1. I’ll start at the beginning, with fear.
You do not want your children to be bitten by a black widow or a brown recluse. Period.
So you must take every everything out of bookcases and toy boxes, from behind freezers and washers and dryers, and turn everything upside down looking for the black widow’s distinctive web. It is strong, as if made of nylon, even making noise when you rip it, and crazy, as if the weaver were drunk.
I’ll emphasize the strength of the widow web by saying I recently tried to pick up one spray bottle sitting next to another and got both. Between them in all that web, was a widow. I’m glad she had died, first, but I wonder where her egg sac is. Brrr. Probably up inside my deep freeze, which I cannot turn upside down by myself. Yikes.
However, if you do find a widow egg sac, it will be tan, about the hue of khaki fabric, but maybe lighter, and roughly teardrop-shaped. See this photo and notice the aimless design in the supporting webwork.
What you need to be most concerned about, though, is the bookcase where children’s books are kept, and the toy boxes. Black widows prefer wooden places. And undisturbed places. Well, just read that link, above, to get the whole scope.
Oh, and the brown recluse is not much of a web maker and loves to hide between papers, so it’s time to get those newspapers and magazine corralled before the kids decide to do it for you . . .
2. What about mold?
All winter you’ve been heating your house, and not dusting as much as is wise, right? Don’t worry, winter doldrums get us all. But now is the time to fix all that. When you open the windows to let in the lovely, balmy breezes of Spring, you’ll also let in something you haven’t experienced in a while: humidity!
Humidity works with dust to make a moldy life for us all. There will even be moldy dust on your window screens, themselves, and in the windowsills. You should at least clean the screens and sills when you get ready to open up to the warmth out there, but if it’s all taken apart, might as well get the glass, too, and have everything sparkly.
Sometimes I wait with it, though, until the worst of the pollen has subsided, since we won’t have windows open much during that time, anyway. I can clean pollen off the screens and sills when I get the rest, that way. Saves work.
I choose a hot, windy day for the job, and use a pan of hot water with about a teaspoon of dish soap in it, and a toilet scrub brush (that I keep just for windows) . Remove the screen and lay it on a deck or sidewalk for support. Hose it, then scrub and rinse. Stand it up to dry while you do the window the same. Then dry the window; I use an old bath towel. I know it leaves a tad of lint, but it’s faster that paper toweling and is free. Once all windows are done, begin replacing screens. It should only take about one morning to do this job.
You and your family deserve to see the place shiny at least once a year. Go for it. You will be glad. It boosts everyone’s morale and causes all sorts of happy feelings in your heart.
For “spring-cleaning-without-spring-cleaning” how-to’s, start here. Have fun!