider believed to be extinct to make sure that it was endangered… Yes that’s what they did. Now that they know for sure that this rare spider is the right species, the project has to go through an overhaul. The Texas DOT got rid of the contractor and is forced to come up with a new plan before the road construction can continue. The residents sentiments are that gas is up and the project would have saved them on mileage. The project is long overdue and now there are further delays. Once the plans are drawn then new bids will be taken and a new contractor hired.

The people who would use the loop from 1604 to highway 151 believe, like an old friend of mine, the best spiders are dead spiders and that money could be saved by hiring an exterminator. One comment says that the spider is doing fine without our help.

An endangered species is saved, no matter what the feeling of the humans at the top of the food chain. Here in Arizona we are lucky that termites haven’t made it to the endangered species list yet. Termites are plentiful, unlike the endangered spider and so we must take care of our habitat. There isn’t a law that will keep them away. Termites in Gilbert must answer to a higher law, the law of Termite Control. Your initial termite inspection is free.

 

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