Q & R: Squashing spiders

Here’s the Q:

Two years ago I would have asked this question in a sort of snarky way, but the more I’ve thought about all animals being God’s creatures and worthy of more respect than we normally assign them, I have an actually serious question.
What do you do with insects that are pests in your home? Occasionally all homes get pests, and the usual thing is to get pesticides and exterminate them. While lying in bed the other night I saw a small spider on the wall. Do I squash him and toss the napkin in the trash?
I know that sounds like a petty question to ask, but I truly am curious. (Feel free to put this as #2,899 on your “questions to respond to” list!)

Here’s the R:
Thanks for the question. As you can imagine, I receive a lot of questions in which the snark-content is high … it’s encouraging to think that maybe in two years, some of these folks will have the same kind of change of tone as you have experienced!
It’s funny you mention spiders. I live in SW Florida where we have a lot of spiders. Last week, I came across a venomous black widow spider hanging right below the handle of my outside spigot. I decided it wasn’t safe to let him/her live in such close proximity to people, so I did dispatch her, but not without some sadness and an apology to the Creator. I could have coaxed her into a jar and let her go at a distance from the house, but then I thought about the possibility of her reproducing and there being more of them around, and I decided to … errr … foreclose upon that possibility.
Then two days ago, I came across a large wolf spider in my garage. I shooed him/her out the door and am glad to have it living nearby as it will eat insects. Then yesterday I had another spider (a spiny orb weaver – quite fascinating, and excellent web-builder) in my house. I carefully picked her up with a piece of screen and took her outside, again, glad to have her in the neighborhood doing her part to keep the insect population in a bit more balance.
Yes, I swat mosquitoes.
All that’s to say that I don’t have a problem killing something that’s dangerous to humans, but that I try to avoid using pesticides. St. Francis didn’t, to my knowledge, speak of brother spider or sister mosquito, but I’m sure he would tell us that they too are part of God’s good world and have an important place in it.