Stop Using Blowtorches to Kill Spiders in Your House

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While this should seemingly go without saying, it turns out that “kill it with fire” is not a great idea when it comes to ridding your home of pests. Nonetheless, there is no shortage of failed cases of people attempting to kill spiders or insects with blowtorches, and it doesn’t often end well.

In what appears to be yet another example of such an incident failing spectacularly, a man house-sitting for his parents at their Fresno, California residence may have set their house on fire after attempting to kill some black widow spiders on an exterior wall of the home, though investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire. The incident occurred Tuesday in the Woodward Lake housing development and resulted in fire damage to the home’s second story and attic, according to ABC-affiliate KFSN.

Reporter Christina Fan of KFSN was on the scene at the fire and streamed her coverage in a Facebook Live video later shared to the Fresno Fire Department’s Facebook page. Calling the incident “one of the most bizarre fire stories I have heard,” she added:

He told firefighters that there were a lot of black widow spiders that were outside the home on the exterior wall. So he decided that he was going to try to exterminate these spiders with a blowtorch. They’re still looking into the cause; but it’s pretty clear, investigators say, that was likely the cause of this fire.


According to Fan, the incident was a two-alarm fire, and 29 firefighters reported to the scene. No one was injured, but as you can imagine, the firefighters didn’t seem too impressed with the man’s botched attempt at spider fire-murder.


This is hardly the first time someone has tried to wage war against arachnids or other household pests using fire. Just last year, a mobile home caught fire in what investigators believed to be an incident resulting from someone taking a blowtorch to spiderwebs. A similar case of a house fire involving a blowtorch occurred in 2012.

While I think most of us would agree that black widows are fucking terrifying, I’d advise against using this particular method of extermination lest your goddamn house catch on fire.


[KFSN via Associated Press]