This did, essentially, happen today.
A couple weeks ago my 5 year old daughter found a black widow mom and her egg sack. She wanted to look at it, so I very carefully scooped it up into a jar, twisted on the top and went around it with duct tape for good measure. She begged to let them hatch so she could watch them, and this seemed to be decent science homeschooling, after which point I planned to put them in the freezer for a somewhat humane death. What’s the harm, I thought? They are sealed up well.
Well guess what, they weren’t. The jar I used was plastic and something some toys had come in. There were small HOLES in the bottom and sides, barely visible. Smaller than a hole punch, but plenty big for a baby black widow.
So today we’re going about our lives, when she notices a tiny spider. I kill it. Then there’s another. Then another. I start to think....oh no. I grab the jar to find the egg sack has indeed hatched, with hundreds of tiny little venom weapons. But I see with the relief the duct tape is still there, there’s no way they could have gotten out. Til I look at my hand. IN THE MOMENT I WAS HOLDING THE JAR ONE CRAWLED ON TO MY HAND. At which point I noticed the holes. I screamed, said some words that definitely shouldn’t be said in front of a 5 year old, and wanted to fling away the jar but managed to hold on to it in fear that tossing it would further distribute its murderous contents.
Now my child is playing outside while I furiously vacuum and clean and wash every surface. G-d have mercy.
TL;DR Thought I was showing my child some cool nature in action, ended up with nature all over my bedroom, where nature means hundreds of baby black widows.
Edit: here are pictures of the ones that didn’t escape https://imgur.com/gallery/sF1PERS
And my daughter’s rendition of them: https://imgur.com/gallery/2fJCmq3
Thank you so much to the kind people who Venmoed me money for the exterminator who am I now definitely going to get to come tomorrow! (I’m actually going to return the funds because I was able to get it worked out, but thank you SO much!)
People asking how I could be that stupid...I dunno, frazzled homeschooling single mom corona exhaustion and just poor judgment, I guess? We’ve raised lots of other insects in jars with no escapees, so I guess I got a little overconfident about the status of jar impenetrability. Yep. I FUed.
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